I like Google Earth, I particularly like Google Street view, which of course we don’t get here. You can wile away many a wasteful hour sneering at the paint job the new owners have done on a house you used to own or, in Nick’s case, getting all misty eyed over the view of Lake Geneva from your old school in Switzerland and the vineyards where you grew up.
Poor Kirazli has been somewhat bypassed by this satellite snooping and whilst I can see my parents car in the garage of their home in Spain and check out the pool, if you want to wander the streets of Kirazli by stealthy satellite you are going to be disappointed.
This is Kirazli as it appears on Google Earth and by my estimation the image they use was taken sometime between March and May 2005, roughly four months before I came to the village. Current it is not!
If I zoom in I can see the Muses House Boutique hotel as it was before Phil and I started renovations (it isn’t at the location as pinned on the map!), when it was just an old Greek police station and an abandoned carpet factory still with the old looms inside. The Ephesus Boutique hotel only has the foundations in and my current house is still owned and inhabited by the old man who lived here before me. I can see the scrubby old tree in the courtyard where the pool is now.
Halfway along the stretch of road out of the valley you cross an invisible satellite line and the image becomes sharper and better defined but still not current by half a decade. When I looked over in Sogucak for my friend’s house again the foundations were there but the house isn’t and he moved in the summer we finished building The Muses House.
I can’t see us getting streetview any time soon and I think I will be old and grey(er) before I will get to virtually wander the streets of Kirazli from wherever I am in the world as I can now wander the streets of my childhood in Spain. Maybe that’s just as well. When I checked out my old home in Spain recently I saw that Felix’s, the little beach shack my brother and I used to race to every lunchtime for boquerones, had turned into a Burger King and is now at the entrance to a swish marina that had been just pontoons and concrete blocks when I was growing up. Okay, I knew it had changed but seeing it like that was strange and yet it triggered as many memories.
When we first moved there in 1980 Charlton Heston lived in the villa next door, the beach shacks were just that, thrown together heaps of driftwood and when it rained the dry arroyo (gully) to the beach became blocked with trees and bushes and debris washed down from the mountains. I used to hunt lizards in there. Funny how it all comes back to you, I can feel the pressing heat now and see the sudden green flicker of lizards against the ochre dust.
It would be awful to come back to Kirazli via Google in twenty years time and see a Macdonalds next to the tea shop. Unlikely, but awful! More than likely all that will have changed is the neighbour may have a new goat shed and the house by the market ground will finally have fallen down. Either way it will no doubt trigger such a host of memories I will be floored by them.