I love all the seasons in our home on the Aegean coast of Turkey, for they each have a special character and appeal of their own, but of them all I love the spring the most.
The start of spring is heralded in mid-February by our being serenaded by the joyous call of the blackbird just before daybreak. He is joined soon after by the pigeons and then in early March we have a full melodic dawn chorus.
On the ground daffodils and crocuses peek through then an explosion of papatya (Moon Daisies) and soon every patch of land is a riot of colour. Above ground the trees burst into blossom, a joy not only to the eyes but also to the nose. In early March the first cruise ships arrive from Northern Europe and the tourists, clad in shorts and sandals, stare at us in amazement as we're mostly still in our fleeces and maybe even hats and gloves. We stare back equally amused by their boldness.
Most of all I love the excitement and anticipation in the tourist areas as the air is filled with the sound of drilling, sawing, hammering and delivery trucks and the smell of paint and sawdust, as the shops, bars and restaurants, most of which will have been closed during the winter, are restocked and refurbished ready to welcome the millions of summer visitors who sample for an all too short holiday that which we luckily enjoy all year. However, this year the buzz is tinged with apprehension. Will the sensationalist media and nervous tour operators have persuaded many to go elsewhere?