Archive | August, 2011

Finally a Tourist!

4 Aug

So I saw the turkey again today.

I am beginning to think of him kinda like the naked Indian from Wayne’s World.   You know, like motivational reminder NOT to give up on the journey… {the journey being this blog, if that wasn’t clear}.

So I jotted down notes and outlines today at work.  Nerdy? Yes. But probably essential to my actually keeping up with posting.

This brings us back to Day 5.

My favorite days of the trip were the days we spent being “tourists”-sight-seeing and visiting places.  With everything going on {you know the wedding planning and such} we actually did not get to do much of this.  But on Day 5-we played tourist!

The morning started out in downtown Konya, running yet more errands.  From there, Ilker’s parents started speaking to one another, and we were whisked off to the car.  I had no idea where we were going, but I was really excited when we pulled up in front something important looking {and not a mall}

We went to a memorial for all of the people who fought for Turkey’s independence.  Turkish people have an amazing sense of pride in their country’s history.  I am not sure if it because the country is so young {The Republic of Turkey was established in 1923!} or something else…but it is really something amazing.  It showed me a different side of my husband, as he explained the history of his country and their quest for independence.  It also made me painfully aware of how little I actually remember about American history {and that I desperately need to do some studying!}.

{On a side note, when I wikipedia’d Turkey to see when Independence was established, I learned that many people believe that the Black Sea region, which is where Ilker and I will likely be moving, is believed to be where the the Biblical Flood took place, and where Noah’s Ark now lies.  I don’t think that it is a coincidence that my nursery was done in a Noah’s Ark theme…and then I find this out…do you?}

OK, back to the memorial.  Please excuse the photos I am about to show you.  I forgot to change the settings on my camera, I promise I AM a photographer, and so they are all horribly over-exposed.  Don’t judge me.

When we got out of the car, this is what I saw.

Flags over Turkiye

Flags lined either side of the walkway leading up to this gazebo.  On the left side, which you can see, were just the modern Turkish flag; but on the right side was every flag that has ever flown over the country.  It kind of reminded me of Six Flags over Texas-except for it’s not a theme park.

We next walked over the actual memorial building, once inside, my breath was taken away by this beautiful entry way.

The light and the detail were just breathtaking.  I don’t think I will ever tire of the design and architecture of this country.  It is beautiful and completely awe-inspiring.

Ilker was showing me the plaques were all of the soldiers who fought for independence were memorialized.

And his mom paying her respects further down.

The next room of the museum housed models that depicted life during the journey for independence.  These dioramas not only illustrated the important battles, but also illustrated how people lived.  They showed a very complete picture.

One of the Dioramas

As we went to leave, I noticed how beautiful this courtyard was, with all of the hand carved columns.  I’m telling you people…everything was just so gorgeous!

Then….THERE IT WAS.  Im not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I am obsessed with maps.  Seriously, you thought the peacocks were bad…I can’t stop oggling maps, and wanting to hang them in our house.  So THERE IT WAS.  ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAPS I HAVE EVER SEEN!

This bad boy was a mosaic.  And I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t take this picture, thinking I might try to recreate it. {Don’t tell Ilker that though…he give me the major eye roll!}

Back out in the courtyard, we posed for some family photos.

Me & the in-laws

Ilker and his parents

We left, here and headed to one of the places I wanted to visit…to be continued….


My first taste of Konya…

1 Aug

After touring the in-laws house, we headed to downtown Konya to look for some spices.  This was my first time to really get out and explore downtown, and to really experience the CRAZY traffic/drivers that make up Turkey!  While following my Anne from vendor to vendor as she inspected the “goods” and haggled the price…I snapped a few pictures.

Mosque at dusk, downtown Konya

The street where we shopped

Another street, and a food cart {these were everywhere!}

Seriously, everywhere we turned there was a food cart.  Most of them were selling fresh fruits and veggies, there were other that sold corn {!?}, and simit {a pastry kind of like a pretzel}.  Now I understand why my husband gets so annoyed when we are shopping and there is no easy way to “grab” something quick to eat.  This is why I think I will start carrying a husband bag {you know, like a diaper bag for grown-ups} so we are always snack equipped.

There were also people who would walk down the streets carrying trays of tea to people.  No matter where you are in Turkey you will be offered tea {which is not a good think if you are afraid to use the public restrooms}.  I tried to get a picture of one of these guys, but for some reason I never did 😦

Nuts, dried fruits, and spices for sale

After we finished shopping we got back in the car, and pulled out into crazy traffic.  I was starving, and was begging my stomach to stop growling, when the car was parked.  I thought we were making another stop, and silenced a groan!  To my surprise we had stopped to eat.  Ilker told me that we had come to a restaurant that serves the food that Konya is most known for.  {In Turkey, food is extremely regional} I must admit that I don’t have any idea what it is called {actually, I don’t think that I even asked}, but luckily Wikipedia does!!!

  • Etliekmek — some sort of long pizza (with meat or cheese) which can possibly exceed 1 mt in length! Available at a lot of restaurants in Konya.

Famous in Konya!

This was awesome.  You order one “pizza” per person at the table, and it comes out on this long board {that I am guessing is also what is cooked on}.  Everyone claims there “pizza” and digs in.  It tastes fabulous, and is perfect with Ayran, which is a drink of watered down yogurt with salt and a bit of garlic.  Yes, I know, it sounds gross.  However, it is fantastic.  Seriously, I absolutely LOVE to drink it!  Especially in the summer. mmmm…  Still shaking your head?  Well come over and we will convert you….to becoming an Ayran drinker!

One more shot with the Ayran!


On the way home, we saw this bridge all lit up.  And even though it had only been 2 days,  didn’t even have to ask Baba to pull over….he just did automatically so I could get out and take a picture!  Ha…no language barrier there!