Wednesday, February 24, 2010


After spending the long winter days at home raising Hera the puppy, we finally decided to take a test trip with her last week. The weather was excellent and we went to my mother's home in Eskisehir. A mid Anatolian city where I grew up.

Eskisehir means old town and in my childhood it was really an old town in the sense that it was decaying and nobody was really taking care of her. There were not enough job opportunities and everybody including the young Aysegul were dreaming of going to a university in a big city and settle there.

Things changed dramatically since then thanks to a single man.He is Yilmaz Buyukersan and in those days he became the dean of the university at the city.Thru the years he raised the standarts of the Anatolia University to compete with the best and attracted so many young students to the city.

Later he elected as the the mayor and he is still in that position although he is from a very small political party. As a mayor, he changed the whole look of the city with huge and wonderful projects and taught so many people a wonderful lesson. A single man with a vision could change everything. Now Eskisehir is a wonderful city to live and attracts so many local tourist..

An old factory building turned into a shopping mall. Restored old buildings on the grounds were used as a coffee shop and art gallery.

Hubby happily chatting with local ladies.

As for Hera, she enjoyed the whole trip although she peed once to her grandmother's precious carpets and dug several holes to her well groomed gardens. We think that she is growing and a lot more manageble but I am sure that mom has other ideas.

Well, of course this is not all. I have couple more posts coming from this trip..

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eastern Turkey - Diyarbakir

As always happens during this time of the year, I was bitten by the travel bug and I am itching to hit the roads again. It's not finalized yet but I will probably be traveling on some parts of the ancient silk road in the coming months..Still dreaming about it.

While I am dreaming and planning let me take you to the eastern parts of Turkey, which is unknown to many who visited this country. The city of Diyarbakir is the largest one in southeastern Turkey. It is not in the destination of many traveler due to the Kurdish terrorist activities in this area. However its a beautiful city so much rich with history and culture.

It is possible to see the 5.5 km long old city walls made of from black basalt around the old parts of the town. It is very striking..

You could always find old men in the garden of the Grand Mosque. They are always ready to tell you about their city.

Entrance of the Grand Mosque which was built in 11th century. Very similar architecture with the Grand Mosque of Damascus although this is a rather small version.

Traditional house with lovely decorations on the walls.

An artisan making the last touches of a water jug which was later purchased by me. Using it as a vase right now.

Arches of an old Armenian church left to decay in 1883. Ceiling made of mud gone many many years ago..

Sunday, February 7, 2010


It's a cold, dark and rainy day outside. A perfect day to enjoy the coziness of home. I already miss sunshine and spring days and started to dream and plan about our summer at the beach. A perfect day to dream about the coming summer,too.

However I am not forgeting to enjoy the delights of the winter. Here is one of them: Boza, a favorite drink of mine during winter.

It's made of fermented wheat, sugar and water. It's known to be made for the first time by the Central Asian Turks during 900s. You can only purchase it during winter months and serve it with cinnamon.

So what is it taste like? Well, it is like a rich liquid puding. It is thick, and sweet. Not very much liked by my foreign friends who taste it for the first time, as they found its thickness strange.

Boza is also known to be prohibited by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed 4, while he was prohibiting all the alcoholic drinks during the 17th century. Reason? As it is fermented, there is a low alcohol content in it. About 1%.

So if you ever happen to be around this part of the world during winter months, try boza for some extra energy and calories.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

İstanbul under snow...

First snow wave is already over but we are waiting for the second one later today. Years ago in the early 80s, I was an exchange student in West Virginia - USA. When the first snow of the season covered all over the small town of Keyser, the most frequent question my friends asked me was if I like the snow. They were probably assuming that, coming from Turkey, I was seeing the snow for the first time in my life. Actually the reality was much different. At the time my family was living in a mid Anatolian town -Eskisehir- which was under snow and ice during the entire winter months. Snow only started to vanish slowly in the early days of the spring.

Well, world became a much smaller place since then and today I want to share some snowy photos of İstanbul taken during the last snow blanket.

All photos are taken from the facebook page of İstanbul.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin