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Posts tagged ‘Turkey’

Hagia Sophia Trompe L’Oeil

Hagia Sophia trompe l'oeil, optical illusion painting

Something is not quite right with the Hagia Sophia gallery level.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.  The dome upon dome design creates an immense open space, but things are not exactly as harmonious as they seem.  To cover up the huge support structure, trompe l’oeil murals were added in the 19th century so that gallery would appear more uniform.  Finding these panels while you take in the breath-taking sight is an odd touch of reality in an otherwise divine architecture.

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Dining in Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!  While everyone in America is feasting on Turkey, I thought I show you how I feasted in Turkey.  Now enough with the puns, onto the food!

Turkish grill - peppers and kabob

The delicious and ubiquitous grilled pepper

I have to say, overall we ate very well in Turkey!  I love that style of cooking and was pleasantly surprised whenever I ordered something that I didn’t quite understand.  I’ve already written about fish in Istanbul, sour plums and beautiful stuffed mussels but that’s only the tip of the culinary iceberg! Read more

A Good Laugh in Turkey, No Translation Needed

I should preface this by saying I really did try an learn some Turkish before visiting Istanbul and the western coast.  I had some language podcasts and a phrase book.  There were times when that was great, times when the basics and hand gestures were enough and a couple times when conversation wasn’t even needed but I still felt like I was following story.  This is one example of the latter.

fisherman in Anadolu Kavağı

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Street Food – Turkish Stuffed Mussels

Midye Dolmasi beautiful street food stuffed mussels in Canakkale, Turkey

Unmanned delicious stuffed mussels along the pier in Canukkale

While art and history usually drives most of my travel choices, I do like to eat well while I’m on vacation.  The flavors become so linked to my memories that one good bowl of tzatziki sends me to the beach in the Southern Peloponnese or a perfectly crispy wienerschnitzel reminds me of the sunny little garden cafe filled with Viennese office workers out to lunch.  I dream of recreating these things.  I do my best to attempt them over the first month I’m home and then on other random weekends when I get a craving for proper Guinness stew.

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Ephesus Terrace Houses

As if the ancient Roman city of Ephesus wasn’t already amazing, there is a separate museum within the site that lovers of art and history must see.  The recently excavated and partially restored Terrace Houses are located in the center of the site.  Homes of some of the wealthiest citizens were built on this valuable real estate (ie. across from the ancient public toilets!) which is evident today in the extensive mosaic floors and frescoed walls.  The artwork dates from the 1st century BC to the 7th century AD with several homes torn down and combined into a small basilica during the later part of that period.  Remnants of indoor plumbing throughout the homes are also visible.

Terrace House, Ephesus Read more

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