₺7 to Paradise: Dilek Peninsula National Park

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Dilek Peninsula National Park, also locally known as Milli Park, is just 15 miles (30km approx.) south of Kusadasi.

The three main beaches of Milli Park are:

Icmeler, sandy beach (1st stop, closest to the entrance)
Aydinlik Koyu, little stone beach (2nd)
Kavakli Burun, big stone beach (3rd and most beautiful, least crowded)

It’s about 45min drive from Kusadasi city centre to the park entrance or you can simply take a “dolmus”. The dolmus are minibuses that run very frequently and you can take them everywhere along bus routes and you can also get off wherever and whenever you want.
The dolmus system could easily be the most common and affordable form of transportation for Kusadasi and its surrounding area.

   

    
 

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Sunrise and Sunset in Kuşadasi, Turkey

 
 During my one month’s stay at Kuşadasi, I tried to catch sunset whenever I can. When your surrounding is this beautiful, watching sunset naturally becomes a daily favourite activity.   
   
   

  
   
  

   

  
  

Kuşadası, Turkey 2015

Kusadasi is one of Turkey’s most popular holiday resorts, situated on the west coast of Turkey. It is easy to do day trips from Kusadasi to important historical sites including Ephesus, Temple of Artemis, Goddess Artemis, House of Virgin Mary, Seven Sleepers, Didyma, Priene, Miletos.     A beach town with typical Mediterranean climate (hot summers and mild winters), it’s not hard to figure out why Kusadasi is one of the most popular destinations for Northern Europeans.       With 24 hours after arriving Kusadasi, I already had the pleasure to taste two traditional Turkish meals.  Menemen is a traditional Turkish dish which includes eggs, onion, tomato, green peppers, and spices such as ground black pepper, ground red pepper, salt and oregano. Lahmacun is a round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat (mostly beef/lamb) and minced vegetables and herbs, then baked.      Lady’s Beach is certainly one of the nicer beaches I could walk to. As touristy as it is, I surely enjoyed taking pictures of children playing.


Today I made the smart decision of walking uphill. What a difference it made! Gone are all the touristy shops and you get a view of the actually town/ village. While spotting a few locals walking home with their grocery, I also saw a rooster, a house and a random Ferris wheel.


I really enjoyed watching this mother watching her child play. There is just something moving and beautiful about the way she could enjoy the beach while being comfortable in her traditional clothing.

 

Kadayıflı Muhallebi Tarifi

I am in Turkey during Ramadan season and I had the honour to join a traditional Turkish family for Itfar.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.

Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Iftar is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together.

My Iftar with a traditional Turkish family starts with a tomato based soup served with shredded cheese; followed by traditional Turkish Raviolis/dumplings served with yogurt; and grilled vegetables served as the main sharing dish.

  
 

Wine and Dine in Istanbul, Turkey 2015

rooftop view from Balkon restaurant and bar

Best restaurant/bar/cafe with an amazing view and ambience

Balkon Restaurant Bar

🏠Şehbender sk. No:5 Kat 6 Asmalı Mescid Beyoğlu / İstanbul

Places to dance to good electronic/techno/house music

Kiki Istanbul

Katip Çelebi Mh., Sıraselviler Caddesi No:42, Turkey

Best value-for-money place to eat

Dehliz Restaurant 

🏠Vezirhan Cad. No:48 Çemberlitaş/ İstanbul, 34122, Turkey


Tips on bathroom (WC) etiquette

Most bathrooms in Istanbul have sensor-controlled lights. Hence, unless you enjoy having 80% of your peeing/pooping process in complete darkness, it is advised to do elaborated hands dance over your head

Balkon restaurant and bar

The best thing about Istanbul is Hannah Zebedee

Hannah is the kind of person who is very observant of her surroundings and when she sees a situation that she could offer a helping hand, she could never ignore it. It seems like helping people is so ingrained in her system that it has become an almost “knee-jerk” response. I observe it everyday. While I am in awe of her, Hannah is completely unaware of how special her random act of kindness is.


Hannah is very aware of her privilege as a “white person” living in a “first world” country. As much as it is a new concept to me, I find it so admirable that she cares so much about the world and the underprivileged.

From my understanding, Hannah feels she could only justify her existence as a “previleged first world” citizen by making the world a less segregated place in terms of race& socio-economic conditions.

Here are two examples of the many worthy causes Hannah has mentioned that I would never know about.

click on the picture and donate to this worthy cause

Project Peanut Butter

Founded by Dr. Manary, the team behind “Project Peanut Butter” has created a food that became known as Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). RUTF is an energy-dense, peanut butter like paste. This nutrition-dense but easily digestible food is designed specifically for the treatment d severely malnourished children.


UNICEF & the role of a social anthropologist 

From what I understand, the role of a social anthropologist is to investigate and to find out how different people organise their social relationships and societies differently.

Weekend with Love in Madrid 2015

After the longest 17 days of my life, I finally got to spend a lovely weekend in Madrid with my love.

El Retiro- Jardine del Buen Retiro

Madrid has one of the best public transportations in Europe. It is affordable (£2 flat rate for all journeys on metro); it is efficient (trains are frequent and are almost always on time); it is simple (all the metro lines are numbered, e.g. line C6, instead of having to remember a complicated station name in a foreign language)

Paseo de la Castellana

Mercado de San Miguel

Helado de Turrón is one of the “must tries” while visiting Madrid. I got mine from RODILLA in Puerta Delhi Sol. At only €1.95, the portion is extremely generous.

Puerta del Sol

Turrón is a nougat-like confectionery mostly made with almonds, mixed with sugar, honey and egg whites. A typical Christmas fare all over Spain that was originated from southeast Mediterranean coast, in the region of Valencia.

street art cortes district

Cortes is certainly my favorite neighbourhood to wander and explore. There are countless restaurants and boutique shops. Every shop in Cortes is so thoughtfully decorated that each place offers you a unique set of ambience and personality.

I particularly enjoyed my stroll from Plaza del Angel to Plaza de Lavapiés via Calle Olivar.

plaza de la Montera

On the other hand, if you are having a constant love affair with literature, you certainly should not miss the book stalls along Calle Claudio Moyano. They sell everything from old books that only cost €1 to vintage collections at heavily discounted price.

Salamanca neighbourhood

If you have any form of  OCD, then Mercado de San Antón would be your example of how a market should look like in heaven. From chorizos to the smallest cherries, everything is perfectly aligned to the perfect angle.

Embajadores neighbourhood

The arrival of night time is when the magic happens& here comes the spectacular

Templo de Debod at 10:13pm

Nerja & Frigiliana, June 2015

hiking Frigiliana 🔜 Nerja

Happiness comes from the novelty of new experience and I am lucky enough to have met Rachael, who also turns out to be a kayaking instructor. So here we go, my first amazingly wonderful experience with kayaking.

kayaking with Rachael 01-06-2015

The weather turned out to be perfect, the sea was completely calm. We got our kayaking rentals from a stall on playa carabeillo, one of the most beautiful beaches in Nerja. The all inclusive rental comes at a mere €5.5 per hour. On a second thought, after spending a few months in London, everything from the south coast Spain appears to be ridiculously cheap!
Playa Carabeillo is an easy walk from the famous Balcón de Europa. As we paddle away, there are gorgeous waterfalls and secluded coves on almost every corner. The water is incredibly clear& I got to experience this 2 hours of pure bliss.

hiking Nerja 🔜 Frigiliana with Rachael 31-05-2015

Frigiliana is one of the many Pueblos Blancos (white villages) you could visit in in Andalucia. Her rich Moorish culture and history could be seen in the Mudéjar district.

street of Frigiliana

This is the old district inhabited by the Moors before and after the Reconquista. Its name Mudéjar is used to describe the architectural style used by Arab craftsmen working in Christian territory. 


For four days at the end of August each year, Frigiliana hosts the Festival of the Three Cultures (Festival de las Tres Culturas), celebrating the region’s historic confluence and co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions. (from Wikipedia)

streets of Frigiliana

sunset from rooftop in Nerja