Scrumping juniper berries in the snow

P1010042.JPGWe’ve been intending to take our friend Linda’s dog, Izzy-Sausage, for the hour’s drive up to the snow for the last few weeks, but other things seemed to get in the way. We had new snowfall this week, so we finally got around to driving up to Gömbe this morning.

After our recent bout of warm Spring weather, the snow has melted from all but the higher peaks, so the drive through the cedar forests wasn’t too traumatic, though it is still a bit ‘edgy’ for me on some stretches. The road falls away in a sheer drop several hundred metres into the Kıbrıs Canyon, so it wouldn’t be a happy ending if the driver (Robin in this case) lost concentration. There are no frilly extras like safety barriers on this road, just 2m-high snow markers, presumably so that you can take your mind off things by calculating the depth of the snow just before you slide to your grisly death off the icy road. Oh yes, that’s why we don’t go up there very often – I remember now. The sound of me whimpering while hanging on grimly to the door handle doesn’t make for happy domestic circumstances!

Cedar trees en route to Gombe (in a good bit, but drop looming at the next bend…)

Today, it was sunny and clear and I managed not to whimper (we had company, in the shape of our friends, Jean and Ian, as well as Linda and the Sausage, so I had to control myself). We’d gone equipped for a short walk, but were obviously starving by the time we got there – as is the way with us – so the coffee and Jean’s very healthy (honest, guv) apple muffins came out the second we hit the snow.

No calories there, then…
Linda wondering if she’s got a thermal vest in there and Jean secretly plotting to sneak an extra muffin

Luckily, our coffee spot was right under a stand of juniper trees, so a spot of berry scrumping was always on the cards – the berries were on the ground and the land is public, so we decided it wasn’t really scrumping, more like tidying up. Oddly enough, although the Turkish alcohol monopoly distills its own gin, it is not possible to buy juniper in the shops here, so I always end up importing from the UK. Robin caught us in the act…

They’re just fallers, right?

And here is some of the fabulous bounty:


The walk didn’t really happen – we couldn’t find the trail we were looking for and it was absolutely freezing. After introducing Izzy to a few stray patches of snow (she couldn’t see the point of that and I just got wet feet because I couldn’t be bothered to put my boots on) and throwing a few snowballs, it was time for market day and a bowl of soup (of course).

Where’s all this snow malarkey then?


And a rare shot when one of us isn’t behind the camera

Gömbe wasn’t exactly hopping with excitement – I think everyone was just too cold to be interested – but we got some great photos of the snow and I came away from the market with enough local cold-pressed olive oil to last me for the rest of the year, not to mention the juniper berry heist of course. Splendid.

Market day in Gombe


Plane trees and snow make me think I am in rural France, not southern Turkey




One thought on “Scrumping juniper berries in the snow

  1. Glad to see that you are still getting out and about and aspiring to walk where no mere mortals would. Brings back memories, flooding in, of our walks with you and and included company near where you live. And especially memories of that cake that you always managed to bring out and divided evenly amongst us all. Envious.


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