Lake Van, in eastern Turkey, hosts stunning scenery, a great boat ride, four islands, and an Armenian cathedral turned museum. It’s well worth the visit.
Summer is the best time to vist the Lake Van area of Turkey. It’s elevation is about 5,400 feet, so it’s dry and can be quite cold most parts of the year. In June, the flowers are popping everywhere and the trees and ground are much greener than later in the summer.
One of the most fun things to do is to take a quick 20 minute boat ride to Akdamar Island to visit [...]
In the last few years, I’ve really looked forward to the arrival of the storks. Somehow they know the weather better than us, and they bring with them fresh green leaves on the trees, tulips and daffodils, and other spring colors.
When we were traveling in Israel, we were able to witness them migrating. One day there was a sand and wind storm coming in from northern Africa, and although it made for a pretty miserable day for humans, the tired birds were elated.
“Wow! Where is that?” you ask! “Cappadocia,” I say. “Where is Cappadocia?”
This is a pretty iconic shot of the fairy chimney houses in Goreme, Turkey. The region called Cappadocia is located on the Anatolian side of Turkey, right in the middle. It’s about four hours driving time southeast of Ankara, or you can easily fly within about an hour from anywhere in the country into Nevsehir.
One of the favorite things to do in Cappadocia is to take a hot air balloon ride over the enchanting rock formations. Jim and I never went up in one of the [...]
One of my favorite places in Istanbul, Rumeli Hisari.
For me, it evokes an exoticism, romanticism from days of old.
I imagine brocaded soldiers guarding the fortress with headdresses that scrape the low arched doorways, and their kiliçler (curved swords) swinging at their sides.
I see veiled harem ladies sequestered behind the towers, dancing and telling stories, twittering (the old school way), and eating grapes.
The fortress, albeit impressive and strong, doesn’t really contain much, but it is just so much fun running up and down the towers and sitting under a mulberry tree, snacking on its juicy berries [...]
Taken at one of my favorite sites, these Turkish women go on with life as usual in the midst of some Roman ruins. Uzuncaburç is in southern Turkey not far from Mersin on the Meditteranean coast.
During the four years I lived in Turkey, I went to Uzuncaburç a couple of times a year. Why? The people. The ruins are small, quiet, usually lacking tourists, which I definitely like. But it’s the people who live there that keep drawing me back. Jim and I have become friends with one family in particular, and we just enjoy walking around then [...]
As you meander around the country, from Ankara to Van, you will soon discover that blue doors are very popular in Turkey. It’s a long held tradition that blue will keep out any evil. This is also one of the reasons that the Turkish Evil Eyes are mostly blue as well.
If you happen to be in Turkey, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some villages, where the real Turkey is. See how many blue doors you will come across.
Chickens are a big part of the landscape in Turkey, and this one was just relaxing under the house in a plastic bag.
I love chickens! Love them. And I think I have Turkey to thank for that. There are not many villages, or even cities, that you can go to that don’t have lots of chickens. Free range chickens, no less. Well, okay. Free range just means they don’t really worry about the chickens. They let them roam all over the yard or the main square. They get to eat whatever they can find, seeds, bread, and many [...]
Recently I posted a traditional Turkish Börek recipe. Börek is one of my favorite dishes, and I like to make a pan of it and eat it for lunch for a few days. So I’ve developed my own version, a bastardized version to be sure, but it’s pretty yummy.
In Turkey, most börek is only made with one type of filling. You will have cheese or meat, but not both. For my recipe, I have combined cheese with spinach.
This recipe is one I developed years ago to fit an American palette. It [...]
Every Saturday in Inebolu, a Black Sea costal town in northern Turkey, the villagers come down from the mountains to the market. They come to buy and to sell. The market is too small to accommodate everyone, so it spills into the road along the river.
In this photo the Turkish Ladies are buying green peppers. Green peppers are typically served in most meals alongside the meat.
I love this photo because it’s a picture of fashion, cultural fashion. They are all wearing scarves, sweater vests, and long skirts. This is [...]
Börek is found all over Turkey, and, in fact, many places that the Ottoman Empire used to be. Each place within or outside of Turkey puts their own twist on it, but basically its a dough-filled pastry. Most often the pastry filling is savory and will usually be cheese, ground beef, or spinach. Sometimes you can find potato or other vegetables or even sausage fillings.
Yufka for Borek
Turkish börek is made out of a very thin dough called yufka. It used to be that you had to go to the yufka-maker’s to buy [...]