Friday, 13 January 2012

Cold Turkey

Istanbul had such a lively atmosphere and the buzz of the everyday life was electrifying. The food, needless to say, was so delicious!
Their local eateries are something like the 菜贩 stores in Singapore- with rice and dishes. The only dish that is not available is sweet and sour pork which I missed so much. On the subject of missing food back in Singapore, Chris and I were talking about what is the one dish that we will eat forever if we only had one choice for food for the rest of our lives, he said 'pizza' (not surprising there). I cannot live without my Mum's hand-me-down family secret recipe porridge and the BCM (bah chor mee) across my street. I know I said 'one choice', but I'm a girl so I get a free pass and if Chris is not going to let that go, he will have to face a sulky me for the next 1 year.
Anyways, food in Turkey is relatively cheap if you find the right places. ( Chris's note: I had about ten foods picked out that I couldn't live without. When it came down to one, pizza was the obvious choice. Italy is heaven)

We took a tour around for 6 days in Turkey due to time constraint. Cost us a hefty €600 for 2 pax all inclusive (hotel, transfers, buses, entry fees, meals except dinner). It was very organized, considering we had different agencies ran our tour in each city. Some of the places we went to were actually a little hard to get around if we were to travel there on own own. Of course, with 3 overnight buses out of the 6 nights, we wouldn't call it a very comfortable trip.
Cappadocia, our first stop, had such beautiful landscapes that it almost looked unreal. It was like something out from a fantasy novel. Cappadocia actually means "Land of beautiful horses" because in ancient times, there were lots of horses there. The Persians grabbed a bunch from there.

Pamukkale (Cotton land) is really a city with plenty of hot springs. It is called cotton land because of the calcium deposits that accumulated over time as the hot springs cooled down, making it look like snow-capped mountains.

Ephesus is home to the last of the 7 ancient wonders- the temple of Artemis. In actuality, there remains only a single column now - with a stork's nest on top of it. Ephesus also has one of the best Romans excavated ruins and also the only roman public toilet that still has its toilet seats around. Honestly, we had seen so many Roman ancient ruins in the past couple weeks (and especially after Petra's treasury and monastery) it didn't wow us as much when we get to the famous "Library" in Ephesus. It is actually quite impressive but again, was like a Petra-lite.

We were happy to return back to Istanbul to the dessert shop that sold these outrageously yummy cakes. It wasn't even expensive for a palm sized slice of cake. We had 3 cakes in one sitting! If you are planning to go Istanbul and are staying around the Sultanamet area, look for the cake shop called "Cigdem". It is right across where McDonalds is. Anyway, Sultanamet area is where you will want to stay because all the places of interest are there.
We decided to leave Istanbul to go to Italy for 3 weeks before heading back to Istanbul again. Oh, can't wait to get my hands on those cakes (again)!

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