Our vacation started with a stay in Kinali chez Odette.  Needless to say, it was a wonderful time for all of us.  Odette, as usual, treated us like royalty and the whole family spoilt the kids rotten!

First moment on Arek felt right at home.

Arek's girls, Romy and Patty came to welcome them, Lucine traveled from arm to arm, and I was very happy to be with Talin and Odette and everybody else.


The very next day we went to Büyük Ada to complete Odette's pilgrimage at the monastery of   Aya Yorgi  [St. George].

Odette and Arek led the way and we followed

Here is the boat ride. 


The ferry pier ("Iskele") at Büyük Ada, built in the 19th century by the Armenian architect Mihran Azaryan,  is a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture.


Talin , our social director, had arranged everything for us including the horse buggy ride and the 'tetanus'mobil. 

Odette bought a garland for Lucine which made her prettier than ever.


Our pilot Arek became the 'arabaci Arek' for the day and helped Baron Kevork take us up to Luna Park.  From there we took the 'belediye' minivan, which was more like a run down, rusty paddy wagon, that Ben aptly called  the tetanusmobil. In any case, we flew between trees and over potholes on a gravel road and made it to the top of the hill where the church and the monastery  of St. George sit.


The church of St. George with its breathtaking view was a wonderful pilgrimage. 


From there we went to a very nice restaurant at the back of the island with more gorgeous view and friendly atmosphere.  Our coachman recommended it saying it is the 'best' in the whole area.  He also made it clear that we "had never had a meal this good" EVER in our lives.


On our ride back we passed the stables where all the horses of the island are kept - making the term work horse a lot clearer for all. 

...and having had a long day out little darling fell asleep.

On our boat ride back to Kinali Arek enchanted some Turkish girls who bought him candy and Lucine was pinched millions of times by all kinds of random people ranging from old grandmas to teenage boys...

Our stay with Odette was wonderful as always.  We did all kinds of family chores and enjoyed each other's company.  My American family was fascinated with the clothes' lines and the laid back life on the island.  Superman also seemed to enjoy this trip. And last but not least Talin was the Santa for Arek.  The two of them went to the iskele and bought a toy for him every single day!! 


One evening Arno came over with his soon to be fiancé - Aslihan.  We all liked her a lot.  She is a nice girl right up our alley.  Intelligent, well educated, down to earth, unpretentious and a very pretty young lady. 

Waiting for Aslihan. Arek got his Sunday outfit on complete with a bow tie - compliments of Odette and family.




We went to the beach several times which was very interesting to say the least.  People lie on beach chairs day in day out and swim in a water that is 200 m. from the fume spewing ferry boats.  in any case, it was not the beach that we were there for, so it was fun.  Being with family is what mattered and we got it!

Going to a beach at the back of the island.



And here is a series of pictures that do not need any caption. 


And alas, like all good things our stay and visit had to come to an end.  Thank you Odette and thank you Talin for your wonderful hospitality.

Bye bye Kinali


Back to family.  Back to map of Europe.  Back to Arek&Lucine