Turkey Tales: travels, incidents and Love.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to travel last weekend because my host’s family were paying a visit; and it is only right to stay around, but my concerns vanished on the night of their arrival; as we stayed up late at night travel planning.

Saturday morning, we had breakfast then drived right away to Kuşadası. Fırst thing we did was going for a swim in Kuşadası Milli Park; and it was a Blast! Kuşadası Milli Park is an absolutely beautiful natural resort, where a green treed huge hill meets the blue Aegean sea. I would love to go back there for a hike. Magnifiscient views were offered to us as we drove through the twisted trails going up to Karasu (dark water).

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The water was everything but dark. The sea green color on the shore melts so smoothly into pure blue as you wander your eyes further ahead.

We enjoyed our swim, though the sea was too salty for a girl who likes to open her eyes under water (aka myself)! And before leaving the park, a troup of pigs came running through the layed down relaxed people, causing some to freak out. It was funny to watch (sorry really not sorry)!

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We walked on the corniche of Kuşadası city center, taking pictures and joking around as we waited for sunset, and when it happened.. it was too marvelous to be put into words. I wanted for every person I love to be there and watch it wıth me, and I was litterally walking backwards on the shore because I wanted to soak it all in and not miss a millisecond of its beauty!

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The impatient child in me asked ”where are the birds?” as soon as we got to the city, because Kuşadası means ”Island of birds” in Turkish. The birds were waiting for sunset to deliver an awesome airshow, and they didn’t disappoint!

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Didim was a quick visit, over Monday because why not! We would’ve loved to stay longer but it’s a long drive and the road shortened our day. I love how people were wandering down the corniche just for the sake of it, like it’s the only final purpose. Didim is one of those cities where time seems to stop; like summer is the only season it has known and will ever know.

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The funny unexpected incident was meeting a Moroccan family on Didim’s beach. I tried to be nice and said Hi, but the woman was like ”7ta hna tla2ınakum” in a mean flavored tone; she asked me what I was doing there and for how long.. As I was walking away from her, saving myself from her onflowing questions; I hit my head against a big billboard, real hard! Typical!

I needed ice to keep the bump on my forehead as small as possible, but when I went to buy a bottle of water; the shop owner refused to take money for it, even as I insisted. He said that this was an extreme urgent circumstance and that he’s just glad to help. So for that, thank you!

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The last four days (this being written on Wednesday) were great not just for traveling, but also for a deeper submersion in the country’s culture: I learned more Turkish words, tried new foods (baklava, bulgur pilavı, mantı, fellah köfte, sarma..) and I Turkish danced; Şıkıdım! Şıkıdım! And most importantly for the love filled quality family time. Yes, that’s what I like to call Şebnem’s family, because that’s how they made me feel, like I’m one of them and like it was so genuinely true; them telling me ”You will always have a home in Turkey” as we hugged goodbye!

All picture credit is to: Büşra Iştar.

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