Friday, July 31, 2009

Dreaming Lapland

Tell me if I am being ungrateful??? During the cold winter months in İstanbul, I was constantly dreaming of Datca, sun, heat, sea and all the things related with that. And here I am and now complaing about the heat and dreaming about winter and snow.

Last winter we did not have snow in İstanbul, and the year before that while there was a snow storm in İstanbul for a full week, I was in Sri Lanka. Where?? On a beach again complaining about the heat.So I miss snow and the cozy days in the house, it brings along... And I also miss gluehwein (hot wine with spices), my tradition in the snow.

But my best snow memories are from Finnish Lapland which I have visited 7 years ago. And it was started with a funny story. The plan was to stay in Jyvaskyla at a friends house before flying to Lapland. As there was no direct flight, the route designed by my travel agency was İstanbul - Stockholm - Jyvaskyla. After using the Stockholm airport as a transit passenger for couple hours, I peacefully flew to Jyvaskyla. When I reached there it was around 10 pm and I was the only foreigner on the small plane. While all my fellow Finnish passengers quickly left the airport within couple minutes, I started to search for a single soul in the airport to show my passport and officially enter the country. But guess what ? There was absolutely nobody. No customs officer, no guard, no body. I felt like I was in a horror movie where everyone dissappeared suddenly. After waiting for 5-10 minutes for somebody to appear with passport in my hand, I finally decided to leave the empty airport.

And on the way back to İstanbul, I took a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm. No passport control there either. So I can clearly state that up to now no Finnish offical is aware that I was in their country.

So if we come back to the main subject of this post, Lapland and snow were just great. As I was a lousy skier, I opted for safaris. My first one was reindeer safari. I still remember the cuteness of my reindeer with no horns. Do I advise a reindeer safari? Well, not really. It is very slow and after a while you are starting to freeze.
But the real deal was husky safari. It was so great. Try to do it once in your life if you get a chance. First it was really scary to be in the wild, with 9 dogs alone, for more than 2 hours. But luckily they were very smart and tourist friendly animals and also a snowmobile from the farm was checking for me at certain points. And the huskies knew their way back home and they were extremly patient with a foreigner who was trying to give them orders in English or Turkish while they only understood Finnish. On a husky safari, all you have to learn was to stand on the sledge and use the breaks when necessary.

It was an extremly cold and snowy day where the batteries of my camera were frozen. Even the owners of the husky farm thought about cancelling the safari for a while. But for my luck, they have decided against it. Whole trip was such an adrenaline rush. And on my return, they welcomed me to a small cottage with a big fire and offered some hot wine and a big slice of bread with butter and blueberry jam on it. It was so delicious..

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Pillows..

Thru blogging I met with so many wonderful people. With some, our friendship went beyond the internet connection. I first get to know my very talented friend Sema, thru the short stories, she wrote on her blog. Later, when we found out that we have so many similar ideas about life, we have met personally. Then I learned another creative side of her. Since then, she started to sell her wonderful creations on her new site..

You could reach Sema and her creations at

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Raki is the unofficial national drink of Turkey. It is a non sweet, anise- flavored spirit, and it's fans usually drink it by partly mixing with cold water. When you add water, raki turns into a milky-white color. I dont particularly like its strong taste, but there are so many fans of it, and one of them is my husband.
According to raki lovers, it goes best with fish, and as side dishes there has to be white cheese and melon. However, for the last 7 years this country is ruled by an Islamic party, whose hidden dream is to establish the lifestyles of Saudi Arabia and Iran, here. But the name of the game is democracy so they cant play it tough. At least so far.....

So they choose to play with the available powers in their hands. So recently they banned the use of raki-fish-cheese-melon, / wine-cheese and beer-chips combinations in the advertisements. But by doing that they gave such a nice edge to marketing people. Here is one of the best ads of the raki producers. I love the satire and protest and also the photograph taken by Ahmet Agaoglu.

In a lousy translation,in the first line it says, 'my eyes can't see anything other than it' and it goes ' raki cant put their names to its mouth, however you can put their taste to your mouth.' is from here

2. photo is from the ad of Yeni Raki..

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bordubet Bay

How was your weekend? It was extremely hot around here, however we did not let the heat disturb our short expeditions in our small peninsula. On Sunday we went to the Mediterrenean side of the peninsula, and visited some bays there, which are accessible by car. This part is rather the uninhabited part of the peninsula. So here are some pictures for you...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rating in Almond

As Datca is still very much away from mass tourism, there are no big hotels or vacation villages around here. All you can find is small hotels or guesthouses. So when you want to rate them with the usual stars, it doesnt work here.And Datca is very famous with its almond. So what would you do? You start rating the hotels or guesthouses by giving them almond. 1 is the lowest, 3 is the highest. I think, its a lovely idea. What do you think??
Nowadays its time to eat fresh almonds. I love eating them in breakfast by peeling their skin and later dipping into honey. Delicious....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A store in old Datca..

I found these beautiful felt hats in a new store in old Datca. The owner Ozlem Suner is mainly selling 100%cotton fabrics that she has collected from different regions of the country in a lovely small shop in this street of old Datca.Although you could find her at it looks like she did not update it regularly. As I am planning to buy some of the goodies in her shop, I promise I will bring you some more photos from her shop.

I won.....

It's been such a long time that I won something.. Right after I graduated from the university I had won USD 25.000 from the lottery. Believe me it was like USD 25.000.000 for a new graduate. But since then nothing.....Finally I am on the winning streak again... I won the collector's stamp giveaway of the very talented photographer Tim at Thank you Tim... They will be a treasured part of my collection..

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bafa Lake

Thru the years I've probably passes from the road near the Bafa Lake countless times, but never stopped. However last week we planned to spend a day there. Our small group consisted of 4 Fins and 3 Turks.

2000 years ago Bafa was a bay of the Aegean Sea. Due to deposits of a nearby river, it was slowly seperated from the sea. Depends on how you look at it, this area could be considered lucky or unlucky. As it is very close to famous beach resorts of the country like Bodrum, Marmaris and Kusadası, it was totally ignored by the gods of tourism. If you ask me that's where its beauty comes from..

When we arrived the small village Kapikiri, near the lake, morning routine of the villagers had already started. I took many photos but my favorite one was the lady on the horse. She was herding her cows.

After finding a place to leave our stuff, we hired two small boats to start our excursion on the lake. Everybody was very happy. Husbands at our boat were very happy because they had plenty of cold beer and our boatman was very happy because they were sharing the beers with him. On the other boat, the two local boys were very happy because they were carrying the three Nordic beauties.

The village of Kapikiri is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Heracleia. There are countless ruins on the shore as well as in the lake. The landscape was just amazing.

After spending some time on the lake, we decided to swim and the boats took us to a lovely small beach. The water of the lake was warm and slightly salty, reminder of the days which it was a sea. Then the local boys proposed to show us some rock paintings. As it requires some climbing, only me , my husband and Juha decided to go along. My willingness and courage to climb rocks with a mini skirt and flip flops was probably coming from the wine I drank on the boat but that was a totally different issue.

With lots of pushing and pulling, I finally climbed the rocks and we entered a small cave. There, I saw the most amazing art on the wall that was painted in the prehistoric times. As I have never seen one before, it was really a breathtaking moment. I felt like I was looking right into the eyes of a caveman. An unforgetable moment. It definitely worth all the bruises and scratches on my arms and legs. Later I learned that archaelogist Annelise Peschlow discovered more than 100 prehistoric paintings in the area.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meet Zeus

Please meet Zeus. The coolest guy at the beach.....
He is a 7 year old Golden Retriver, spending the summer at a pet friendly small motel with his owner. Nowadays he is a bit shy because of his hair cut but still very cool. He totally plans his days on his own. It's very rare that you could spot him with his owner. He spends most of the days sleeping under the shadows and when he feels hot, he is not hesitating to jump into the turquoise waters. As he prefers to spend his vacation in a peaceful and silent way, he is not even hanging around with people and other dogs. I adore his simple life style.

Since we are dreaming about adopting a dog this autumn, nowadays Zeus is our favorite guy. We love his independent personality.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Aegean Ruins

Life goes on with long days at the beach and some short trips to near by places. As I wrote on my last post we were in Bodrum. On the way to and back from Bodrum we stopped at some lovely ancient ruins. Aegean region is full of them and I love visiting and spending peaceful and quiet hours under the shadows of history.

We first stopped at Lagina; a temple area dedicated to the Goddess Hekate, and it is one of the most important cult centers of pagan Anatolia. Hekate had been honoured as the goddess of childbirth, nurturing the young, gates and walls, doorways, crossroads, magic, lunar lore, torches and dogs. A Goddess for childs and dogs. I think I had worshipped her on another life time.

Second stop was at a near by site. Stratonikea. A city built by a king for his wife around 270 BC. A woman loved too much or some unforgotten political games for power. The ever present romantic in me, want to believe the story of a loved woman. A city of love. Then centuries passed and some Turks established another town on top of the ruins. However they had to abondened their lovely homes because of earthquakes. So today it is possible to visit remains from totally two different periods.

The last stop was at Euromos. A long forgotten town when you look at the pages of a history book. However a magnificent temple dedicated to Zeus still welcomes you to a very different time. Temple is among the half dozen best preserved monuments in Asia and dates from 2nd century AD. Definitely a photographer's paradise. Now I have dreams of photographing this place under the snow..

And finally a very tired Goddess captured by the camera of her husband :))

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A beach in Bodrum

It's 3:40 pm here and we are in Bodrum, a famous and very crowded beach town in Turkey. We are visiting our dear friends Selal and Juha. And as you can see we are at a very nice beach laying under the sun, drinking beer and eating french fries. It's a very windy and hot day here. And the knee at the front belongs to me.

Have a great day, I am collecting very nice stories and photographs. I will soon share them with you. We are around here for couple days...


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