Apples, oranges, pomegranates, or grapes: around this time most kinds of fruit are hanging on the trees of the village of Şirince, waiting to be picked. Most of the trees are almost collapsing under the weight of the fruit. The branches are hanging down and waiting for the farmers to relieve them from their heavy burden. Fruit is important for the villagers because there is a speciality here that I have never before seen in Turkey.
I am in Şirince, in the western province of İzmir. It is hot, but I wanted to visit the place I had heard so much about. Şirince is a small old village standing in the shadow of Ephesus. Just eight kilometers from the town of Selçuk, it is the perfect place to visit after you spend one, or maybe even a couple of days in Ephesus. Just spend another day in Selçuk or, even better, stay in one of the boutique hotels in Şirince. It is nice to dine in this little village while the sun is setting and stay over for the night, so you can spoil yourself with an excellent breakfast in one of the many “restaurants.”
Cars not allowed
Şirince means walking. Cars are not allowed in the narrow streets of the village and I think that is great. One thing: I would advice ladies not to go to Şirince on high heels. In Şirince, you should know, the streets are paved with little cobble stones that might make walking quite difficult. Particularly after rain, you might find yourself “skating” through the streets of Şirince.
Wine is the speciality of Şirince. As soon as you enter the little village the first thing that attracts your eyes are the numerous wine shops. They all sell the speciality of the village: wine made from fruit. Strawberry, raspberry, orange, kiwi, banana, apple wines and more, many more different kind of wines. Such wines are perfect for a warm summer night, nicely chilled. Wherever you go, every shop owner directly offers you to taste from his wine. For that reason only, I suggest going there during late afternoon. You can try the wine shops, do some shopping, and after that you can have a nice dinner. The next day you could use for discovering the rest of the village, because there is a lot more to see in Şirince.
The wine sellers invite you to taste their wine and have a chat, and once you have sat down a long conversation starts. I got the impression that selling wine came second to having nice chats with visitors to the village.
A perfectly fitting name
The name Şirince is a perfectly fitting name for this town. In the past the Greek people living there used to call it Çirkince in order to keep people away from this nice little place. “Çirkince” means “ugly,” while “şirince means “pleasant.” After the “mübadele” (the exchange of Greek and Turkish people in which Greek people living in Turkey had to go to Greece and Turkish people in Greece had to go to Turkey) the name was changed to Şirince. The characteristic architecture reminds you of Safranbolu, Beypazarı or Cumalıkızık, but all those places have their own character too. The nice thing in Şirince is that you can see a cute, nostalgic authentic little village where life still continues in the old way. While taking pictures in the backstreets of Şirince I suddenly saw a man approaching me. He was leading two horses back to their stable, in the background there were two beautiful restored houses. Voila: there are the ingredients for a beautiful picture.
I continued and saw a couple of really magnificent pieces in a small jewelry shop window. Some of the jewelry had been especially designed for famous American movies, the owner tells me with pride, but even if that had not been the case I would have liked the things he made. Beautiful necklaces and brace bands were on show in the shopping window.
Before long, it was time to eat something and it did not take long before I found a cozy little place. I sat down and ordered my food. What a cute lovely place, I thought. It was good that I listened to the advice of my friends and visited Şirince. There can never be enough of these kinds of places, I thought. k HDN
Source : Hürriyet Daily News