Ionia Guest House

Luxury accommodation in the Aegean countryside

Spring is coming

Winter is just about over. It’s been very wet but, thankfully for the animals of the village, not especially cold. And now there are definite signs of spring in the air — here are a couple of shots to prove it.

Misty morning landscape.

White flowers under the olive trees.

(These were taken only about a hundred metres from our new house: a short walk through the neighbour’s olives and you reach the crest of the ridge, opening up a lovely view to the east.)

We were surprised and happy to get more guests than we thought we would during the coldest part of the year. So a big thank you to all of our recent visitors. One couple was especially patient and helped us get some much-needed photos of breakfast in the cafe.

Breakfast from above.

And from the side!

A new friendlier look for the cafe: some posters and a blue-grey feature wall.

We have also managed to get some work done. The goal is still to get rooms three and four open as soon as we possibly can, hopefully in time for this summer. The roof structure is done, the waterproof membrane is on, and we’ve had some guys out to install the gutters. Tiles are being hauled up onto the roof as we speak and soon it will be time to get on with the straw-bale walls and the interior.

Roof ready for tiles.

Tile laying proceeding.

We’re really pleased with how well the pool pavilion is going to fit in with building two, as you can see in the next photo. That green mesh sunshade (on the back of the pavilion) is quite handy at the moment for making the pool area feel like less of a building site. But at some not-too-distant point in the future it will come down so we can plaster the wall behind.

Pool pavilion will end up looking like part of building two.

The new roof on building two makes it a great work space when it rains. So on days when it would have been too dangerous to go up on the slippery roof membrane, we knocked together two more picnic tables for the terrace. They just need to be painted and they’re ready for guests. The terrace is going to look a lot more hospitable having three tables instead of one.

Another picnic table getting painted.

Between guests and construction work we didn’t get a ton of time for animal photos this month, but I did manage one nice one of Lara in her new role as masked vigilante.

“Who are you?”
“I’m Batcat.”

See you next time!


  1. The cafe looks extremely inviting and comfy with the coloured wall, the posters and especially the sofa!
    I am very jealous of your early spring :-))

    • Jason

      28 February, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks! Sirem will be very pleased, the coloured wall was all her idea and I was a bit sceptical at first. :)

      Sofa happened partly because we’ve been using it as a lounge-room when no guests are around, but guests seem to like it too.

      • I completely agree with Christine: the cafe looks fantastic and the painted wall is very classy. And I am very impressed with the quick progress on rooms 3 & 4. Great work!

        • Jason

          7 March, 2018 at 9:22 pm

          Thanks! Sirem is very happy to hear that her interior design decisions have been vindicated. :)

          Progress continues on 3 & 4: the tiles are all on the roof, and as of today there are 250 straw bales stacked inside ready to start being turned into walls. Plus some concrete got laid yesterday making the paths to each of the front doors.

  2. Hey, I recognise those posters. How many countries have they been to now?
    Yes, spring would be nice. This morning was -14 C here. Ridiculous weather.
    Is that three dog houses I see through the cafe door?

    • Jason

      28 February, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      What sharp eyes you have. :)

      Yes, some of the posters are on country #3 now I think. And yes, that’s three dog houses. We spend so much time up here now, especially in winter, that we’ve encouraged all the dogs to come up here too. Of course we can’t have them on the terrace forever as many guests are not going to be thrilled about three enthusiastic dogs hustling for pats, so they’ll be up near our new house soon.

      I hear all of northern Europe is getting hammered at the moment. I guess at least Austrian housing and infrastructure is built to take it though, right?

      • Yes, nice and warm indoors at home. No straw bales, but at work we are warmed and cooled by water piped form underground. It being a bit too cold in winter is made up for by it being a bit too hot in summer ;)

  3. Beautiful! Looking particularly idyllic as we drift towards Autumn here

    • Jason

      28 February, 2018 at 11:41 pm


      I’m guessing NZ and Turkey would have much in common as far as spring/autumn visits go. (Summer is great for people who want to go in the water, but for serious archaeology tourism I think autumn would win.)

  4. Hi Sirem and Jason. The photos are great and you have certainly made some amazing progress on the building site. I am sure you will welcome spring in as we farewell summer although the weather here is beautiful and we still have another month of daylight saving. I watched the Ionia TV episode this week and thought it was great. I forwarded it to Stephanie and Mick as I knew they would be keen to see it. The breakfast looked beautiful and reminded me of the time we spent together in Turkey a few years ago. Must do it again. Good luck with your completion goal and hope all goes well for you. Anne :)

    • Jason

      28 February, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      Thanks, Anne. Really glad you enjoyed the TV episode, and great that you forwarded it to Stephanie and Mick. Would love to watch it with them as so much has changed since they saw it all.

      Appreciate the good wishes . I think we will get there but sometimes I wish we were faster. Hopefully our finishing date will be around the same time as your next visit to Turkey! :)

  5. Beautiful pictures of the cat — I mean, landscape. (It’s snowing here.)

    Just seen that the new house and swimming pool are visible on Google’s satellite view!

    • Jason

      1 March, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks! And yes, it was a big moment for us when we noticed that google maps had been updated and now shows some of our work. I think g-maps is actually a bit fuzzed-out for Turkey (not sure whether for sinister reasons or not). But if you go to google earth ( you get much clearer images. In 3D as well! :)

      Oh, and I hope the snow lasts long enough to be fun but not so long as to be annoying.

  6. Looking really good, I’m so pleased that you are both enjoying life and building a future :) Maybe one day I’ll be over for that fantastic looking brekkie!

  7. We saw you building starting of on TV. It is coming along well. We hope to get over soon from NZ. We will hopefully stay with you. We watch your progress and are really impressed with your building.
    The ambiance is fantastic can’t wait to use your pool and have a meal outside.
    Cheers Greg & Trish

    • Jason

      12 May, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Thanks! It’s really nice to hear that people from as far away as NZ like what we’re doing. We’d be very glad to host you when you get here.

      Meal by the pool is a good idea: we’ve just built two more outdoor tables especially to fit the seating areas under the little pool pavilion thing (will put a photo in the next post). Anyway, hopefully the result is a pleasant way to eat by the water!

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