From Istanbul Savor Turkish Delights

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. 
~Hilaire Belloc
Anyone can take a trip, a vacation, however the art of travel and escape is enhanced by exploring hidden places of a region or city, meeting local people, enjoying private visits to landmarks with no other tourists about, savoring traditional food and drink, and ultimately create a lasting unique memory for oneself or your family.  Layers upon layers of cultural experiences are what truly define a well-enjoyed journey.
Spend a bit of time over the next few weeks and meet a few of the delightful and interesting craftsmen, chefs, artists and even an Imam whom I met while roaming the exotic cobblestone streets, restaurants, mosques, and waterways of Istanbul. One of the most fascinating historic cities, filled with treasures and very welcoming people, just as in Eastern Africa, I was thanked by a few for ‘visiting my country’.

And… finally, I was allowed into the sacred mosque!  I am still attempting to master the path of professional gypsy, more practice is necessary; but until then, please enjoy my latest adventure to the beguiling city of Istanbul. Call me when you are ready to escape!

Love the street scenes, ordinary food presented in such lively fashion: round chips on a stick, grilled corn on the cob, the common pretzel, puffed up  and served from a roving gourmand!


Cruising Coast of Turkey- Bodrum

Chartering in Turkey – traditional gulet or modern yacht, there are many options for motor/sailing in comfort. Turkey’s indigenous sea-going vessel, the gulet, is actually offered in three versions:  Traditional Gulet, Luxury Gulet, and a Gulet-Style Sailing Yacht.  Each has unique characteristics; it simply depends on your needs and desires.

Traditional and Luxury Gulets share many features, including a blending of practicality and tradition in a relaxed style. Historically, gulets evolved from fishing and cargo vessels into their present profile of a sturdy yacht with a broad beam and wide deck.  Constructed in the shipyards of Bodrum, Marmaris, and Istanbul, and along the Black Sea Coast, these boats are equipped with motors as well as fully functional rigging. However, do not expect to always sail as the beamy nature of the gulet usually requires engine assistance to move from anchorage to anchorage. The number of passengers a gulet carries depends on the boat’s size, although most accommodate between eight and twelve people. These vessels have double occupancy staterooms for passengers generally each with ensuite bath and shower and are comfortably equipped. One of the resounding features of the Turkish gulet is the expansive aft deck. Covered with a sun awning, the aft deck has a wide cushioned area for lounging and a table with chairs for “al fresco” dining. Gulets offer plenty of room for sunbathing and are equipped with sun mattresses, snorkeling gear and either a sea kayak or a windsurfing board.

An impressive medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes guards the entrance to Bodrum’s dazzling blue bay, in which the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas meet. The town’s charm is well-known, attracting a diverse population of vacationers who stroll along its long palm-lined waterfront

Not far from town, you can swim in absolutely clear, tide less, warm seas. Underwater divers, especially, will want to explore the numerous reefs, caves and majestic rock formations. The waters offer up multicolored sponges of all shapes and sizes, octopi and an immense variety of other aquatic life.

Bodrum has gained the reputation as the center of the Turkish art community with its lively, friendly and Bohemian atmosphere and many small galleries. This community has encouraged an informal daytime life style and a nighttime of excitement. The evenings in Bodrum are for sitting idly in one of the many restaurants, dining on fresh seafood and other Aegean specialties. Afterwards nightclubs (some with cabaret) can keep you going until dawn.

Bodrum, known in the ancient times as Halicarnassus which was the capital of Caria, was the birthplace of Herodotus and the site of King Mausolous’ Tomb (4th century B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the harbor, the Bodrum Castle, or the medieval castle of St. Peter, is a fine example of 15th century crusader architecture, and has been converted into the Museum of Underwater Archeology, with remains dating as far back as the Bronze Age. The stunning panoramic view from Goktepe, nearby, is much photographed by visitors to the Museums’ 2nd century theater.