Monday, September 3, 2012

Turkey's Salt Lake ~ Tuz Gölü

Tuz Gölü
Between the Cilician Gates at Pozanti and the capital city of Ankara, a single highway snakes across the endless fields of Anatolia.

Well, seemingly endless.

Sunflower fields are lovely, but after so many hours, they're just sunflowers.

Then the fields give way to the shimmering salt flats of Tuz Gölü. (Literally: "Salt Lake")

The lake draws the eye like a magnet, even though the bright whiteness makes me squint as I get closer. It's a huge lake,Turkey's second largest.

My father-in-law mentions that there are salt mines, and he keeps driving. (Salt mines there produce 63% of the salt consumed in Turkey.)It takes a while to drive past.

Over the years, I passed the lake several times, never stopping. I should have.

The lake is like a natural spa. The cosmetics industry uses the water, salt, mud, and extracts from the 22 types of minerals found there for various skin softening treatments. Honestly though, the cosmetics angle doesn't interest me all that much.

But - Tuz Gölü is home to the largest Mediterranean flock of the greater flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus. THAT interests me.

In 2011, the major breeding colony  there hatched over 18,000 chicks. That's a lot of pink!

Speaking of: You probably know the flamingo's food source is the reason their feathers turn pink. At Tuz Gölü, the brine shrimp artemia salina is their favorite snack. Artemia salina likes to feed off the red algae, dunaliella salina.
Sometimes the red algae gets out of hand. Ever heard of a crimson tide? A blood red algae bloom rolls in along the shores, and against the white salt flats, it's particularly shocking. (link to pic) Never thought I'd see a crimson tide on a lake shore. You?
A little bit of housekeeping:
A) Summer isn't officially over until September 21st, right? I'm keeping to one post per week until then. ;)
B) I've rearranged the blogroll on the left sidebar. See how there's a whole widget for Blogs on Turkey? These are all interesting, mostly written by expats, but all about some aspect of Turkish life. Check them out!
Also, I'll be evaluating the author/writer/reviewer widget soon.  


Crystal Collier said...

Beautiful. I suppose if I want flamingos living in my backyard I'm going to have to invest in some salt, and brine shrimp, eh? Maybe the pink plastic bird will suffice for now. =)

Jessica Bell said...

Wow! That crimson tide looks amazing! I wish I could see something like that in real life. enjoy your extended summer!

Sarah said...

Whoa--that crimson tide! Kind of unsettling. Thanks, as always, for teaching me something!

Old Kitty said...

Oh my goodness, flamigoes!! Awwwww they're lovely!! Yay!!

Yes, it's still summer as far as I'm concerned!! LOL!! Take care

KatOwens: Insect Collector said...

Gorgeous! I've never seen flamingos in real life but I would love to!

Golden Eagle said...

It would be really cool to see an algae bloom in person--it looks stunning.

And 18k chicks is a lot of flamingos!

Crystal Collier said...

KatOwens, take a trip to Disney World and hit the Animal Kingdom, eh? I saw a whole island of them today. *sigh*

Carolyn V said...

I didn't know that's why their feathers are pink! Interesting! ;)

LTM said...

OK, first of all, this post reads like poetry. The first several paragraphs, I was flowing along... "I had a farm in Africa"-style.

Nice work.

Second, how gorgeous! I think I knew that about the flamingos and the shrimp. Isn't that something like cardinals and holly berries?

Anywho, lovely read. Felt like I was there~ <3

Southpaw said...

How pretty. The flamingos would be so gorgeous, but stinky.

city said...

thanks for sharing...

Unknown said...

Situated 10 km from the coast of Tuz Golu (Salt Lake), Yildirim Hotel is a 10-minute walk to the Sereflikochisar centre. It features a fitness centre and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, minibar and a safety deposit box. Private bathroom comes with a hairdryer, free toiletries and slippers.

The hotel’s à la carte restaurant and café are located on the top floor with Tuz Golu views in far. Breakfast is offered in buffet style every morning.

Room service, laundry and currency exchange are available at this pet friendly hotel. The Goreme Open Air Museum with fairy chimneys is 160 km away.

Ankara Esenboga Airport is 185 km from Yildirim Hotel. A shuttle service can be arranged on request at an additional fee. Free private parking is possible.

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