Tuesday, July 12, 1983 – Izmir, Turkey

As I wait for the time to pass when we will depart Izmir, I think I can record some thoughts of my visit to Permata.

The drive from Izmir to Konya was broken up with several stops which I’ll talk about later. When we reached Akshehir we inquired as to the way to Savash Kuyes. At a round -about there is a bus station and to the right of the bus station a fork in the road with cone small shapes. It is this right hand road to Isparta that is taken, A few miles down the road is a sign Savas 5 Km it means 5 Km from Akshehir you make a right turn and about 500 meters ahead we came upon an open area with a group of men sitting on a stack of logs in front of a coffee shop. As we approached our chauffer-guide Necati spoke to them and introduced us as guests from America who had come to find the birthplace of their parents. We were offered chairs and sat and talked about the family name Jenetopulos.
They immediately acknowledged that other visitors with that name had visited in 1981 and others before them. I assume this was Alexandra and (Babe) Clara Genetos. They told about a visitor who had sent back a tank to store water for the hamam. They never got the bath working though.
Several of the men suggested that older people especially grandmothers might remember where our house was. All this time Viv sat in the car. They asked what kind of work I did and I explained cable television which gave me the opportunity to go to the car and get the camera and show the TV on the small video screen. They have TV antennae on some houses so they just were pleased when I showed pictures of Uncle Apostolos and his grandaughter Anna at Nea Heracleon. I asked if it would be permissable to take some pictures the next day, Saturday and they agreed there was no harm in it.

Necati and I walked around some parts of the village speaking with some children and others who stopped to greet us.
Viv’s Trip to Bermata- July, 1983

Left Athens July 5th by air to Izmir. About a 45 minute trip. Izmir is a beautiful city set into hills. Staying at the Buyuk Efes. Dinner at Deniz Restaurant on the waterfront. Excellent Tsipouras. 6600 TL. All arrangements made for our trip into the interior on Friday. Lights on the hills overlooking the water twinkle like Christmas tree lights.

Wednesday, July 6th. Had a tour guide(Necarti) and car drive us to Pergamon. Saw the ruins of Aescepolis and the Acropolis there. good Turkish lunch. Bought a rug at a rug factory. Hand made. Watched girls weave rugs. After a swim back at the hotel Matt went to the Turkish Bath and had a massage. Dinner at Mangal. (4800 TL. Excellent Shish Kebab. Took a buggy ride around town. Back to the hotel for Turkish coffee.

Thursday July 7th. Saw wreath laying ceremony of students in caps and gowns at the statue of Mustafa Kemul Ataturk from our room. Hired a taxi and visited the “Agora”. Saw statues of Poseidon and Demeter. Then to the top of Mt. Pagus the “Acropolis” for a beautiful view of the city. The museums were closed. Lunch at the Buyuk Efes. Yogurti soup, salad and yogurt. Dinner under the Palms ourdoors at the International Fairgrounds. Delicious Swordfish Kebabs, Salad, french fries, eggplant salad and cacik and wine for 2200TL (about $10.00) for two.

Friday July 8th. Started our trek into the interior. Except for a 20km area outside of Afyon, the roads were good. No real mountain driving although they were certainly all around us. To our surprise Necarti is our driver. We saw the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, also the Gymnasium and a beautifully restored Synagogue. Found the village of Bermata which is now called Savas Kuyu. The men were very courteous and took Matt and Necarti to see the village. I stayed with the car. They brouht me water to drink for the Vrisee. So cool and delicious. Went to Aksehir and saw the tomb of Nasreddin Hoca. The festival is on and we also saw some folk dancing. On to Konya. We arrived about 8:30 at the Hotel. After dinner we went downstairs to see rugs. I left Matt there. He bought a rug for our dining room.

Saturday, July 9th. Konya Hot a.m. windy rainy early afternoon. Went to Chatakoyuk to see a dig about 25 miles out of town. Ancient Hittite civilization. Some bones still in the earth. (on this drive I smelled Cumin and asked about it and Necarti pointed out a field of white flowers that we passed by). Back to center of Konya and bought candy and balloons for the children of the village. Also bought “churek otur” (black seed for yalekmek and koulourakia) What a welcome at the village. The balloons and candy were a big hit. As was the coffee we took them. Matt took all the movies he wanted while I entertained the children. A very nice gentleman made a map of the village. I was given a loaf of yalekmek. The flour was a little coarser than what we make but basically its the same. Although it is an old worn down village the people and especially the children are as vibrant as anywhere else I’ve been. After bidding Bermande (Savas Kuyu) goodbye we went to Akshehir and Matt finished the film at the tomb of Nasreddin Hoca. Back to Konya where we had a delicious dinner of Basterma and eggs at the FairGrounds Restaurant. (Since this was the end of the feast of Ramadan the populace had beat us to the restaurants and the only things available for dinner were what we FEASTED on).

Sunday, July 10th Went to see the Mevlani Museum (whirling Dervashes) and the Archeological Museum in Konya. Then to Aksehir to pick up the silk screens of the Hoca. Then we drove over the Sultana Mt. range to beautiful Lake Egridir and lunch at Derya. Excellent Fish(Levrek). (an incident on the mountain road. We wanted cheese to go with the yalekmek and the stores were closed. So Necarti asked some people where we could buy some cheese. They not only “gave” us the cheese, but a big bunch of cherries. Just beautiful!) Passed into Menderes valley to Isparta. Then Dinar where Matt’s uncles were born. Raining pretty heavily. When we reached Pamukkale it was a sight to behold. Looks like Niagra Falls Frozen. Or a big batch of soap that flooded out of a machine. What it is is a petrified limestone formation. As the water flows it dries into stalactites. We’re at the Koru motel where they have about five warm water pools overlooking the valley. Water is heavily sulphated and not refreshing.

Monday July 11th. Saw ruins of Hieropolos there at Pamukkale then we drove to Ephesus. Some beautiful archaic finds. So much to see. Went to the “House of the Virgin Mary”. then to the Museum. Back to Izmir to pack for our departure tomorrow.