Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beyşehir, Turkey

Well worth the day trip is the Eşrefoğlu Camii, a medieval mosque built of cedar wood in the lakeshore town of Beyşehir.

Originally the roof was open and snow would fall into a pool in the center of the hall, allowing the wood to absorb moisture.

The structure of the Mukarnas at the top of each column reflects the sound and allows for good acoustics.
Local women, peddling their wares outside the mosque.

What They Wore... Headscarves in Konya

Eating in Konya

When in Konya there are two culinary specialties worth a try:
1. Fırın Kebap - pieces of very tender mutton in fluffy pita bread.
2. Etli Ekmek - the Turkish version of pizza, Konya style. It's basically a mixture of minced lamb, tomatoes, green peppers and onion, spread on a paper thin dough. The thinner the better!

Konya seems to have a great selection of good simple restaurants. One of them is the Konya Melveli Sofrasi Restaurant where we tried "Yayla Çorbası", hot yogurt soup with mint.
In Sille we found an excellent restaurant, the Sılle Konak, that serves delicious home cooked dishes, such as Güveç (not to be confused with our "beloved" Romanian version), an oven cooked meat and vegetable casserole.

Sille, Turkey

A short bus ride from the center of Konya is the beatiful Greek-Turkish village of Sille. It has traditional village houses, cave dwellings embedded in the mountain and the old deserted St. Helen's church.
Buses run to and from Konya every half hour until midnight, 7 days a week.
The restaurant Sille Konak is worth the visit alone.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What They Wore... Draping Pants, Konya

Erken Pansiyon, Antalya

Off-season Antalya is a surprisingly pleasant place to spend a couple of days. If you do, there are a variety of great pensions around the old city (Kaleiçi). We landed in the Erken Pansiyon, filled with Ottoman ambiance and the friendliest staff. We really recommend this for a quick weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What They Wore... The Local.

What They Wore... The Korean.

What They Wore... The Russian.

Some Architectural Details.

An Antalyan pebbled mosaic courtyard, kept damp in summer to provide daylong coolness.

Antalya, Turkey

Completely understand the reason Israelis flock to holiday here!

Turkish Dermo!

We noticed at the local medical center in Fethiye that Botox is very cheap... This might explain the influx of Brits... Holiday vacation, Botox included!

Loved the Font!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bring Your Own Fish.

One of Fethiye's many charms is the BYOF policy of the restaurants surrounding the fish market. Open until 21:00, the stalls offer fresh seasonal fish, which the restaurants will then cook for you any way you like, for a minimal fee.

The stall we liked best: Pehlivan Balikçilik (by Osman and Evren, located on the eastern side)
The restaurant we liked best: Hilmi Et ve Balik Restaurant, facing the western stalls

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Day with Mike and Sue

We met Mike and Sue in Pamukkale, and they generously offered us a ride to Fethiye where they reside. We spent the whole day with them, travelling through Afrodisias, and stopping for liver (lunch) and tea (promptly at 17:00).

Thank you Mike and Sue!

Pamukkale, Turkey.

Some general advice: If you find yourself stuck over the Tavertines during a rain storm, you can hop in the hot roman baths. Its mandatory to wear a swimsuit, but there's always a chance they'll let you in with only your underwear...

Homeros Pension, Selçuk.

In Selçuk, staying at the incredible Homeros Pension is a must! Beautifully decorated rooms, lots of fruit for breakfast and a communal dinner prepared by Mama herself!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Şirince, Turkey

With a day to spare, we headed up the winding road to Şirince, a small Greek village. It was great for a two hour visit.

Tom's Morning at the "Berber"

What They Wore... The Japanese.

Selçuk, Turkey

We visited the ruins of Ephesus.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oi Vei Izmir!

As this day comes to an end, we reflect on today's events:
1. A two hour bus ride from Bergama.
2. A long bus drive from the Otogar to the middle of town.
3. The bus broke down on the highway. 34 degrees.
4. Cigarette break for all.
5. Getting off at a university? Oops.
6. Figuring out a misunderstanding.
7. Getting on another bus to the middle of town (45 minutes...)
8. Budget hotels in Izmir are seedy. Haven't been cleaned since 1987.
9. Dinner at the most expensive restaurant we could find to ease our pain. It worked.

We are off to better places...

Our Lovely Little Pension

If ever in Bergama and looking for a place to stay, don't skip the Odyssey Guesthouse, a converted 180 year old Greek house. It took a while to find the place, but it was worth it.


View from the roof terrace

Bergama, Turkey.

Our journey continued to Bergama (the ancient city of Pergamum).

The bus dropped us off on a highway in an empty field, from which we bravely trekked to the Otogar (bus station).

Eventually we made it to town!
Local women's wear. Got to find me a pair of those pants...
The next day we cabbed to the Acropolis

(but we did walked down!)
We were not alone.

Later that day we ventured to the other side of town (cabbing...) to the Asclepion, the famous medical center where people were cured by dream analysis.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brad Pitt Touched This!

A piece of World Heritage: the original Trojan Horse from that movie as seen on the Çanakkale boardwalk.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009