With love from Europe: Turkey

ginormous bag by starbags
ginormous bag by starbags

This month we are traveling to the borders of Europe, to the magical and mystical Turkey. It is a huge and diverse country with delicious apple tea, kilim carpets, very friendly people and many-many-many mosques.

I always tell my friends, that my Turkey-journey was one of The journeys – you know, the type of journey when you feel that now you really learned something about the world – and not only because I climbed up on a huge volcano. But what makes Turkey so special? Being on the border of Europe is the answer: you may find both the Western and Eastern culture there in an enjoyable and fun mixture. How shall I start my praise for this place on Earth? With food, of course.

illustration by gecesintisi

The non-existant ham. I am a great fan of Turkish food in my home country, so I was even more happier to be able to taste the real Turkish food, which happens to be much more delicious there, on the spot. Not suprisingly, though. Throughout my 3 weeks there I always had the most delicious dishes – even at the camping sites. OK, there was one exception. I wanted to eat ham: and I was eager to find it anywhere. But you don’t find pork in Turkey; instead they make beef-ham. All right, that will do I said to myself. But as I opened it a strange smell came out: the beef-ham was gyros/schwarma flavoured – and it was not exactly the taste I was looking for.

yarn wrapped bracelets
yarn wrapped stacking bracelets by mysticfibers

Istanbul: city of morning prayers. I am pretty sure, that George Lucas was inspired by Istanbul when he was designing planet Naboo in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. I just love the shape of mosques in general – and believe me: you can find quite a few in Istanbul. I could only visit the old part of the city, but it also has a huge modern  part everything you wanted from a megacity: skyscrapers, bars, clubs, crowd….and the sound of the morning prayer at around 6 am.

Fishing in Istanbul by vadjutka

Ice cream hills: One of the most beautiful sites in Turkey is Cappadocia, which happens to be a Unesco World Heritage site. Actually it is not one place, but an area with weird looking hills. My favourite is the place I call the ice cream hills, because the shape of the hill reminds me of the ice cream you get from a machine.

Ice cream hills by vadjutka

Apple Tea: You get a cup of apple tea practicly everywhere in Turkey. You get it mostly in restaurants, but you can get it while shopping in a – let’s say – carpet shop as well. I decoded it as the materialized hospitality and “stay-for-a-purchase” drink.

13 thoughts on “With love from Europe: Turkey

  1. Hey there! I’m from Istanbul/Turkey originally but living in United States for the last 7 years! I love my country and always miss especially Istanbul!! It is always a pleasure to read a review from an outsider. I’m very happy you enjoyed your time there, and smiled at what you thought Cappadocia looked like ‘ice cream from the machiene’ lol I never thought of it that way but now I can totally see that! Thank you for sharing, it was a joy to read.

    Love from a Turkish girl! 😉

  2. I love Turkey too – must go back to travel the west coast as I mainly saw the Eastern part of it. :) Great write up, Judit!

  3. Thank you very much Judith..I am Turkish and to live in Istanbull..It is amazing country..Welcome to visit us any time..Share the more culture and everything..
    I send Turkish sweet lokum and Turkish coffee or Turkish tea and simid..
    Lots of love: )))Ayperi

  4. How nice of you to blog about istanbul, next time around tell us your coming we EST girls from istanbul would love to meet you.

    That apple tea your describing is actually nothing like we locally drink. That is a drink they offer only at touristic places.
    Best Wishes,

  5. I LOVE Turkey. I spent about a month there over 13 years ago with my best friend. We both still talk about how much we want to re-visit. It was such an awe-inspiring experience, from the food, architecture and culture to the landscape and the most welcoming people compared to anywhere I have travelled to. We both are hoping to plan a return visit next year to celebrate our birthdays and I cannot wait!
    Cappadocia is a must see – surreal and magical.
    Cheers from still too cold, Wales.

  6. Lovely post!My hometown is very near to Turkish borders, and I have visted Istanbul many many times!!A magical city!!And lovely friendly people :)

  7. İ live in istanbul and love the things foreigners say about my city. I mean once I thought making a book about istanbul based only on what foreign visitors see say and notice. Like once a french friend told me how he liked that written sign on a taxi was glued with lots of tape, in France you would have a special case for it… Yes and İ’m mad when tourist go back to their country thinking apple tea is our national drink. Have a nice day…

  8. We are both dreaming of going to Istanbul! This dream almost became true this Spring, but then we couldn’t go. So, a trip to this city is still on our wishlist.

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