Ani, perched dangerously on the edge of Turkey and overlooking its old host, Armenia, is a fantastic site that not too many people get to go to.
Once a bustling metropolis to rival the other big cities of its time, Ani, has wasted away thanks to invasions, earthquakes, and even modern-day arguments. The land it sits on is still debated upon by the Armenians and the Turks. The Armenians want it back.
As we walked around the ruins, we could feel both Armenian guards, from across the river, and Turkish guards high in the citadel watching us.
A day [...]
Continue reading Ani Straddling the Turkish and Armenian Frontiers
Spring and babies! These little falcons are so wide-eyed.
Who doesn’t love it when spring arrives, bringing all manner of new little babies in the world. And I didn’t know how cute falcons could be!
These little guys were hatched in a window cell of an attic way at the top of a huge hill not far from Mardin, Turkey. We weren’t out looking for falcons or their offspring, we were there for the architecture, markets, and Turkish hospitality, but hey, what a bonus!
They are probably at their fuzziest, cutest stage of development. We didn’t bother them for [...]
Continue reading Reflection #554 – Falcon Babies
Lake Van, in eastern Turkey, hosts stunning scenery, a great boat ride, four islands, and an Armenian cathedral turned museum. It’s well worth the visit.
Summer is the best time to vist the Lake Van area of Turkey. It’s elevation is about 5,400 feet, so it’s dry and can be quite cold most parts of the year. In June, the flowers are popping everywhere and the trees and ground are much greener than later in the summer.
One of the most fun things to do is to take a quick 20 minute boat ride to Akdamar Island to visit [...]
Continue reading Lake Van, An Island and A Cathedral
Welcoming the storks back from winter.
In the last few years, I’ve really looked forward to the arrival of the storks. Somehow they know the weather better than us, and they bring with them fresh green leaves on the trees, tulips and daffodils, and other spring colors.
When we were traveling in Israel, we were able to witness them migrating. One day there was a sand and wind storm coming in from northern Africa, and although it made for a pretty miserable day for humans, the tired birds were elated.
We looked into the sky to see [...]
Continue reading Storks and Spring are Finally Here
“Wow! Where is that?” you ask! “Cappadocia,” I say. “Where is Cappadocia?”
This is a pretty iconic shot of the fairy chimney houses in Goreme, Turkey. The region called Cappadocia is located on the Anatolian side of Turkey, right in the middle. It’s about four hours driving time southeast of Ankara, or you can easily fly within about an hour from anywhere in the country into Nevsehir.
One of the favorite things to do in Cappadocia is to take a hot air balloon ride over the enchanting rock formations. Jim and I never went up in one of the [...]
Continue reading Reflection #546 – Where is Cappadocia?
At the largest mosque complex in Amasya, Turkey, the Yildirim Beyazit Mosque hosts these two men relaxing and chatting. It looks so peaceful and comfortable.
Did you notice the paintings on the lower part of the dome? What a great place to sit and while away the hours.
You see a lot of men sitting around Turkey. They are in parks, tea houses, front stoops. You don’t as often see the women. They are usually working at home or in the fields. When they are finished, they go home. Sometimes, when the sun has set, you’ll see small groups [...]
Continue reading Reflection #544 – Men Chatting at Mosque in Amasya
One of my favorite places in Istanbul, Rumeli Hisari.
For me, it evokes an exoticism, romanticism from days of old.
I imagine brocaded soldiers guarding the fortress with headdresses that scrape the low arched doorways, and their kiliçler (curved swords) swinging at their sides.
I see veiled harem ladies sequestered behind the towers, dancing and telling stories, twittering (the old school way), and eating grapes.
The fortress, albeit impressive and strong, doesn’t really contain much, but it is just so much fun running up and down the towers and sitting under a mulberry tree, snacking on its juicy berries [...]
Continue reading Reflection #531 – Rumeli Hisari, Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish Blue Door in Cappadocia
Turkish Blue Door
As you meander around the country, from Ankara to Van, you will soon discover that blue doors are very popular in Turkey. It’s a long held tradition that blue will keep out any evil. This is also one of the reasons that the Turkish Evil Eyes are mostly blue as well.
If you happen to be in Turkey, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some villages, where the real Turkey is. See how many blue doors you will come across.
Continue reading Reflection #516 – Turkish Blue Door
Women buying peppers along the river in Inebolu.
Every Saturday in Inebolu, a Black Sea costal town in northern Turkey, the villagers come down from the mountains to the market. They come to buy and to sell. The market is too small to accommodate everyone, so it spills into the road along the river.
In this photo the Turkish Ladies are buying green peppers. Green peppers are typically served in most meals alongside the meat.
I love this photo because it’s a picture of fashion, cultural fashion. They are all wearing scarves, sweater vests, and long skirts. This is [...]
Continue reading Reflection #508 – Turkish Ladies at the Market in Inebolu
Borek – ready to eat!
Börek is found all over Turkey, and, in fact, many places that the Ottoman Empire used to be. Each place within or outside of Turkey puts their own twist on it, but basically its a dough-filled pastry. Most often the pastry filling is savory and will usually be cheese, ground beef, or spinach. Sometimes you can find potato or other vegetables or even sausage fillings.
Yufka for Borek
Turkish börek is made out of a very thin dough called yufka. It used to be that you had to go to the yufka-maker’s to buy [...]
Continue reading Turkish Food – Three Variations of Börek Recipe