About Turkey : food, people and places
by Carla Silva
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Turkey, the Moon and the Star, the old Ottoman Empire, is a wonderful country full of surprises and adventures. I was blessed to live there during 7 months and I’m still amazed with the country, its culture, food, people and places. I will tell you about my Turkish adventure
A Eurasian country
But only a small percentage (around 3%) is located in Europe. The rest of the Anatolian country is located in the Asian continent. Because of this we can commonly hear “European side of Turkey” and “Asian part of Turkey”. However, it must be said that Turkey is a huge country with numerous wonderful places to visit. The country has a bit of everything, the sea, beaches, the desert, lakes, nature, modern cities and I have to tell you, it has the most breathtaking landscapes I’ve seen so far.
Talking about religion
Many people have certain stigmas about Turkey and its religion. The truth is that Islam is the main religion, however, people have freedom of religion. If you are from a country where Islam is not the main religion you should have in consideration some aspects but everyone is really respectful in this country and you can see a huge diversity of different people.
To not talk about the Mosques… The Mosques are wonderful, with amazing colors and patterns. Their beauty will astonish you. You have certainly heard about the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia.
These places are unique. Embed in a peaceful and magical atmosphere. Even if you are not a religious person, these are places where you feel at peace and where you can reflect about life.
When talking about food, Turkey is a paradise! I gained 7 kg’s in 7 months, so you can imagine.
In general, they don’t eat pork, however you can find it in some restaurants or even supermarkets.They love lamb and once you are there you learn how to love it too. And the cheese! Turkey made me addict to cheese and bread. I cannot even describe how much I miss simit (traditional Turkish bread with sesame seeds).
Turkey is also famous for its flavors and scents. In their cuisine they use a lot of spices and they are also dry fruits and seeds lovers. You will find nuts and pistachio everywhere.
You can find many good restaurants (with wonderful decorations) in there and also street food, not to mention that usually it’s really cheap and delicious!
You have the traditional kebab, pide (Turkish pizza), lahmacun , kofte, kumpir (I’m already hungry!).
I must also mention the Turkish breakfast – the best breakfast you will eat in your life. In this delicious breakfast you can try gozleme or menemen, also some salad, olives and eggs to go with. The most typical drinks are çay (tea) and ayran. Did you know that Turkey is the country where people drink more tea in the world?
To finish this “mini-turkish-menu” we have the sweet Baklava, a must try if you ever visit Turkey, as well as the Turkish coffee (kahveci) and Turkish Delight (Lokum)
In Turkey I’ve met the most wonderful people ever! They are really warm and hospitable. I was surprised that most people don’t speak English, but they do make an effort to understand and help you.
You can easily get a smile from them and even free food. That’s true, Turkish people are so kind and friendly, they love to share with others.
It was quite a surprise for me that Turks love traditional music but also electronic! You can easily find some disco/pub or festival with electronic music. Most people are also relaxed and love to talk with foreigners and introduce to them their culture. In general, they are funny people and it’s easy to get along with them.
Places to visit
As I referred before, Turkey is an amazing country with lots of unbelievable places to visit. I highly recommend you to take a look at this video and you’ll get an insight of Turkey
Of course, you have to visit Istanbul, the most famous and historic city of Turkey. I can assure you that this city is magical – the only city in the world situated in two continents. The Bosphorus separates the European and Asian side of Istanbul.
Istanbul is a mix of European and Muslim Culture, a mix of different people, colors, scents and flavors. You can truly find everything in there. Beautiful mosques, beautiful gardens, markets such as Grand Bazaar, the marvelous Galata Tower, Taksim square with its lovely tram, the Bosphorus bridge, museums and nightlife.
It’s also really tranquil to travel inside Istanbul, you can easily access everywhere using public transports, but keep in mind that it is an extremely crowded city!
I recommend you to go on a boat trip through, as I said Istanbul is huge and if you go on a boat trip you can get a better insight about the city.
Besides that, you have a whole range of possibilities of places to visit in Turkey.
As I already mentioned, you have amazing beaches, mountains, lakes, whatever you can imagine I’m almost sure you can find in Turkey.
Probably heard about Pammukale and its natural mineral pools. This is a very touristic place and we can understand why! It seems like a place from a fairytale.
It’s an ancient place- close by you can visit Ephesus. Moreover, its waters are known for having medicinal powers.
Cappadocia is another famous place and a must see in Turkey. In there you can truly connect with nature and realize how immense and beautiful nature can be. It has unique landscapes with amazing geological features, also well known for the hot-air balloon trips.
Cappadocia is another ancient city that one must visit at least once in life.
Beaches are quite breathtaking in Turkey, with blue warm waters and fantastic resorts. If you are a beach lover I highly recommend you to visit Antalya, Marmaris, Bodrum. There are also small cute places such as Olympos. I can guarantee you that the Turkish landscapes will take your breath away.
It’s the perfect combo between ancient and modern, nature and urban life, a tropical paradise with crystal clear blue waters and green forests. You can also visit Trabzon and see one of the most amazing lakes in Turkey.
Seriously, I lived there for 7 months and I can’t wait to go back and visit more places. My goal is to travel all over Turkey and find out its hidden treasure.
If you have the chance, please, please visit Turkey. You will fall in love like I did.
by Carla SilvaSunday, November 6, 2016
I'm a 23 year old Portuguese girl. My name is Carla but everyone knows me as Sal. I'm passionate about traveling, food, arts in general and writing. Currently living in Oporto looking for the next adventure.Read more at aftersal.com