While we left behind the most beautiful Old city, Lake Abant Nature park with it’s natural reserve, it’s small pensions and Saudi tourists, was waiting for us.
We arrived around 11am, checked into our modest pension, took our host’s offer to drive us to the lake; as the pension was 16km away. On the way there, we passed by his brother’s kiosk, and while it was pouring outside, we had kofte and sucuk sandwiches for lunch in the warm and cozy venue, and then sealed the deal with some smoked tea.
And off to the famous lake…
Abant is a nature park, with forests and a huge lake, with a 7km perimeter. It is a very touristic area, mainly to Turks and Saudis. People go there to spend the day or stay a weekend in of it 3 major hotels. Our fist stop was at one of its major hotels, a pipi pause, then we hit the road to walk the 7 km perimeter. After the first kilometer, we could hear music, loud music, with tambourines and flutes. We went closer to discover a 150-member-family having a picnic besides the lake. They so friendly, invited us to join in, dance, eat and drink with them. They were dancing their local version of our Lebanese Dabkeh.
We bid them farewell, and then went our own way again, going around the lake. BUT there was something missing, we haven’t tried the Abantian version of the 3o22ess, and that was out of the question. We simply had to. And since I was the connoisseur on the matter, I went in head first into the uphill forest and gave it a go. And as usual, it never disappoints us, it stung like hell!!! As bad as ever! All over my right arm!
We continued, bought from 3 old ladies some hair flowers, had a breathtaking break eating local sweets, and finally made it back to the hotel by the lake. 3 seconds after it started to rain cats and dogs and horses and donkeys! We were saved by the pension’s owner who drove us back in his car after a warm coffee break.
On our way, we bought some honey (bal) and some local kishek. Headed straight to the pension and to our beds.