The weekend following my birthday (erm, yes, we're talking about events that happened nearly two weeks ago), we went to Cagatay's friends' lake house with some of his other friends (who I guess are my friends too now). Cagatay spent most of his childhood summers in the southwestern city of Bodrum, at a beachside community called Aktur, and most of his friends now are from those days. So he's known most of these people for 25 years or so; as it happens, he also works now with the lake house's owner, Selcuk. Despite living in a city of 15 million people, his life and friends are oddly interconnected.
But I digress...on Friday night, we drove with with Emir and Idil to the lake house at Sapanca, which is about 1.5 hours east of Istanbul. It was such a great weekend, so relaxing. Since we mostly spent our time eating, lounging at the pool, or sitting out on the patio, there's not a lot to write about...so I thought I'd mostly just show photos in this post.
The house is located in a development...there were probably about 20 houses, mostly weekend places I gather, and all looked pretty similar. In addition to the lake (which we only looked at), there was a glorious blue pool. This is only the second time I've seen a pool in the month and a half that I've been here.
Sapanca is a little town and we were about five minutes out anyway, so it definitely felt like we were out in the country. Animals - frogs, ducks, geese - abounded and flowers were in bloom all over.
Saturday night, the sunset was gorgeous. (The windows in our Istanbul apartment mostly face east so alas, I don't have a prime sunset view.) Cagatay and I walked to the water to check it out. When I came back, everyone surprised me with a birthday cake. Isn't that sweet? (He actually surprised me with a birthday cake last year too, the day after we met, so perhaps this is the start of a tradition.) Shortly thereafter, fireworks started going off over the lake, in celebration of another wedding. So all in all, a very festive Saturday.