mercoledì 30 novembre 2011
Hilton Izmir. You can go to visit the market which is one of the main attractions and it's worth seeing (even if the heat there can basically kill you) and going to one of the only original buildings in the city called Asansor which is a tower where you take a lift and go to the top where you can have a nice view of the city. There is also a nice restaurant where to have lunch. When the heat cooled down I took a stroll on the promenade by the sea where there was a very pleasant wind and had dinner in Deniz one of the most well known restaurants. Well it was one of the best dinners I've ever had believe me. Check out the review I wrote on Trip Advisor. For a cheaper alternative you can go to Kirçiçegi where you can have wonderful pides (local pizza),soups (try the lentil one:it's delicious)and kebabs for very little money. Alacati on Travelmind. We stayed in a very pretty guesthouse called Adacati guesthouse which is a great bed and breakfast (and what a breakfast that is: see for yourself). Travelmind Karaburun.Sarniç Beach a very nice place with a good cafè. In the afternoon they also serve Turkish tea and cake for all guests. In Gumusluk there are plenty of places but we chose one which was very well advertised (by themselves) in a very funny way. It's a quiet and cozy place right on the sea. The peculiarity of the town is an island in front where you can walk to in the sea. So you will see a line of people just walking to the island and back like a pilgrimage. Flora Hotel, a very funny place where the owner has a eco-project and takes tenants into the forest to go bird watching. I had been in Oludeniz in 1995 and what I found was not at all what I remembered. I guess back then it was just starting whereas now it is a booming place with loads of people mainly British. You an get that from the menu in all the restaurants where they serve Yorkshire pudding and steak and kidney pie(!). Also Oludeniz can get unbearably hot and steamy especially in summer so to refresh yourself you can go to the fabulous Blue Lagoon which now is a natural park where you pay an entrance fee and you can find sunbeds and umbrellas kiosks and bars. I have to say that even if it's not just a free beautiful beach anymore and is built up it still has that natural spot flare. Another thing you can do is to go to Butterfly valley by boat which is very beautiful : it's a basically a semi-incontaminated beach situated in a valley where if you like camping you can also stay the night in a tent or a bungalow in a very hippy -like atmosphere. I actually don't particularly like it so we were staying in probably the nicest hotel amongst the medium price range (compared to Italy I would call it low) which is a little oasis in the crowd and the noise. It has bungalows in beautiful garden hidden from the street and it also has a very good restaurant. I would surely go again there if back in Oludeniz. Oba Motel
martedì 22 novembre 2011
Who doesn't have an idea of what Vietnam looks like after seeing dozens of war movies? We all know about the green fields with water buffalos,the wonderful sunsets, people walking around with the typical Vietnamese hat. We mostly remember images of that disgraceful war though, and of all the pain and sorrow it caused. I chose this video because it combines extracts of one of my favourite Vietnam war movies (Full metal Jacket) and another great one (although not one of my favourites) (Forrest Gump), accompanied by a great song sung by one of the greatest voices of rock. (John Fogerty when he was with CCR). I actually think the best war movie about Vietnam of all times is Apocalypse now followed by The Deer Hunter. With these considerations in mind a few years ago I decided to explore the country given my deep love for South East Asia at the time. Huong Sen where at breakfast me met a few Italian couples who had come to Vietnam to adopt their children and it made me think about how retrograde our country is in this respect, since in order to be eligible for adoption you have to be married for three years. Therefore if you are just a couple living together or a single parent you are banned from applying. I guess this is what you get for having the Vatican at your doorstep. In general I didn't really like Saigon although it has some highlights I really enjoyed. For example all the Pagodas: Giam Lac , Jade Emperor Pagoda, Quan Am,Phuoc An Hoi Quan and many others. Huong Lai Everybody working here is a street child as they point out on the menu, and the owner supports the local orphanages also by giving them meals regularly. From there you can take a taxi or a train and go to the Mekong Delta. I didn't really see that much of it when I went there but you'd better stay for a few days and enjoy it because it's a place that needs to be seen properly. I remember I had an interesting conversation with a guide about how disgusting some European and Japanese food is since: while in Vietnam they eat, amongst others, dog, cat or mouse meat (I know i know.. I just makes me want to cry) us disgusting Europeans eat raw meat and the disgusting Japanese eat raw fish......(what's there to say?) We took a five hours bus ride to see what the Lonely Planet calls a " must see" a place in the mountains called Dalat. Well, you know how some guides are more reliable than others also amongst the ones by Lonely Planet. The one about Vietnam is not in fact at all reliable in my opinion . Dalat turned out to be a real let down so I would suggest not to go there at all. Plus it was cold and humid which didn't make it any better. From the pictures it may look nice but I think that can be misleading. La Bella Napoli. Brothers Cafè where you can go and have a nice and fancy meal. A good thing to do, if you are not too fussy is to sit in the street and have Pho Bo a beef noodle soup, or vietnamese Spring rolls. Or you can just sit in a cafè and have a Vietnamese coffee(Ca phe). If you never had one and you're a coffee lover then it's a MUST.