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x0x Island of a thousand faces Gokceada

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  • TRH
    [See more at http://www.gokceada.com/english/foto/index.htm ] By YILDIRIM GUNGOR x0x Island of a thousand faces Gokceada What do you think of when you hear the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2005
      [See more at http://www.gokceada.com/english/foto/index.htm ]


      x0x Island of a thousand faces Gokceada

      What do you think of when you hear the name Gokceada? I can almost
      hear the replies: "A quiet island in Canakkale province, with lots of
      old Greek villages and matchless sand beaches..." The Greek lady's
      famous cafe where the coffee is hand ground in a mortar, and Barba
      Yorgo at Zeytinlikoy are the first places that come to mind. To be
      perfectly honest, that's all I knew about Gokceada myself... until I
      started going there. Every time I went, I discovered something new.

      But before I share my discoveries with you, let me briefly discuss
      Gokceada for those who have never been there.

      The island's history goes back 5 thousand years. Archaeological
      excavations have shown that the Achaeans were the first tribe to set
      foot here. A key point at the entrance to the Dardanelles , Gokceada
      has always held an appeal for civilized peoples. Naval wars were
      fought over the island, which has been ruled in turn by the
      Mycenaeans, Persians, Athenians, Spartans, Romans, Byzantines,
      Venetians, Genoese and, now, the Turks.


      Many things can be said about Gokceada, also known as Imroz. Oxygen
      capital of the world, where the four winds vie for dominion. Exclusive
      habitat of the jujube tree whose fruit is a cross between the wild
      olive and cornelian cherry. An emerald green paradise pervaded by
      pine, cedar and beech. Turkey 's largest island, and the world's
      fourth most water abundant island... A treasure-house harbouring
      numerous attractions from Roman graves and castles whose past is
      shrouded in mystery to modern buildings and a Bronze Age mound. There
      are pure sand beaches, each one more beautiful than the last, on
      Gokceada, which is a haven for city dwellers seeking refuge from the
      urban rat race. On the south side of the island is the Aydincik coast,
      known as the Patara of the northern Aegean . Marmaros Beach on the
      northwest side is another ideal spot for swimming. More coves just
      made for swimmers are Yildiz Koyu and Mavi Koy near the village of
      Kalekoy . And plunging into the waters at Laz Koyu or Gizli Liman at
      Ince Burun, Turkey's westernmost point, affords a pleasure all its


      Olives and olive oil are the staples of the island cuisine, which is
      famous for its wines, thyme honey, almonds and endless varieties of
      fish. It's impossible not to work up an appetite on Gokceada, where
      Greek appetizers share the table with traditional Turkish dishes.

      Gokceada is frequently mentioned in myths and legends. See, for
      example, how Homer describes the island in Book 13 of The Iliad:
      "There is a cave, broad and deep down in the gloom of the water /
      Lying midway between Tenedos and Imbros of the high cliffs. / There
      Poseidon the shaker of the earth reined in his horses."


      And now for Gokceada's lesser known spots... If you say you're tired
      of swimming and sun bathing and you enjoy walking, the island's many
      undiscovered attractions await you. Jump in a car and go to Aydincik.

      If it's high summer, the little lake will have dried up and become a
      salt pond. When you get there, you'll find black figures buried up to

      their necks in the organic sludge around the lake shore, which is
      believed to have emollient properties. On the way from Aydincik to the
      gendarmerie station, there are two Roman graves about a hundred meters
      off the road. Getting to them will involve a bit of a hike. One day
      when you go from the island center to Kuzu Limani, leave the sea on
      your left after passing Camlibel Restaurant and start walking. As you
      climb, water will gradually begin to flow in the dry stream bed, and
      before long you will come across a very old mill with a staircase of
      30-40 steps. When you reach the top you'll soon see a waterfall about
      20 m high. You can continue climbing next to the waterfall, but you'll
      need to watch your step.


      If you have time, go one day to the valley near the village of
      Sahinkaya, which conceals surprises in its depths that will transport
      you to another world. First you will encounter a natural aquapark.

      Then a giant pool about 4-5 meters in diameter, carved out by the rock
      fragments carried by the

      water. You will have difficulty tearing yourself away from this
      valley, where the air is refreshingly cool even in the blistering heat
      of summer. If you take one of the paths leading down from Tepekoy, you
      will find yourself at one of the island's formerly plentiful natural
      springs. And if you follow the road that passes below the spring, some
      15-20 minutes later you'll come upon two big mulberry trees. Later
      you'll reach the tiny settlement of Cavuslu, most of whose houses are
      in ruins. Deserted now, it still preserves all its beauty, offering
      the best examples of typical Gokceada architecture.


      As you proceed from Kalekoy to the town of Gokceada , turn left after
      about a kilometer and a half. Some 250-300 meters further on you will
      come upon one of the island's most recent discoveries, a partially
      excavated Bronze Age tumulus hidden among the trees. The fragments
      unearthed from the mound, which have been dated to 3,500 years ago,
      will soon go on display in Gokceada.

      Now we are at Derekoyu, abandoned at present, but once said to have
      been Turkey 's wealthiest and largest village with 1900 households. A
      day tour around the village will allow you to discover the old
      windmills and the castle, part of which still stands like an historic
      monument with its laundry and market full of shops. If you head for
      Marmaros from Derekoy, you will soon see a path-like road forking off
      to the right. Twenty minutes down this path, when you are least
      expecting it, Marmaros waterfall will suddenly rise before you,
      cascading from a height of 30 meters. A car is a must for going to
      'Gizli Liman', the coastline near the village of Ugurlu . Here on this
      shore, the 'hidden harbour', so named because it lies secluded between
      two hills, is Gokceada's most beautiful beach. The limestone at the
      end of the beach is also completely permeated with fossils-of plankton
      as well as various shellfish and sea urchins. Almost every village on
      the island, which is still untouched by the hubbub of the modern
      world, has pensions for overnight lodging. With its spots of natural
      beauty both hidden and familiar, Gokceada awaits visitors.

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