Van is an urban city in southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. Sitting on the east coastline of Van Gölü (Lake Van).
It is only approximately 200 km from the Iranian border.
The surrounding area offers much history for those interested in Kalesi (castles) and Türbesi (tombs).
One Urartu castle, Çavuştepe is guarded by Mehmet Kuşman who is one of 25 people in the world who can read, write and speak Urartian. He makes souvenirs with Urartian inscriptions.
If you are in Spain and want to see a beautiful coastline with history to boast – try visiting Finisterre or “End of the Earth”.
Galicia is a beautiful region. It’s home to the founder of clothing store Zara.
Pilgrims from around the world arrive in Finisterre to complete their walk on the St. James Way.
This is a pivotal location for many people’s lives. It has affected me even though I did not walk the Camino. Continue reading
Vineyards and glacial river seen from train to Zermatt, Switzerland
The top of Gornergrat is at 3135m (10285 ft) above sea level. This is the location which many tourists and locals travel to for a perfect view of the famous Matterhorn (Monte Cervino) with peaks at 4478m (14691 ft). This is also one of countless places in Switzerland which locals enjoy hiking and mountain biking on gorgeous summer days.
On this day in August, I considered the dreary weather report and hoped for the best. Left my friend’s home before 8am with my day pack and a sense of adventure. Inside the day pack was a lunch, snacks, water, prayer flags from Nepal, fleece, rain jacket, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, phone, money and my Swiss Flexi Pass. I just brought the basics but enough in case I decide to hike a bit.
The ride to the top was beautiful. I forgot what city life is like with pollution and traffic noise. Glimpses of hidden waterfalls. Watching the train bank a corner to reveal another valley, another village. Little wooden chalets in the distance. Cows eating grass, ringing the cow bell around their necks. I felt like a little city girl, giddy and jolly – fascinated with what nature has to offer. A couple of times, I wanted to turn to the person beside me and say “Did you SEE that!?!”
Glimpse of waterfalls from SBB train
After my visit to Mt Rigi, I took a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne. The rain clouds began moving in over the lake. The wind in my hair. It was a relaxing and enjoyable end to a perfect day of exploration.
I boarded the paddle wheel boat at Vitznau and on the way to Lucerne, Switzerland, there was many beautiful landscapes to enjoy and countless lake front homes. Some lake front homes are humble while others make a clear statement of the owner`s status in society.
The paddle wheel cruise served 2 main purposes; one as a touristic cruise along Lake Lucerne, the other purpose was to help local residents move from one town to another. Though I believe we all enjoyed the beautiful views on the way to our destination. Continue reading
Every Saturdays and Wednesdays, Lausanne (Switzerland) plays host to farmer’s in the old town until approximately 1300 hour. They come from near and far to share the goodness they’ve created and grown.
As you have come to know on my blog, I love to visit local fresh markets wherever I am in the world. Taste the local food. Admire the local culture.
My friend and I started at the corner of Rue de Bourg and Rue Saint-François by the Globus store. We meandered through the streets and ended up at the Saturday flea market. Join us on our walk. Tasting fresh fruits and pastries fresh from the oven! Continue reading
Hamburg is known for their fischmarkt at the Harbour on Sundays. However, I was pleasantly distracted by a tall, handsome German. So I spent time with him instead of visiting the market.
Instead I went to the Wednesday market at Volksdorf station (Kattjahren/Halenreie). Vendors, farmers, fishmongers, bakers, florists, dairy vendors, mobile café… Everything was fresh and delicious looking! Tough life for a foodie.
Locals arrive on foot or by bicycle with their shopping basket and carts. Young and old. All looking happy with glee. Row upon rows of friendly chatter and exchange of goods for cash.
In the 9th month of the Muslim calendar, fasting occurs from sunrise to sunset. It is the Islamic holy month. 29 to 30 days. No water. No food. No alcohol. It is generally called Ramadan. In Turkey it is called Ramazan. For 2014, Ramazan is the month of July in the Gregory calendar.
Iftar is the meal taken every night to break the fast. Along with iftar is the gathering of family and friends. Celebration. Party. Elation.
Antalya is a key touristic city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Muslims gather in the coastal Karalioğlu park every day at sundown to share iftar and related festivities.
In the past few weeks, I’ve seen so many ruins in Greece and Turkey – they’re getting blurry in my mind.
Bits of marble, limestone, sandstone.
Various mosaics, sculptures, carvings, symbols.
Byzantine. Roman. Greek. Ottoman. Lycian. Hittite. Persian.
Fresh markets around the world depict the culture and traditions of the local area in detail. I have always enjoyed experiencing the life of a local by wandering through local markets. Vendors, artisans, and farmers travel from surrounding areas to offer up their goods. Each country, each city, each town have their own days of the week – in addition to brick and mortar shopkeepers and supermarkets.
In Fethiye, there are 3 days each week where vendors gather and offer their goods. Each day the market meets in a different area of town. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday markets buzz with activity. Funny enough the vendors encouraged me to take photos of them or their goods. Especially the fresh produce vendors, they seemed proud of their fruits and vegetables and loved the attention.
Whatever you may need for daily life, will be found inside the market. Wander through the market with me.
On the cusp of my return to Turkey, I’m traveling in Rhodes or Rodos. It is one of the Greek islands that offer direct ferries to cross the border into Turkey.
This island not only boasts Byzantine walls and Greek ruins but a medieval fortress and Turkish remnants. Walking down narrow paths and alleyways bring unexpected surprises.