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An Authentic Ottoman Lunch, Turkey

One of the highlights of our Turkey trip was having lunch in an authentic Ottoman hundred-year-old house. The food was not particularly good—most of it was strange; stews and crops I’d never had before, all cooked in the traditional ways of the nomadic tribes. The house and village itself, though, was out of a movie set.

It was a day with clear blue skies, stark greens and high contrast textures. The house was made of timbers and simple, but charming all the same. The bare floors were lined end to end with Turkish carpets—typical in a Turkish home. Carpets are actually better off in a “high traffic” area of the house. The tread of feet actually help to tighten the knots and strengthen the weave. Nomadic tribes basically lived on carpets. They roll them up, move, lay them down, and so on. It really is a sort of metaphor for Turkish way of life.

There were so many of us, so the main dining area was quickly taken up. Since we entered last, we got our own little private suite (one of the bedrooms turned eating area)—a much better arrangement for us!

Outside, National-Geographic-worthy faces and scenery. We were in a valley of sorts, with views of snowcapped mountains and forests all around. It was a really pretty scene.

Definitely one for the books! Nothing like a real immersion into a totally foreign culture to make one underscore the hope for a future where we can all just get along. Apart from the meal shared, we probably had nothing in common with the people we met, but a little hospitality and openness of mind can really build bridges across the culto-religious divide.

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under turkey turkiye europe eurasia travel travels traveling traveler globe religion culture turkish carpets ottoman nomads nomad turkish culture food national geographic immersion turkey 2011