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Posts tagged turkey 2011

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Dolls by Cappadocian Women, Cappadocia, Turkey

One of my favourite arts & crafts finds in Turkey were these handmade dolls which are some of the main products of the Cappadocian women in the area, in addition to weaving, pottery, etc. They sew and make these gorgeous dolls with their own local fabrics, in the look and style of the typical Cappadocian woman—there are dolls with clay pots, yarn, etc.

Needless to say, I grabbed a handful to bring home with me! They’re pretty affordable, considering that they are handmade, but also quite fragile especially if you get the ones with clay pots (which I did). Outside Sarhatli, this stall sold plenty of dolls, as well as a whole slew of stalls across the street (I so badly wanted to buy at least one doll from each stall but we ran out of time and I was only able to buy from this one).

HOW CUTE are those dolls (not to mention the leaning tower of dolls)!

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under travel travels eurasia turkey 2011 turkey turkiye cappadocia crafts arts and crafts arts handmade dolls handicrafts turkish

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Underground City of Sarhatli, Cappadocia, Turkey

In an area near the volcanic formations in Cappadocia, there are clusters of underground cities and settlements. One such city is Sarhatli.

These cities can typically go as deep as 13 storeys deep (!), but the safe depth for tourists was up to 3 storeys. It was pretty cool how ingenious the nomads were, burrowing air shafts and everything in the soft rock.

Here is my brother, playing around and going in and out of the carved doorways

The rooms are quite sparse and rough, but it was still so fascinating

We got to go down around 3 levels (not for the claustrophobic!), and the lower we got, the thinner the air was and the narrower the passages were. The steps were pretty slippery because the rock was soft and crumbly.

This is an example of their common room. Back then i think they probably used candles, with the smoke going out through the air shafts

One of the steep passages, now with a metal ladder so tourists can go through

One of the air shafts

Some of the passages were so low and narrow that you really had to walk sideways or duck your head! (That’s my mom down there btw)

Outside, the entrance to the city is blocked with boulders and the natural landscape

You can get souvenirs carved from the Cappadocian soft rock!

The famous Turkish “evil eye”—to watch over and protect you!

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under turkey 2011 turkey turkiye sarhatli underground city ruins history site ancient archaeology travel travels cappadocia

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Agzikarahan Caravansery, Cappadocia, Turkey

The place that I was most excited to visit during our trip to Turkey was the region of Cappadocia. Based on books I’d read and photos I’d seen online, it was this strangely awesome, almost alien-like region full of gorgeous landscapes and unique formations.

When the day finally came that we would be driving east to Cappadocia, I was beyond psyched. After an ice cream stop in Mado, our first excursion was to the Agzikarahan Caravansery.

Back in the old days, this was used as a rest stop of sorts for caravans (as the name implies), where merchants and their horses and wares could stop for the night. Today it is in ruins, but still fascinating and filled with character.

Look at those stairs! We actually climbed up to get to the roof of this structure, and man were they narrow and crumbling!

Inside, the stables and halls for horses

A pattern of rocks on the wall where stairs used to be

Courtyard lined with arches

Inside, the ground and rocks are covered with bat and pigeon droppings

Looks like scenery right out of the Prince of Persia or something, doesn’t it?



Up the stairs we go!

And there’s me and my brother, the two tiny heads sticking out over the structure. A challenging climb, it was.

View from the top—that’s my sister down there, who didn’t want to risk the lives of her precious camera equipment with the teetery climb

The caravansery was really a cool, adventure-film-setting sort of place. I definitely can see haute couture shoots or action films here!

The caravansery is located in “Agzikara”, Cappadocia :)

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under agzikara agzikarahan caravan caravansery cappadocia turkey turkey 2011 turkiye travel travels eurasia prince of persia adventure action

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Mado Ice Cream, Turkey

One of the must-try’s when in Turkey is to try the Turkish ice cream brand, Mado!

Turkish ice cream is known for its peculiar “stickiness”. It’s creamy, rich, and is “sticky” because of crushed orchid roots that are mixed in with the milk and other ingredients.

On our way from Konya to Cappadocia, we stopped by this gas station that had a small Mado shoppe, so it was the perfect time to try it (despite the freezing weather)

I don’t quite remember the flavors we got, but I’m pretty sure one of them features the orchid flavor, and another some sort of rose, and another some kind of nut (chestnuts I think).

I think this is the rose and maybe pistachio?

See how sticky it is? It’s not the usual melty ice cream

Just to demonstrate how it holds its shape

Not particularly unique in terms of flavor, but still really delicious and a must to try when in Turkey!

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under mado ice cream turkey 2011 turkey turkiye eurasia cappadocia dessert turkish cuisine chestnuts orchid orchid root rose pistachio

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Mevlana Museum, Konya, Turkey

Before turning in for the day, we stopped by the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey

Photos were not allowed inside, unfortunately, but it was a pretty boring stop.

Outside, the museum is of a typical mosque architecture

As usual with mosques and other places of Muslim worship, there is a set of water taps where people can cleanse themselves before going in

The most interesting items on display were these ancient books that featured a style of art called “miniature art” which isn’t what you’d imagine—not the Where’s Waldo type of miniature art, but detailed little oriental illustrations which were carefully inked and painted in. Really really gorgeous.

Parting view:

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under turkey 2011 turkey turkiye eurasia mediterranean mevlana museum konya travel travels muslim mosque worship holy pilgrim pilgrimage

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Aspendos, Turkey

Aspendos is the most well-preserved Roman Colosseum in Turkey, maybe in the world (I’m missing a couple of facts from what the tour guide said haha).

If you compare it to THE colosseo, in Rome, it’s a shrimp—modest and simple and small, compared to the dramatic grandeur of the Colosseo.

The great thing about this is indeed how intact it is—cut pieces here and there and you can fill in the blanks in the Colosseo.

As usual, we seem to have terrible luck when it comes to coliseums. It, again, rained. My brother and my parents decided to skip the dangerous, slippery steps to the top, but photo-hungry, my sister and i braved the precarious steps.

The view is amazing, especially because it seems so complete and whole. No big gaping holes of where things used to be, no piles of rocks waiting to be reinstalled. It could be a newly built, made-to-look-old concert hall even!

The steps were slippery and narrow, so we used our umbrellas as a walking stick to help us climb back down

Outside, camels!

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm, Sony P200, Sony W380

Filed under turkey turkiye aspendos colosseo coliseum colosseum roman stadium ruins roman arena arena history turkey 2011

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Perge, Turkey

It’s not pronounced “perj” like “verge”, but rather “pehr-geh” (with a hard G). This is what we immediately found out at the start of the excursion.

Perge is located near Antalya, the coastal “riviera” of Turkey. It’s around 45 minutes by bus.

Now that’s new—graffiti carved into a plant?!

Perge is an ancient city, now mostly rubble and ruins. It’s strange to note that almost all of the ancient ruins in Turkey are Roman, which is why they look similar to ruins we visited in Italy, like Pompei.

There’s not much else to say about it really. We just had fun trekking around and taking photos.

We couldn’t resist taking photos of cool walls and columns and tons and tons of rocks!

Compared to Pompei, we were given much more liberty to explore and go around, since there weren’t as many tourists. It wasn’t as congested as Pompei, and there was less “red tape” in that rooms weren’t barred and you could roam freely.

This used to be the main road, a wide avenue lined with stalls of merchants selling their wares. I can see & hear the hustle and bustle, coins jangling and skirts swishing in my mind.

The Nymphaeum

My mom and my sister

Spidery veins on a marble column

I love ruins, even though they often look a lot alike, the Roman ones at least. It gives me such a Tomb Raidery feel, albeit not a jungle setting, and I can always imagine movie scenarios and high fashion photoshoots wherever I look. I also have a weird habit of taking photos of textures and cracks and ancient writing for my own stock photo collection, to use for digital artworks and photomanipulation. Random. Haha.

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under turkey turkiye perge ancient ruins roman romanesque roman empire ancient rome civilization history artifacts antalya turkey 2011

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Riverside Lunch, Antalya, Turkey

I’m sure they don’t mean real grenades, but man we should’ve tried these! Haha

After visiting the archaeological museum, we had a razor-sharp cold riverside open-air lunch. It was hard enough keeping our napkins and bread baskets from flying (the winds were that strong), but we had to eat fully clothed, gloved, scarf-ed, and with rice blowing down our shirts and our drinks acting as napkin paperweights.


The food was OK, the more or less typical kebab. My favourite in our Turkish meals is the rice pilaf. It’s got a strange sweet/savory quality to it that makes it just pair incredibly well with tons of different viands/toppings/food. But it’s also incredibly expensive. Usually a small cup of rice (less than a 1-measuring-cup serving) costs about 4TL ($3-4/PHP150), while the meats range from maybe 6-10TL ($8-9/PHP350) per serving/stick. If you select Adana (lamb) it’s usually more expensive than beef or chicken. In general our meals were pretty expensive for not that much quantity. And they don’t always taste good, it’s just that at rest stops or gas stations or “autogrills”, there really isn’t another choice of restaurant or cafe.

Filed under travel travels turkey turkiye eurasia food cuisine turkish food turkish cuisine kebabs kebap pilaf turkey 2011