The Gozne Picnic: to Snow or not to Snow?

27 November 2004

Last night Kadriye, AIESEC Adana’s Local Committee President, along with Manuel and Victor, two Columbian trainees, came to Mersin on the train from Adana. They were to stay at my place before going to Gozne for a picnic in the snow. With the cold weather Mersin has experienced recently, I expected snow at Gozne although I had not heard any confirmation of its arrival.

After a few hot liqueur coffees we headed to the “Moby Dick” bar to meet my neighbour, Taner, and see his brother-in-law, Bulent, sing. Bulent sings Turkish pop and folk songs backed by a drummer, guitarist and keyboardist. He duly sang my request of Cile Bulbulum. In seats first row, stage right, sat two prostitutes. As Taner is entering the military service soon, we made some jokes concerning his ‘needs’.

28 November 2004

On this beautiful, sunny morning, Kadriye, Manuel, Victor, Orhan and I left in my boss’s second car for the journey to Gozne. Although Gozne is only 25 km from Mersin, the road is steep and windy in various places and the packed Renault Toros running on LPG does not race over the hills.

Against expectations, Gozne did not have snow! The only snow visible was on distance mountain ranges. We have to go back later in the winter to see snow.

The sucuk (Turkish sausage), mushroom, tomato and onion cooked with a coal-powered small Turkish “mangal” (barbecue) along with fresh bread made for super sandwiches. Absolutely super!

Although there was no snow, we did find small ice crystals on the steep climb up the nearby pine tree covered hill. By the time we came to the summit, we were all exhausted.

On the way back to Mersin we stopped 3 times:

1) To enjoy the view from Gozne Castle (1 million lira entrance fee)

2) For a cup of tea and fried, sugar syrup soaked sweets at a roadside cade/restaurant. One of the sweets contained fresh cream inside and another walnuts. Both were very delicious.

3) To buy persimmons from a roadside seller. The peak of the current persimmon season has passed, but they still taste fabulous. The persimmons sold by the man were hard so I will have to wait for the 10 kilograms I bought to soften before I eat them. I also purchased 2 kilograms of apples. Manuel has never eaten a persimmon.

In summary, although we did not experience snow, making the trip to Gozne was still worth the effort. There are preliminary plans to make another trip later in winter once the snow has definitely arrived.