Wednesday, 22 January 2014

wanderlust wednesday: two weeks in Turkey

A collision.  East meets west.  Sea meets ocean.  Mountains meet plains.  Ancient meets modern.  
Turkey is a collision.  A collision of the best kind.  I've traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, and Turkey is exquisite, a phenomenon, my crème de la crème.   

The people excel at being human.  They are fascinating and lovely and relaxed and familial.  This is genuine hospitality; they look at you and they see you.  They don't ask how they can help; they've got the situation assessed, intuitively.  After courteous hellos and how are yous, they just give you their knowledge, "Let me guess, you need a bus/a night club recommendation/a post office/a good story/a view/a tour/a baklava/a beer.  Lost little lamb syndrome?  (A.k.a., you don't speak the language, know where you are, or know how to get where you want to be.)  Not an issue with the glorious Turks reading you and rescuing you, before you even knew you needed a shepherd.  Before you even knew you were gaining a friend.  

Then there's the land.  Has there ever been such a land?  Greeks and Ottomans and Arabs and Romans and especially that genius Mother Nature have all ruled it, and all have left their mark. Mountains with giant heads sculpted atop, ruined cities leading out into the sea, calcified waterfalls with hot spring baths, plus all the hills and forests and rivers and lakes and cities and villages and ruins and artifacts sprawled between them.  And oh, the miles and miles and miles and miles of grand and glorious coast.  A true social, historical, cultural, environmental treasure trove.  It's treasure, that land.      

Finally, that mouth-watering, mind-melting, belly-satisfying wonder:  Turkish food. 
I know you've all read how much young Edmond would do for his Turkish Delight, but man-oh-man somebody should've given that boy a helping of moussaka and watched him really go wild.  Sweet or savory, this is the land of plenty when it comes to gastronomical success and excess.  Never you worry about overindulgence though.  There's an endearing stray pup on every curb to finish that second doner you should never have ordered.

Two weeks is hardly enough.  Two weeks is just the beginning.

Istanbul and the Prince Islands

Istanbul Street Food

'Chimney' rock formations, underground cities, and heartland of kilim textiles

Think petrified waterfall with gurgling hot springs and a Greco-Roman city perched on top 

Turkey's relaxed, beach bum scene with ruins that lead right to the ocean's edge

 Tree houses, Roman ruins, and eternally burning fires on the mount

Now go a'wandering.  And behave yourself!  They'll tire of the view eventually.
- xx

all photos by me, my darling Love or my superstar sister

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