At last today the sun came out and to celebrate I headed out to Kemalpaşa, the old Byzantine Nif.
It’s not an easy town to love, mainly just a sprawl of concrete. Last time I visited the main sight – a ruined Byzantine palace – was hidden beneath scaffolding and it was pouring with rain. This time the palace was still hidden beneath scaffolding but I took advantage of the lovely weather to climb up to the ruined castle above the town whence the views were truly magnificent. It was so peaceful up there too. Spring flowers coming out, birds singing, a new-born kid goat still with its umbilical cord attached. I loved it.
I also took a taxi out along the Torbalı road to Karabel to look for a magnificent Hittite carving, sometimes called “Sesostris”, up a rocky path by the road. I imagine Gertrude climbing up in her long skirt with mud clinging to the bottom of it. The main carving was easy to find, perhaps a little more worn than when she saw it but otherwise intact. She recorded traces of a second carving that hadn’t been completed but I was with a surly sod of a taxi driver so had to call it a day with the one.