Ionia Guest House

Luxury accommodation in the Aegean countryside

And now for something completely different…

Perhaps we didn’t get as much done this month as we would have liked. But we had the best possible excuse: we’ve been really busy with guests. Which is great.

Two of those guests were my mum and dad, and they felt for us in that we’ve been working on our construction site almost without interruption for a couple of years now. They invited us on a short trip down to Bodrum to stay in a charming centre-of-town hotel they know from previous visits. We allowed our arms to be twisted and went along: call it a research trip, we thought.

Visiting the competition! Hotel Su in Bodrum.

Hotel Su was fantastic. They’re a bit bigger than we’re ever planning to be, and they have about a 20-year head start on us, but it was interesting to see how other people do things and to note down ideas for later shameless copying. Particularly great work by them on the garden (and bar) arranged around the central courtyard. The staff and the owners were extremely nice and we can happily recommend the place if anyone is heading to Bodrum before or after staying with us.

Lovely architectural details at Hotel Su.

Bodrum (formerly Halicarnassus) is always fun. It’s very much centred around the harbour, with lots of good restaurants along the shore. If you were thinking of chartering a boat for an Aegean cruise it’s definitely the place to go.

Gülets (Turkish yachts) moored on the quayside in Bodrum.

More boats in the harbour.

Back in Hıdırbeyli we had some drama. We were out by the pool one night when we saw flames on the opposite hillside: there was a fire in somebody’s olive grove. I think we were the first to call the emergency services as we had a clear view of what was happening. The fire looked really bad for a while, and we thought it was going to spread along the hillside and possibly threaten some houses. Very impressed though when the fire brigade arrived in seven minutes and had the fire under control shortly afterwards.

Fire on the other side of the village.

Fire now under control: that’s the fire brigade, top left. Remains of the fire smouldering on the left edge of the frame.

Surprise, surprise: the cats were completely unimpressed by the fire. Here are a few shots of them relaxing on the pool terrace that same evening.

Panini reclining.

Pablo, who we don’t see enough of because he is shy.

Cezmi inspecting his pool.

So, golf has never really been my cup of tea, but I realize it’s a big deal for some people. We’ve known for a while there was a serious golf course over in the hills near Kuşadası but hadn’t found an excuse to visit. More than one guest has mentioned that we should list the place on our  “Local attractions” page, and I really should.

Kuşadası International Golf Club.

Anyway, we drove over there as my dad wanted to see their accommodation options in the event that a future trip with some Australian friends turns into too many people for our place. I can’t tell you whether it’s a great golf course, but the views were very nice.

View from the club house looking west towards Samos.

We did do some construction work this month, of course. Room three is getting really close to habitability now: all the window frames are in and the tiles are down in the main room and in the bathroom. Only some grouting to go.

Room 3 has floor tiles now.

Bathroom tiles looking OK.

Thanks to Sirem’s sister Çisem, all 48  six-metre rafters for our new house have been sanded and are ready for mounting. But four of them were a bit of a mess: they had twisted when drying and looked more like bananas than nice straight pieces of wood. So we tried an old carpentry trick and put them in the pool for a week. (Don’t tell any guests, eh?) Unbelievably it actually worked, and we have nailed and strapped them together so that this time they should dry straight.

Rafters for the house being straightened.

And the last piece of news: we know we really don’t need any more animals, but we found a very beautiful and sweet puppy abandoned on the side of the road below our place. We normally try to do the sensible thing and take animals to the local shelter (where they’re vaccinated and spayed and eventually released if no-one adopts them). But this time we looked into the eyes of little Nina and we just couldn’t do it. Maybe the photos will explain why.

Meet Nina. (She was going to be Misha but then we realized he was a she.)

Nina looking content.

Nina fighting a mop.

Nina looking cheeky.

Until next time!


  1. That’s a lovely post

  2. Nicole, Paul, & kids

    1 September, 2018 at 2:16 am

    We are all in love with Nina and wouldn’t have been able to take her in either. What do the cats and older dogs think of her?

    • Jason

      1 September, 2018 at 2:24 am

      She’s very sweet but also very enthusiastic about everything, which alarms the cats a bit. Zelis is actually the one who found her first, when we heard some yapping down by the road. (I was very proud that Z. sat there guarding the little lost puppy until I got there). Unfortunately Zelis’s patience hasn’t lasted with her but Zeytin is her best buddy now — they play together a lot. Cats are a mixed bag but the more relaxed ones are OK. Except Cezmi. He has made it his mission to teach the new puppy many violent lessons with the back of his paw. :)

  3. Cees Van de bovenkamp

    1 September, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Dear people, very good you took a little rest! Very sensible parents Jason!!!

    • Jason

      1 September, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Thanks, Cees. Yes, I guess they were pretty sensible in this case. They could only convince us to take one night away though. :) So much to do, so little time!

  4. Nina is very cute, i can see why you couldn’t turn here away. Do you think peole are dumping dogs outside your place hoping you take then in? Or there are just a lot of street dogs?

    The bathroom tiles look really cool! Who does the tiling?

    • Jason

      1 September, 2018 at 11:14 am

      She is super cute. If we were going to take her to the shelter, I think we had to do it in the first hour or so before we got too attached. I know that the last time I took a trio of puppies to the shelter I felt like a monster all the way home — like I’d taken them to prison or something.

      And yes, we definitely suspect that people might be dumping dogs near us because we have a reputation for either taking them in or taking them to the shelter. If that’s what’s happening I wish they had a little more courage though. I would happily drive someone to the shelter if they asked. Leaving a small puppy on the roadside is pretty risky because we might not notice it in time.

      But who knows? It could just be the fact that we’re the last house in town, and our village in general is seen as a relatively wealthy place by the people who live in the really poor villages further up in the mountains.

      Those tiles have been laid by Koray but we do them sometimes. Sirem and Cisem have been doing the grouting you can see at the back of the red-tiles photo.

  5. Lovely to hear from you and quite impressed with the straightening of your rafters and how your building is progressing! Keep well!

    • Jason

      5 September, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks! We are torn between trying to get it all done and trying not to burn ourselves out.

      And we were frankly amazed about the rafters. It would have been a real problem using them the way they were: roof would have looked just a little too rustic.

      Hope all is well with you.

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