Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Blog 26 Aussie in Adana 2016

Blog 26   Aussie in Adana 2016 "The Surface"
 I'm Back! 


I'm back in Adana in 2016 on my 8th visit and it feels very familiar, nostalgic even. The familiar sounds, a chorus of sounds really that penetrate the day and night make me feel instantly I’m back to a place I know already so well. 


The call to prayer from the numerous mosques, the traffic, always a chorus of horns and sirens, the low flying planes taking or and landing at Adana airport, the unmistakable horn of the train pulling into Adana Station or the loud cries of market stores and shop owners beckoning their customers to buy their products or come into their store, the music from cars and apartments blocks and just the noise or tightly pack humanity in the thousands of apartment blocks form such a collage of sounds. 



Adana to the uninitiated may seem like an assault of sound, but to the people or Adana, it’s a symphony, the welcome sounds that they have grown up with, even the sounds of comfort and safety of their home life and what makes their hearts beat.


Busy Adana with its colours, smells and its tactile feel underfoot of its cobble stone streets. Mysterious Adana with its interesting little side allies which squeeze into each other as humanity flows through and interacts together. On the surface, not much has changed over the last 3 years since my last visit. Adana is still a hot bed of life, tasty foods and interesting market trade.


In the last few days I took a nostalgic walk around Adana and so I start the Aussie in Adana 2016 experience with some nice pictures of people and places. These pictures need little explanation and it just feels nice to look and take it all in again…


Take a walk with my eyes now as I post some of my Adana first pictures of 2016, the "surface" of a very old city.


Below the legacy of an old city and nostalgic city and looking back the from the opposite side of the gateway.

  

 

 Below is a contrast of today with reflections of over a thousand years earlier...




































































  


 

 


     

 



 

 
 


  

 



 

  

 

 

    
Walk Adana, live Adana and you'll grow to love Adana.
Aussie In Adana 2016 once again.... I hope you all enjoy my further blogs...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blog 25. Seyhan Lake - Adana's beautiful Lake

Blog 25. Seyhan Lake - Adana
 
The Life of the beautiful Seyhan Lake, Adana
 
 

In Australia I live near a beautiful Lake system called Tuggerah Lakes. I have grown up around the lakes. Being around a lake makes me feel at home. Maybe that’s part of the reason I feel so at home when I come to Adana. Adana, also has a beautiful lake called Seyhan Lake.


 

Lakes are places of life and often reveal much about the people who live around, revealing their lifestyles and sense of environment, family and culture. Seyhan Lake is no exception and I really think if you visit Adana, you really need to take a walk, take a drive around the lake. Stop at one of the many vendor vans and take in the surroundings peacefully whilst drinking a nice hot cup of salep in winter or their famous Bibi Bibi in Summer.
 




 
Watch the people, feel the atmosphere, enjoy the wonderful foods and restaurants around the lake. Go fishing, have a BBQ, play some sport on the shoreline or in the water. There is so much on offer!

I’d like to give you a taste of the lake so explore with me from a tourist eyes, or that of a frequent visitor.
 

 There are roads that wind around all around Seyhan Lake and my wife’s Father, Salim, has kindly driven my wife and I all over the place. Around every corner is a new BBQ site or recreation area, or restaurant, little pots or gold everywhere!
 



They are little hidden bays and winding roads lined with Salep vans so you can sit and take advantage of the scenery.

 


Or if you prefer a full meal there are so many wonderful little restaurants each with their own character. The prices are very good here, I mean seriously good prices by western standards. You can eat well and sample all the tastes of Adana, Turkey around this large Lake.

 


And the people are very friendly, hospitable, even though this is not known as a Tourist destination.

Personally I love the little street food vendors and vans, salep and cay machines, in the winter, so refreshing!


 
 






Last time I was there we visited a larger lake side restaurant that probably doubles as a night club style restaurant in the summer season for its perfect location and size. Its name was KAKTUSPARK and it’s located right by the long bridge that  runs over the lake (Bati Bridge).
 

 
 

 
There is also a little restaurant on the other side of the bridge which is the picture of my wife and I sitting by the water here, but for now I’ll talk about the KAKTUSPARK and surrounds.
KAKTUSPARK RESTAURANT
 
 






 

KAKTUSPARK restaurant. We chose a Turkish pizza and chicken dish which came with salad and it was both generous and very tasty! The service was nice, friendly and the salad fresh.  It was off season when we were there so very few people. A host of high school students arrived as we were finishing up and they all crowded around little Michael Emre and took selfies with him. Where ever we take Michael in Turkey his half Aussie, half Turkish combination a winning combination with the locals. (Though he gets more of his good look from his mum than me! ) lol

 


I think this picture above of them all together is gold and classic Turkish. Really attractive picture of the youth of Adana, happy, full of life and smiles and like most of those from Adana, very attractive advertisements of Adana. The young chap in the centre, what a great Turkish smiles! J

 


Surrounding the KAKTUSPARK restaurant is the entry to the bridge and the waterfront. I’ve added a few bridge picture from different years below.

 
 
 


 

Directly in front of the restaurant on the roadside and lake foreshore is a typical scene. As is the case for many parts of Adana, stray dog’s line the road ways and waterfronts.  Generally they are friendly dossal animals but the odd one may take to you with a snarl so better to be safe than sorry and not approach. These dogs you see in the photo were very friendly but one just 20 meters behind me took a dislike to me and came barking across the street. I bid a hastily retreat! J
 

Don’t let the dogs put you off thought, in 7 years that’s only one that ever bothered me.

 


Directly on the road, next to the bridge entry is an unusual site. Pony rides. Well pony rides are not unusual but pony rides right next to a gun shooting range certainly is! The owner of this weird recreation combination has set up balloons along the lakeside for customers to shoot at. For the kiddies it’s ponies, for the adults it’s guns! Scary. Scarier still, I did see a young boy about 10 or 11 fire of a round.  That won’t pass any OH&S checks back in Australia, that’s for sure!! :-/

 


Moving on around the lakes, there some unusual sites also to see, like a windmill on a hill top and boat houses. It’s very calm lake so boat houses would probably be nice!
 
 

One of my favourite pictures I took a few years ago is my cover photo for this blog, that is, two rowers enjoying the calm waters of the lake with the city skyline in the foreground.
 
 
There is also a picture of a lone individual on a little grass bank just looking out across the lake contemplating life. Now that I really relate too!
 
 

Another favourite is a typical scene around the lake, and that’s of a family making a BBQ together. How wonderful!!


 
But my all-time favourite picture of the lake is not a lake picture at all, but a picture of a recreation area beside the lake. This, more than any other photo represents the wonderful family and community spirit in Adana.
 
 Look at all the different individuals, families and little children and parents enjoying themselves around picnics and BBQ’s. How happy! How wonderful! And how much is this the people of Adana! I love this picture!

Lake Seyhan, it really is a wonderful place in Adana.

 
But it can be better...

I don’t want to end with a negative so it you want, just stop reading now. This is more for the people of Adana, and the ones that can make decisions.

 As I work for a local government in Australia that is centred around a lakes system, and a local government prides itself in taking care of the lake and its foreshores and recreation spaces, I think I can comment here.

I really do hope that someone from the Adana’s local Government or Mayor reads this. (with a better Turkish translation than google can give it hope) The greatest asset of Adana is its wonderful people and next to that, is its natural environment. Lake Seyhan is and asset to treasure and protect!

 

From what I have seen, over the years the lakes foreshores and recreation spaces have been neglected, allowed to gather litter and rubbish in enormous quantities, and the water quality is degrading.

This is the people’s lake, owned by all Adana’s people and for that reason alone, should be looked after. But also there is great opportunity for prosperity around this lake. It could be a gold mine for tourism, both domestic and international if it was managed right and the recreation spaces looked after, upgraded.

Like the city of Adana, the lake has so much to offer. This is relatively unknown to the international community and could present some wonderful opportunities in the future.

I implore and strongly encourage the local and city government of Adana to do more, don’t let this treasure degrade any further. I am happy to share the experience of Australian local government in Lakes management with Adana.

Lake Seyhan is an asset of the people of Adana. Not only for your generations, but for the ones that come after you. Please take care your lake. It’s beautiful!