Two days was barely enough time to scuttle through Istanbul's main attractions, let alone really get to know the city. I'm leaving with a scattered collection of mental images — frenzied bazaars and bustling streets, spectacular architecture, a glutinous onslaught of food — which together paint a picture that's hard to put my finger on.
That old cliché seems to ring out true: that Istanbul is the bridge between East and West.
Istanbul's many attractions include towering minarets, underground Byzantine cisterns and steamy bathhouses. Pat Yale selects the places to visit:
Photograph: Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images
The city's most unexpectedly romantic attraction, the Basilica Cistern, offers an insight into the complicated system that once brought drinking water into Istanbul from Thrace (an area of the south-east Balkans now constituting Turkish land n the European mainland, and a chunk of Bulgaria).
The prospect of a day’s wandering around Istanbul is something to set the heart racing. Approaching from the sea, your initial romantic vista of Islamic spires and domed promise gets grittier as you get closer; and that basically sums up Istanbul – gritty romanticism. Mrs Chrisparkle and I enjoyed a week’s holiday there in 1999 so it would be interesting to see to what extent, if at all, it had changed over the thirteen years.
Ayder, the gateway to the Kackar Mountains in northeastern Turkey, was one of our most researched places on this trip. This was simply because there wasn't much information about it (in English) anywhere. The Lonely Planet whetted our interest with its account of the various alpine treks to forests, waterfalls and glacial lakes that could be accessed from here, but provided little by way of practicalities.
Not been easy, finding the right place to play my ney since coming back here to Turkey (especially here in Çeşme, such a windy location). Which is funny, since this is the homeland of my ney. In which case, what possessed me to play the ney in something like a Celtic lament? Ah, the mysteries of travelling. It's not so much that you never know what you'll find when you get there.
I find as the years have passed that time teases me to tremble with needs, with desires, with fears, seldom allowing me to treasure a moment of true peace. But through a blessed heart, through the love of another, I have at least discovered how joyous such peace can be. It was in gratitude for this blessed gift of peace that I wished to share these videos and images I captured near Çeşme in Turkey, accompanied by the beautiful and hopeful sounds led by one of the greatest voices in Turkish music, Sezen Aksu.
The sport of yağlı güreş, or oil wrestling, is at the heart of Kırkpınar, a festival in the Turkish city of Edirne. Thousands of people will come to see these wrestlers—slick with olive oil—compete in the 651st annual games on July 2. It’ll be a familiar sight for Turkish photographer Pari Dukovic, who attended the event in 2010 and 2011.
Edirne is one of the most western cities in Turkey - if you have a high enough of a vantage point you can see both Greece and Bulgaria. It is famous for hosting Kırkpınar which translates into Forty Springs but really it is an intriguing Turkish event because it is an olive-oil wrestling tournament. Oh yes - the wrestlers cover their bodies in olive oil and then wrestle each other.
This past weekend I bus journeyed to Northwestern Turkey - first time traveling long distance by bus in Turkey and I must say that I am quite thankful that it is much better service than the notorious companies in the US. I will sum up my weekend through ten lessons learned - other things happened also to include the realization that open containers are legal (I am of age across the globe), breakfast included with your hostel stay is always a plus, don't do lunges the day before a long bus ride and Turkish buses know whats up with drink and snack service - no shafting in this country with the goodies (:
On a recent trip to Turkey, I was encouraged to face my fear of jumping from high places, usually into bitingly cold water. I mean, are you escaping from a cannibalistic amazon tribe? Running from a ferocious man eating beast? Trapped in a burning building? Are you a vampire loving Bella getting over Edward by doing extreme sports (so I've been told - I have…
When I first started blogging, i thought i would post in English more often, however that only made me realize one more time that i shouldn't really count on my thoughts. :) So I believe i owe an apology to my foreigner friends who expected more of English posts from me.
But hey! Here's one for ya ;)
I keep inviting my friends to Turkey and i have been thinking of the places that i would take them to visit.
Here we have a classical setup for the Turkish Tea: Tulip tea, two sugar cubes, Turkish delight and the two stacked kettles for brewing the tea.
The Turkish tea (çay) is a medium bodied golden brown black tea. It is prepared in a two stacked kettle (çaydanlık). Usually cold water is put in the lower kettle until boiling, then some water is transferred to the top kettle where the black tea is added and mixed.
Cappadocia Turkey is one of the most incredible places I have ever been. Alien geography looks right out of a science fiction novel and the history extends far back into the earliest years of Christianity. Byzantine monks carved rock cut tombs out of the soft stone, filling them with frescoes and iconography of the most brilliant kind. Pictured above is the ancient Cavusin Village outside Goreme, Cappadocia.
Göreme, Nevsehir province township, a town center.
Old names of the town of Goreme 'Matiana, Korama, Maccan and Avcılar. Goreme about 6 As a first-century document 'Korama' the old name because it is thought to be seen rather behalf.
Goreme Open Air Museum of Goreme, known as the most famous historical sites, many churches that were hewn into the rocks in the region of the Göreme.
The sinusitis monster attacked me shortly after a 6am flight from Istanbul to Kaiseri yesterday (and a spectacular fall off a travellator at Sabiha Gokcen airport), so I am not particularly talkative in blog terms at the moment.
This post is going to be more about the pictures. But in a nutshell:
I am staying in a cave hotel in a small town called Göreme, which is close to most of the main attractions in…
As is our tradition during our summer sojourn in Istanbul, Ediz and I enjoy to take a mini-vacation of two days exploring other regions of Turkey. I say tradition as if we have been doing it forever, but actually this is just the second year. Last summer we went with his mom and sister to Bodrum, a popular summer destination for Turkish and foreigners alike.
The many strings to Ece Sukan's bow make her one of Istanbul's contemporary trendsetters. Sukan has worked successfully as an actor, model, stylist, she has lectured at universities and is currently the Editor at Large for Vogue Turkey. Sukan commands attention for her clever mix of vintage pieces and runway looks. Her passion for vintage clothing led to her opening the first vintage boutique and organising the first vintage fashion show in Turkey.
So my friend Julie and I just got home (err, July actually) from an amazing and totally wild time traveling in Turkey. We did it all...
We shopped it up in the Grand
Bizarre Bazaar in Istanbul...
Visited the famous mosques...
Floated above the landscape for a 4:30am balloon ride in Goreme...
Soaked up some sun on the Turquoise Coast for a few days...
It's been a good 2 months since we discovered the 'land of Fire', Azerbaijan, so time we cover it once more with more details about Azerbaijani singer Emin.
After having performed during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest, for no less than 150 million people worldwide, the singer released his new album 'After the Storm', preceeded by the single 'Baby Get Higher'.
Pray for the establishment of God's kingdom in this largely Muslim nation.
Name: Republic of Azerbaijan
Area: 86,600 sq km
Caucasian republic on the Caspian Sea, including a 5,632 sq km enclave, Nakhichevan, between Armenia and Iran, and the disputed 4,400 sq km region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Annual Growth: 1.11%
Curiosity is expected to land on the red planet within an hour and will perform one of the most nail-biting landing procedures ever performed on another planet. The one-ton car-sized rover is the largest lander ever sent to Mars which makes landing such a huge device a challenge. The 14 minute communications delay towards and back from Mars also doesn't help dampen the tension.