When people first asked me to describe Iznik and its’ surrounding area the closest I could get was of “a Turkish version of the British Lake District”. It was only recently, as the kiddos and I paused inside the Byzantian walls to say good morning to the tethered sheep that I realised I may have not expanded the desciption enough, for any thoughts of anorack clad hill-walkers with maps and a picnic are way off the mark, you’ll not be able to find a roaring fire with fresh cakes and sandwiches(more’s the pity), nor anyone who has heard of Wordsworth. What you will find though, is an abundance of space and beauty of surroundings, mountains framing valleys, springs running in cascades into not-so-still waters giving breathe to new life and people who recognise time for the facade that it is, inviting tea after tea after lunch. This overall space of the town and the villages which sprouts from its’ roots, gives my children the freedom I longed to give them, a freedom which to me trumps any advantages Istanbul may have offered. Too often we forget that children are really just humans in miniture size. The greatest gift I can give to these people is the independence to let them run free; somewhere amongst the dandelions and pebbles and grass stains and sneezes they’ll bump into the person they were always meant to be.