Enchanting Türkiye!

Hello everybody! Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long. But, I have a very legitimate reason this time..2 actually. I was travelling with a very dear friend of mine in Turkey (yes, I know right, how awesome is that!) AND my husband and I are finally moving into our very own place together. Our first ever home. I can’t help but get excited every time I say that out loud! And this time around, all I had to do was type and I have a beaming smile on my face right now!

Before my travels to Turkey, I had a very detailed plan about how I was going to take pictures of everything that I ate and vividly describe to you how it tasted. So much so, that the first day that I was in Istanbul by myself, I set out to the local market to capture the sights and smells of all the lovely Turkish street food that were on display. The first part of that plan worked out pretty well. I was staying at a cute little hotel in Avcilar, close to the airport and a little away from the main Taksim square (city centre) in Istanbul, so it was perfect to capture the more relaxed vibe of the place and the people.

The second part..The thing about taking pictures for me, is that I feel like I’m losing out on actually experiencing the moment aka you don’t know how hard it is to have a beautiful plate of food in front of you and to hold-off on tucking into it to take out your camera, focus on your plate, get the composition right..you get my drift. I think it’s pretty obvious by that comment that I wasn’t cut out to be a photographer for a living! I did manage to take a few (good ones) though, and I definitely intend to recreate some of the food that I ate my way through at some point, so please bear with me until then.

In my quest to travel to every part of the globe, I don’t often put back the place I’ve just visited back onto my bucket list. Turkey, however, is the one exception. Here are a few pictures from my travels.. Afiyet olsun!

A classic breakfast staple ‘Menemen’, or Turkish scrambled eggs with thick slices of fresh bread and freshly squeezed orange juice.

 

‘Kumpir’, an icon in the Turkish street food scene; they know how to convert a humble potato into something fit for the gods! (Condiments include ham, couscous, herbed garlic yogurt, and a ton of butter precariously piled onto each potato). Think baked potato on steroids.

 

Quite possibly the strangest drink I encountered there – what it is, is essentially pickled gherkins in what I think is its own pickling juices. It’s a combination of sour and pungent all in one sip and I couldn’t get past 2 mouthfuls. Came across this little stall at a tiny tiny kiosk at the Asian side of Istanbul, across the Bosphorus strait that separates Asia from Europe.

 

A vast array of spices on display at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in the world!

 

‘İmam bayıldı’ is a whole aubergine stuffed with onions, tomatoes and garlic, and a ton of olive oil. Usually, like many other dishes in Turkey, it comes with a side of fresh green salad and the ubiquitous fresh breads.

 

Beautiful orange trees dotting the side-walks along the Kaleiçi (old town) area in Antalya.

 

A wide range of fresh fruit on display outside the Kaymaklı underground city.

 

‘Dolma’ or grape leaves stuffed with rice. They may or may not include meat, and are generally served cold. We ate this at a cute little café in Cappadocia taking in the views of the spectacular volcanic landscape.

 

Quite a sense of humour, these Turks!

 

Fresh mussels with a good squeeze of lemon at the city centre in Antalya..pretty hard to resist.

 

I can’t possibly talk about Turkish cuisine without a mention of Doner kebabs – meat, mostly lamb or a combination of beef and lamb is layered onto a spit and grilled vertically. The outer layer is shaved off and used to fill warm breads, pita pockets or wafer thin wraps. Usually served with a side of fresh salad and fries, of course. A doner, a chilled mojito and watching the world go by. Few things sound better.

 

At Pamukkale, I saw a girl plucking these beauties straight off the tree and popping them in her mouth.. so (obviously) I had to follow suit. They taste similar to raspberries, but not as tart..any idea what they’re called?

 

Considering India’s booming population and the habitual tea drinking inclination of the populace, imagine our plight if this were brewing at every street corner..maybe it’ll cure erectile dysfunction, but societal dysfunction on the other hand, is a completely different story.

 

A vendor selling sweet sticky candy outside the magnificent Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul.

 

It’s definitely worth waking up to a breakfast and a view as stunning as this. View of the marina from our hotel terrace in Antalya.

 

A perfect way to end this post is where most conversations begin for the Turks..To them, catching up without tea is like a night sky without the moon. Çay, as they call it, is the most popular drink here and the locals make their way through upwards of 20 cups everyday!

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