Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Dedication

To all my F--- friends and followers. Love you all :)

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Bazaars

No trip is complete without a visit to the infamous Spice Market and Grand Bazaar! The Spice Market is filled with spices with beautiful aromas and colours (as you will see from the pictures below), while the Grand Bazaar is perfect for anyone who's in the mood for some haggling. Let's just say I shopped 'til my heart's delight :) 

This was the only thing I didn't buy at the Spice Market 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Colours and Textures

The one thing I loved about Turkey was the different colours and textures in everything, from carpets to buildings, ceramics, and food. It felt like I was walking inside a rainbow. 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Henna Night

So remember the roses the bride and her sister were wearing on their hands in the last post? Did you figure out why they wore it? Well it was a part of kina gecesi - henna night. The rose is applied on top of the henna in order to help it dry. Here are some pictures from the rest of the night -  hopefully it will give you a sense of this wonderful tradition that I was lucky enough to partake in. 

The Henna 
Traditional set up for Kina Gecesi

Roses (left) & Goody bags filled with nuts (right)

Applying the henna
(Nope, not the intricate, detailed patterns that you normally see, but they do do that sometimes)

The rose 

The stain left behind 
(took 3 weeks for it to completely come off) 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Bride to Be

Remember that bridal party that I crashed? Well this is a picture of the bride (left) and her sister (right) in traditional Turkish bridal gowns. I love the modesty and elegance of these dresses and the delicate embroidery adds to their beauty. The roses on their hands also add a special touch to the outfit. Can you guess the reason for wearing the roses? Well, I'll explain it in my next post :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


In the 10 days I spent in Turkey, I think I drank at least 5 litres of tea (if not more). Tea (çay - pronounced "chai") is an important part of Turkish culture - it is considered a sign of hospitality and friendship. So everywhere we went -  homes, restaurants, and even shops - everyone would serve us tea. So you can imagine that my bladder was bursting every couple of minutes... but with the sweet aroma and the beautiful presentation, it was too hard to say no :)

Apple Tea 
(served the common way)

Apple Tea
(served the Turkish way) 

Mint Tea

Neat tidbit: When you're done with your tea and don't want a refill, remember to put your spoon on top of your glass or else they will continue to fill it! 

Monday, 19 September 2011


Turkish Proverb: "A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship"

Friday, 16 September 2011

Not Your Typical Ice Cream

Ice cream was the perfect accompaniment to the sweltering heat in Turkey, so when I saw these ice cream vendors in Taksim square, I ran to the closest one looking for salvation. Let me point out that this ice cream is special. No, not that kind of special. This ice cream (called "dondurma") is only found in Turkey. What makes it different from your typical ice cream is its' thick texture and resistance to melting. However, getting the ice cream from these guys is not so easy.... You'll see why.

Churning the dondurma

Chocolate dondurma!

Yes folks, he really is spinning the ice cream like its' pizza dough

Vendors like to tease the customers by handing the dondurma on a stick (without the cone), taking it away and putting it on a cone, flipping the cone over (as seen above), taking it away again, then finally giving it to you. This poor guy had a hard time getting his ice cream (as did I)...

But I eventually got it!

Happy Friday everyone!
Enjoy an ice cream cone this weekend before it gets too chilly :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Little Prince

This is a traditional outfit commonly worn by boys ... the day before circumcision. I saw quite a few of them in costume walking along the streets of Istanbul. The boys are also given the privilege of being treated like princes for one whole day (The boy below was buying a handful of sweets). Well, considering the pain they have to endure the day after, it's the least the parents can do. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Turkish Sweets

For anyone who has a serious sweet tooth like me, sampling some of the local sweets and pastries is a must in Turkey. I like to think of it as a healthy dose of sugar for your soul. A trip to Turkey is not complete without a taste! 

Afiyet Olsun!

Dates (left)Chocolate (middle), and Turkish Delight (right) 
Courtesy of our generous dinner hosts in Konya, Turkey  

Ashure (Noah's Pudding)
Pudding with Grains, Fruits & Nuts
Neat tidbit: The name "Noah's Pudding" comes from the biblical Noah's Ark. When the Ark arrived in Northern Turkey, Noah's family decided to celebrate with a special dish. However, since they had very few supplies left, they cooked whatever food remained (grains, fruits, nuts) in one pot. And voila, the makings of Noah's pudding! 

Almond Ice Cream sprinkled with Pistachio
Specially made ice cream for the Turkish Parliament 

Ladybug Chocolate & Almond Cake
(Not exactly a typical Turkish dessert, but I couldn't resist showing you)
Before and...

... After.
We came, We ate, We conquered.

A Turkish staple!
Pistachio bits layered in between flaky goodness and soaked in honey.

And the many things you can create with it :)
Eat your heart (or face) out, Obama! 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Taste of Turkey

A sample of some of the places I visited, the food I ate, the things I saw, and the people I met while in Turkey :)

Goreme Open Air Museum, Cavetowns
 Capadoccia, Turkey 

Library of Celsus in Ephesus
Izmir, Turkey

Pamukkale (Cotton Castle)
Denizli, Turkey

Kaymakli Underground City
An UNESCO Heritage Site
Capadoccia, Turkey

Turkish Parliament
Ankara, Turkey

Whirling Dervishes Show
Konya, Turkey

Carpet Workshop
Kayseri, Turkey

Traditional Flower Headbands at Ortakoey Marketplace
Istanbul, Turkey

Local Street Buys (behind the Spice Market)
Istanbul, Turkey

Marketplace outside Kaymakli Underground City
Capadoccia, Turkey

Ortakoey District
Istanbul, Turkey

Local Marketplace
Konya, Turkey 

One of the stalls at the Spice Market
Istanbul, Turkey

Fishing on the Bridge
Istanbul, Turkey

Transporting a Mattress
Istanbul, Turkey

The Friendly Locals :)
Konya, Turkey

Food Vendors walking along a Busy Street
Konya, Turkey 

Transporting a Floral Bouquet by Motorbike
Izmir, Turkey

Dinner with a Local Family 
Dish: Pide (Turkish Pizza)
Kayseri, Turkey

Dinner with Another Local Family
Dishes: Lentil Soup, Chicken & Rice (left), Boerek (right), Dolma (behind), Peppers & Cucumber Salad
Konya, Turkey

Our Hostess at one of our Dinners :)
Denizli, Turkey

Sunset by the Harbour
Izmir, Turkey