Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuz Golu...or what is this stuff?

Here is a map of Turkey. With bits of Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, and Greece thrown in. But I don't want to talk about any of those places. I want to talk about Turkey.

Specifically this bit of Turkey.

We live in Ankara...noted by the star. It is the capital of Turkey. We were driving to Cappadocia to celebrate 17 years of marriage on Saturday. Cappadocia is the region where the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys is located. On our way to Cappadocia we had to drive by the Tuz Golu or the Salt Lake...noted by the nice, big blue splash of color under Ankara on the map.

We have driven by Tuz Golu many, many times. We had never stopped to see what all the fuss was about despite signs and roadside souvenir shops beckoning us with their wares. There are always quite a few cars and people out walking on the lake. Since we were alone and needing to pee we decided that this would be the perfect place to stop. We didn't have the kids with us so we could go splashing through the water like carefree adults not acting our age. Sounded like fun times.

Now I must say that the salt lake is very shallow and depending on the amount of rainfall quite a bit of the lake is dry. But it is nice and pretty and white. After walking out on powdery salt for quite a ways we decided to take off our shoes to feel the nice sandy feeling between our toes.

Hm...what exactly is this stuff? It doesn't feel like sand at all.

What it felt like...pieces of broken glass. No frolicking or skipping through the water for us.

The following video is what we looked like walking through the salt lake. It was windy so I have transcribed it for your listening/reading enjoyment.

Brian: In case you think I am the only one looking stupid out here....
Me: How does it feel...walking on broken salt?
Brian: This is well worth the time and effort....something, something...I'm feeling the cleansing.
Me: There's another lady doing...
Brian: So is everybody else.
Me: Ouch. I can't even move. It hurts. Are you glad we came?
Brian: Oh yes, it's just like walking on powdery snow from a billion years ago that turned into ice.
Natalie: Alright. Ok, bye.

Now I do see that some people are walking around perfectly normal in the background of our video. Either they had shoes on or they had big, nasty calluses on their feet! I'm telling you...it was painful. We pryed up a few pieces of the salt crystals so we could show you exactly what we were walking on.

And let me just tell you this picture does not do it justice. The sharp points are not prominent enough. The flesh-slicing edges are too blurred. Just take my word for it...okay? Okay.

The best thing about visiting Tuz Golu is now being able to say "we've been there" when we see something about it on the History Channel or National Geographic. We will seem like well-traveled vacation snobs. Ahhh...the joy of it all.


Brittany said...

Oh my gosh, that is insane! The whole time I was reading this, I was sing that song "Walking on, walking on broken glassss..."

maris said...

at least, it does justice to its name...

Anonymous said...

That is so amazing! Now when I see those National Geo specials, I'll think, "Nat & Brian were there!" Sometimes things are best enjoyed from afar.


LiteralDan said...

Looks very relaxing...

I would think that the abrasiveness might help wear down calluses, rather than build them.

Was there anything cool there, or is the highlight walking on pointy shards? If the latter, then they should win some kind of award for Best Marketing Effort Ever, and secondly, the Turkish government might shut you down for badmouthing their tourist hotspot.

Sra said...

Looks just like the Great Salt Lake in Utah. I wonder if it smelled as foul as the GSL does...

Natalie said...

brittany - i totally had to listen to that song after you said that! i love annie lennox!

derya - it does...it really does!

mamadallama - we are happy for you to live vicariously through us!

literaldan - i think walking on the salt would eventually break down calluses. and nope...the highlight was pretty much walking in the water. the water felt nice...if only the bottom wasn't so sharp. i think the salt might be good for foot fungus as well. i don't have foot fungus, but i could see how people might want to go there if they do.

sra - it didn't smell bad at all. and it was refreshing. much better when i walked around in it with my shoes on.