The other day the whole family took a trip to the nearby town of Datça. It is about an hour down the peninsula. The ride is spectacular, through the mountains with the Aegean on one side and the Mediterranean on the other. We just wanted a change and to do a little sightseeing. Datça is harder to get to a much more isolated than Marmaris. While it does have a tourism trade the town is less built up, with fewer bars, and none of them blasting dance music to attract business. In our mind this was a big attraction. There were some lovely natural food stalls, where we bought some yummy raw almonds, organic capers and this lovely treat.
Translated it is “Sugar Almonds.” It reminded me of a lighter version on peanut brittle with fresh almonds. Delicious. After walking about the town, we headed back to the harbor, hungry and thirsty. One of Datça’s mainstays is fishing, so we had to stop by and grab some fresh fish…and cold beer.
There were quite a few things on the menu, but we saw the sardines get carried off the boat right in front of us, which made it easy to order. I loved that they fileted each one and removed the head and the spine. I am not a huge fan of eating bones, even in little fish, and end up spending a lot of time picking them out.
We had a lovely time, and then headed back to our Marmaris…
We spend the night reading with wine and beer in the garden, enjoying those mountain breezes.
While my parents were here they wanted to head up north as well. My mom did not want to make plans or reservations, just to play the adventure by ear. So one day we hopped in the car and drove north towards the Black Sea. We stopped in Safranbolu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well preserved Ottoman-era houses and architecture.
We had a lovely time. We stopped and had a bite to eat at small cafe and then explored town. Yes, in this photo I am on the phone. I had checked for local hotels and was calling to see if there was room for the night.
And there was! We stayed at Mehves Hanim Konagi, it was a lovely old Ottoman Style house, wonderfully refurbished. The proprietor was great. Since it was just my parents and me we thought we could share a large room. However, since there was no room with 3 beds (only cots for children) she gave us two rooms for the price of one.
Later we hiked all around town. There is a large covered pazar which sells all kinds of goods. Above the city on a hill there is a small park. For a lira admission you can go in and see a panoramic view of the whole town. Up on the far side you may be able to see a large yellow building. That is a restored Ottoman mansion, which is now a museum.
The museum hosts photos and examples of Safranbolu’s history and culture, though all the explanations are in Turkish. It also has a gallery of local women’s art work.
After exploring Safranbolu a little morn the next morning we headed off in the morning to the next town on our list. While it was not too far on the map, it took us longer to reach Amasra than we had thought. Between the construction, the one-lane bridges and the mountain passes without guardrails it was an exciting drive. More on that later.
So my second wedding (to the same man in two months) is coming up. My parents flew in to Turkey for the wedding and decided since they were in the country to take advantage of the situation. We have taken two road trips, one to Kapadokya and one to the Black Sea Region. We have been having a blast since my parents are awesome.
I have already posted about Kapadokya, but will again soon since this time we went to different hotels, museums and restaurants. It was also really great to see my parents experience the amazing landscape for the first time. They also were able to share some new things with me.
My parents are early risers, so without them I never would have seen this.
Yes, I am standing barefoot in my pajamas. It was 6 am. My parents had seen the hot air balloons coming down at sunrise and pounded on my door until I stumbled out of bed to see what the hell was going on.
It really was amazing, if a little bit chilly in my pjs.
We have traveled quite a bit recently. To Bodrum for our friends’ (from San Diego) Turkish wedding reception. Then another week we drove to Bulent’s grandmothers in Seferhisar and on the way we visited Bodrum, Kusadasi, Izmir and Cesme. Bodrum is an adorable Aegean town/city. It is very developed and has a very busy party scene. It has a lovely marina that runs the length of the main tourist drag, as well as a historical castle right on the sea and a renowned underwater archeology museum.
While we were there we had some Lokma, which is cousin to If Jesus was a Baker. Sweet dough, deep fried then soaked in a sugar syrup. While you eat them, you can actually feel your fat cells expanding. But very delicious.
Once we got to Seferhisar our days consisted of visiting with family, eating, swimming and preparing to eat. Uncle Shadi grilled every night, there were koftes, and veggies and lamb chops and chicken.
Anything that didn’t move fast enough was grilled. It was tasty. Here you can see koftes, corban salad, bulgur pilaf, and grilled tomatoes and peppers. That was my plate, I was excited to eat. Don’t I look happy!
Also naked! I would like to state I was not eating dinner topless with Bulent’s grandmother. Though it may appear as so.
Though in other news I over came my shyness enough to tan topless in the yard. Where people saw me. Yay!