Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On a fine day..

These fine days have been my ruin.
On this kind of day I resigned
My job in ``Pious Foundations.''
On this kind of day I started to smoke
On this kind of day I fell in love
On this kind of day I forgot
To bring home bread and salt
On this kind of day I had a relapse
In my versifying disease.
These fine days have been my ruin.

Well, these are the words of the famous Turkish poet Orhan Veli Kanik, translated by Bernard Lewis (1982) Oh, how well he is describing my mood on a fine day..

It looks like snow and cold weather are slowly coming towards us, but when the weather reports announced the last fine days before the winter for this week, we immediately made a small program. Right now we are travelling on the Black Sea region. Who cares that I have tons of stuff to do at home, weather is good, we are happy and that's all it matters.. More photos are coming soon..
Wish you a great week...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beautiful Art of Renilde Wouters

Lately its been such a rare treat to receive a real mail among all the invoices and the junk mail. Recently I was SOOO lucky to receive such a mail from Belgium..

Renilde is an extremly talented artist I am following with great interest for some time. Striking emotions and the colors on her paintings are capturing my imagination. They are wild, they are peaceful..AND I was so lucky to win the latest giveaway of Renilde. She has sent me 2 lovely post cards of her art work and a sweet surprise piece.. Thank you for your generosity dear Renilde..

and please check her wonderful art at her blog: Stroke of the Brush and her etsy shop....

and a personal request::::: please put more of your work to etsy dear Renilde....

Monday, November 22, 2010


Almost all my travels start with a single image. Mostly a photo and sometimes a scene quickly passing from the TV screen. Then that image stays with me until THE day. I dream about it, search about it, journal about it. I could only describe it as a kind of a hunger. Then the time comes and I will go and see it with my own eyes, experince it with all my senses and then the hunger satisfies....

This process sometimes takes couple months sometimes years. When I saw a pale photo of Tibetian monks at a magazine around my junior high years, I remember being vaguly aware of a country named Tibet,and that image found its special place in my mind and stayed with me for nearly 24 years. Needed lots of growing up and saving..

When I was looking the photograps of a long time friend, I found one of those images. It was a breath taking view of the town of Amasra, and luckily this time it is only around 400 km away from İstanbul at the Black Sea coast of Turkey..

For these beautiful images and the dreams I would like to thank Serdar Sualp who let me to post these photos on Turquoise Diaries. I am sure that Serdar's hobbies of flying and motorcycling will bring lots of photographs to dream..

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Capital of an Empire - Edirne

Its surprising but the weather is still exceptionally good for this time of the year. I have tons of stuff to do at home but when we see the sunny weather in the morning, we are rushing outside thinking that this might be the last hot day before the winter really starts. However this goes on like this for the last 2 weeks. Believe it or not but I am praying for some cold and gray weathers to finish my many projects at home. So thats why these Edirne photos are a bit late..

Edirne is the western most city of Turkey which has a border with Greece and Bulgaria. Its only 2 hours away from İstanbul so ideal for a daytrip from here as well as from Balkan countries. It served as the capital city of Ottoman Empire before the conquest of İstanbul, so lots of Ottoman buildings to see...

Before noon we visited the covered Bazaars of the city and did some shopping like the beautiful fruit shaped soaps, I put on my previous post, but I was mostly interested with the classic details of the Bazaars built by Ottomans. This one is dated from 1418..

Main street of the city is an excellent place to have a cup of coffee and to observe the people as well as the wonderful old houses..Even Hera enjoyed the history and the crowd..

 For lunch there is only one choice in Edirne. Its famous fried liver served with fried dried hot pepper and a simple onion salad. It was delicious.

After lunch we put Hera to car so that she could have her precious afternoon sleep and we went to see the jewel of the city: The Selimiye Mosque which is considered the zenith of the Ottoman Architecture. Built in 1575, it had the largest dome in the world for several centuries..An amazing building and a piece of art..

After the magnificent Selimiye, I made a short stop at the oldest mosque of the city. Contrary to the colorful and precious ceramics of the Selimiye, walls of the old masque were decorated with striking caligraphy. It was dated from 1414..

While the night was getting closer, the waters of the Maritsa river was flowing smoothly and Greece is just on the other side of the river.. Unfortunately this beautiful photo is not taken by me, due to the dark. I took it from wikipedia travel.. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Soaps of the Palace / Edirne

Last week we went to Edirne in order to take advantage of the excellent weathers. Edirne is the westernmost city of Turkey which has  borders with Bulgaria and Greece. It was the capital city of the Ottoman Empire before Istanbul.

We visited lots of monuments and did some shopping. Above are the soaps that I bought from Edirne. They are special to this city and produced for centuries. Starting from 1600 these fruit shaped soaps loved and used by the lovely ladies of the Ottoman Harem..In those days these soaps were only produced for the palace, but now decorating my bathroom.

Have a great week and more photos from Edirne trip soon....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Taste of History

When the weather forecasts had promised excellent weather for the past week, we tried to organize couple activities outside and some short trips to enjoy the last bits of sunny autumn before winter.

One day we passed to the European side of the city and had a wonderful lunch right beside the Galata tower. Call it a taste of history...

This famous sign of İstanbul, first built in 507 by the Byzantium Emperor Anastasius as a lighthouse. Later Geneose rebuilt this wood structure by using stone.. Ottomans used it as a dungeon and fire tower and now Turks are using it as a cafe and a restaurant..Enduring ages in many shapes...

Hope you are having sunny weathers, too...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life goes on...

While a live bomb was trying to take the lives of many in Taksim Square yesterday morning, I was doing my daily shopping in the local food market. The news were a shock at first then a relief that no body was killed except the bomb himself.

When you live in this part of the world, you are somehow getting used to the horrific events like that. Maybe its a curse that we should have to live on, but whatever happens life goes on which I strongly feel is the antidote of this curse.

Fish season started in İstanbul. Although we spent a huge part of the year at the Mediterranean coast, I always miss the winter season in İstanbul . The fish caught from the Marmara Sea are always taste much much better than the ones from the Mediterranean. So I bought some Sarıkanat, a medium sized bluefish from my fisherman for dinner.

Then I stopped at the next stall to pick up some greens for a big salad along side the grilled fish. They have to be fresh and thats where I find them..

Then I bought 4 pieces of  yufka which is a very thin sheet of dough to make pastry, filled with spinach and cheese for breakfast. These yufkas are really a big life saver at the kitchen and dearly missed by my Turkish friends who live abroad because of their practicality.

Then I stopped at the next store to buy some cheese and sausage. Its always good to taste before you buy...

Then at night when we were having dinner we were grateful that life was going on despite all the setbacks...and this was a small tour in the shops and stalls of my neighbourhood..


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