Extract

Silence of the Lammergeiers

Walking in Turkey's Lake District

The towering peaks and rolling foothills of Turkey’s Lake District simply take one’s breath away. Kate Clow is captivated.

  • The freezing south wind drives snow clouds over the north slope of Davras. Abandoned by the shepherds, left to the foxes and the lammergeier, in midwinter night-time temperatures plummet and the snow stays crisp all day

Eğirdir, at the heart of Anatolia’s majestic Lake District and the midpoint of a triangle of mopuntains, is great trekking country. I In winter intrepid walkers share the snowy silence of the Davras, Gelincik and Dedegül peaks with wheeling lammergeiers, or lamb-vultures. In summer these towering limestone massifs, home to migrant herds of goats and sheep, are a refuge from the heat of the coastal plain. For the trekker, each peak has its own appeal. This article focuses on three walks.

DAVRAS Splendid isolation

Davras is a rocky tower on top of the start citadel of a ridge which runs east-west at an altitude of 2,500 metres. The ridge is broad and rolling, covered with loose stones and boulders except in two or three hollows where rain-washed soil has allowed short mountain turf to grow. Defended by sharp buttresses and broken by fine-grained scree slopes, it descends northwards to rolling foothills which, at 2,000 metres, remain too high to support trees. On the south side, the slopes descend even more steeply to pine forests and tiny villages…

GELİNCİK Pastoral Perfection

Gelincik Dağı, which means ‘Poppy Mountain’, is the highest point of the Barla massif. It runs southwest to northeast on the west side of Lake Eğirdir, cut by deep valleys and a canyon running down to the lake. The hillsides are less steep and more sheltered from the winds than on Davras, and slightly better topsoil gives a superior pasture. The lower slopes are not forested, except on the lake side, so pasture extends as far down as the villages on the southern slopes…

DEDEGÜL Ideal for beginners

Dedegül Tepe and Kartal Tepe, five metres lower, are the main, twin peaks of a rounded ridge, part of the Dedegül range. The name supposedly originates from a huge pink flower that blooms exclusively on this peak in summer – but I have only met one person who claims to have seen it. Brilliant crocus and red tulips abound, however, and in the forrests are orchids, tawny foxgloves and doronicum. The mountain is near to Lake Beyşehir than Eğirdir, and it rears like an upturned pudding basin from the dark forests around…

Kate Clow details all three climbs giving directions and practical advice.
Visit lycianway.com for more information on walks in Turkey.

To read the full article, purchase Issue 17

Issue 17, 1999 The Republic
£12.00 / $15.88 / 98.64 TL
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Buy the issue
Issue 17, 1999 The Republic
£12.00 / $15.88 / 98.64 TL
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