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martedì 6 novembre 2012

My mediterranean summer: The Turkish segment. Subtitle: Italiani turchi una faccia una razza

Well in a way it's true that Italians and Turks are one face one race maybe more that with the Greeks at least in my personal experience. My dear friend Idil is Turkish and we managed for many years to meet somewhere in the world to spend some time together. This year it was Kalymnos and Datca on the Eagean coast of Turkey. Then it extended to one of my favourite cities in the world : the magnificent Istanbul. When we left Kalymnos to go to Kos in order to take the catamaran to Bodrum the temperature was of almost 40 degrees. Two of us had already a ticket and the other two (including me of course ) didn't. Basically they let us wait in a line which lasted forever to tell us there were no more tickets for Turgutreis, so we had to split from the other two. The heat and the long wait caused a Greek-Turkish incident on the pier but finally we all went on board even if on two different catamarans to two different places in the Bodrum peninsula. Thank God I had a real gentleman with me who helped carry my heavy luggage around at Kos and around Bodrum city in the heat and the confusion that there is in that place . I was there last year and it was already a no-no. I can certainly confirm . I found a very nice pansyion there where to spend the night and the next day I was off to Datca with my friend by boat. If you have been on the Eagean coast of Turkey you have probably seen a lot of wonderful places yet not so touristic . Well Datca is one of them. The temperature was of 40 degrees or something but one could jump into the sea which is also into town and the colour of the water is fantastic believeme. See? Now when in Turkey do what the Turks do right? In those lazy afternoons even if it was hot one would go in and out of the water, sun bathe and then have some beer and mussel dolma by the sea. What's mussel dolma? Exactly this. Datca is famous for the almond trees which give hundreds of tasty almonds and the food there is delicious. There is a place called Fevzinin Yeri which is a lovely fish place although a bit expensive. The fish soup and the mezes were really really good. We stayed in a very nice boutique hotel up on a little hill overlooking the bay called Villa Tokur It's owned by a turkish -german couple. Breakfast is very good and is served in the dining room close to the garden where cats come to ask for food. In Turkey there are a lot of stray cats and dogs. Believe me: A LOT but as I said in my former post about Turkey, people take care of them and feed them most of the time. My friend left for Istanbul and I decided to meet her there the next day, so in order to get closer to Dalaman airport I decided to spend a night in Marmaris. Well I don't think I'll ever go back there unless I want to feel like an understudy on the set of Eastenders and eat Yorkshire pudding or Indian Chinese English buffets for 5 euros all you can eat. I thought it was horrible so I will not even indulge in describing it. Just take my word for it : if you can avoid it. You ahve been warned. Finally I came to the splendid, wonderful,gorgeous,one of my favourite cities in the whole world: Her majesty Istanbul. Well if you haven't been there yet I strongly suggest you reconsider your travel plans and go becasue you are really missing on something- believe me . Now, since i have been there a few times and I have seen all the most touristic places, this time i went to visit what I'll call alternative Istanbul with my friend who is the perfect guide. First, I went to see Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque which is one of the mosques made by famous architect Sinan . It has a cemetery nearby with sails since it is known as the sailors cemetery. Very close to it you can find Istanbul modern, the museum of modern art which I didn't visit thouroughly but went just inside to have a look. It is supposed to have a bautiful view on the sea but unfortunately there was a cruise ship which blocked it all. If you feel like going for a coffee you can try a few meters away where there are lovely places where to sit and relax in perfect Turkish style. A turkish stylish cafe Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque Istanbul modern and cruise ship Turkish tea Then with my friend we decided to meet nearby Taksim square and go to the museum Orhan Pamuk has opened which recreates the contents of his book The museum of innocence I thought it was a wonderful experience. First we went to buy the book for me, which contains a ticket for the museum, and then we went to visit it. I hadn't read the book but I thought it was brilliant and now that I am reading it it's even more interesting. Then we took a taxi and went to visit Suleymaniye Mosque also by architect Sinan which is incredibly beautiful and from which you have a wonderful view of the city. We went to walk nearby and my fried took me to Tarihi Vefa Bozacisi, a very old and fascinating place where they serve ice cream and ottoman drinks like Boza, made from fermented wheat.Then we went to Mihrimah mosque also by Sinan the story of which is beautifully described on my friend's travel blog http://www.travelmind-idilka.blogspot.com. The museum of innocence Mihrimah View from Sulemaniye Mosque Tarihi Vefa Bozacisi Boza - We then ended this pefect day with a beautiful dinner in a very good Ottoman restaurant Asitane with lovely ambiance and delicious food. it is located in Edirnekapi one of the most important areas of old Istanbul. Take a walk around before or after dinner an you'll be mesmerized by the fascination of the streets and the view of the Golden Horn. It is close to Chora Church where apparently there are very interesting byzantinian mosaics. It was closed when I got there so I couldn't see them. While we were walking in the streets before going home since I had to take a plane to Zagreb at dawn I was thinking that this is one of the few places where I could live happily. Maybe then I should marry a Turk and i actually wouldn't mind.. Ladies you know what I am talking about.. Or else keep coming here until I feel like it which is a very long time I bet. It was time to leave unfortunately but my heart stayed there. I must have been Turkish in another life. Until next time beautiful Constantinopolis it was time to reach the coast of Croatia... (to be continued)
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