Recharged My Batteries

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I came back two days ago from a wonderful vacation, feeling full of energy for the new working period. I’ve completely recharged my batteries! What vacation means to everyone may depend on their expectation. For me, vacation means throwing myself into the pure blue water, closing my eyes, allowing the waves take me somewhere, hugging these waves, watching and accompanying the hospitable fishes, racing with my hubby and always being defeated (as he was the person who taught me how to swim) but not giving up, getting out, feeling the hot sand and jumping back into the refreshing water. This cycle may go on forever!

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We went to Bodrum two weeks ago. Bodrum is a peninsula on the west of Turkey with a border of Aegean Sea and it’s one of the most popular tourism centers of Turkey. It generally takes the attention of artists and writers, most of them prefer living in Bodrum when they are fed up with the busy life and ‘artificial’ relationships. It has a lot of special coasts in small and nice village like places such as Bitez, Golturkbuku, Gumusluk, Ortakent, Yahsi, Yalikavak, Turgutreis, etc. Our first destination was Turgutreis as my husband’s mom is living there. I can’t forget the evenings we drank our Turkish coffee on her balcony watching and feeling the sea. Turgutreis is the largest town of Bodrum, so farmers and fishmongers bring their products and sell them to some shops here. On Saturdays, a big bazaar is open in this town and you see a lot of organic and home made foods here.

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You see a woman in the picture selling breads and tomato paste she herself made, eggs from her own hens, mulberries she picked from the tree in her garden. That bazaar was full of such foods.

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On the second day of our visit, we went to one of the heavenly beaches in Turgutreis. It was wonderful! There was no peppebles or small rocks hurting your feet under the sea. There weren’t angry and high waves, either. As we don’t love sunbathing much, we swam and swam and swam…It was so refreshing that we felt relieved even on that first meeting with pure water.

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While we were walking on the streets of the town, my clever hubby suggested a great idea: hiring bicycles and discovering the other beaches by riding. I love cycling, but I haven’t done it for ages! I was so excited with the idea, cycling along the coast. The next day, we put some sandwiches, our flasks full of cold water, towels, sunscreen, etc in our backpacks. We hired two bicycles and hit the trail in the early morning.

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It was great to know that we would reach another eden at the end of ride. It was Meteorology Bay. It was so glamorous with its turquoise color that we just stopped and watched it from the hill for a while. Then we let ourselves free down the hill to feel that beauty closer. It was as clean as a newly born baby and you feel as if you were touching the skin of a baby when you pass your hand on its surface. We spent the rest of the day here swimming. Whenever we got tired, we lay down under trees and read for some time. I read A Tree of Night by Truman Capote and my husband read Shibumi by Trevanian during these breaks. It was an unutterable pleasure to see the turquoise sea between the pages while reading. Knowing that the sea is just a step away from you adds a lot to your reading.

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When we returned back to Turgutreis, we caught a unique view of sunset. My husband bought two bottles of beer from a shop nearby and we watched this unforgettable scene sitting on a rock. The sea was as tired as we were, it was silent and about to sleep.

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The other day, we went to another town of Bodrum called Yalikavak where windmills welcomed us.

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It has a world wide reputation with its bay as it is so suitable for windsurfing. When we entered the town, we saw a monument telling that RSX Youth World Championship was held in Yalikavak this year. I’m sure surfers had great time racing there.

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Another thing taking my attention is that there was an art street in the center of the town. We saw some famous Turkish actors and actresses also drawing and exhibiting their art here.

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Then we kept travelling and arrived Bodrum city center. It was much more crowded than its towns. People generally come here for shopping as there are so many shops selling various things. The ancient Bodrum Castle was worth seeing to feel the history. You can read more about it here.

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When we got hungry here, we entered a small restaurant and they served stuffed zucchini flowers as an appetizer. This was the first time we had it and it was excellent. And of course I asked for its recipe.

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And the main dish was a stew of artichoke and fresh fava beans. This was also new to us and it was so tasty, too. The outstanding taste in both dishes was the taste of olive oil. People use olive oil for all dishes here, and they are so generous adding the olive oil while cooking. I felt lucky beacuse I adore the taste of olive oil in dishes. I’m planning to make these dishes myself and tell how later.

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Those dishes were excellent for me, but not for my husband as he is a big fan of red meat so he had doner with vegetables later while walking around the town. He said this was the taste he was looking for.

Actually, I must confess something. I was planning to share more food pictures before going there, but maybe because of all these beauties, I couldn’t take enough photos of what we ate. We had grilled sea bream and sea bass, but we were so hungry for the fish and I realized to take photos of them just after we finished it. Also, we had stuffed mussels on the beach, and while eating I suggested to take a photo of it, but it was so delicious and our camera was so away from us. I just couldn’t leave the mussels! I’m so regretful now, hope you understand me.

Comments

  1. OysterCulture says

    Zerrin – welcome back, there is nothing like coming back and feeling well rested and refreshed. If only that feeling stayed longer. The pictures were like a mini vacation for me. They were beautiful and while I wish you had more to share, I can understand being caught up in the beautify of the place you stayed at. Ah, I would love to visit, it looked absolutely incredible. Thank you so much for sharing, I loved the descriptions and the pictures of all that you saw and ate. Yum – the donar looked yummy, the stuffed blossoms, well everything looked delicious and flavorful.

  2. says

    What a beautiful vacations Zerrin!! Beautiful beaches, places and food :)
    The shots are absolutely gorgeous and the last one with the doner…speechless…beyond wonderful-licious!
    Enjoy the rest of the summer!

    Cheers,

    Gera

  3. Leesie says

    I am so glad to hear you had a wonderful vacation Zerrin. The pictures are too beautiful for words and I appreciate the beauty in them all. I understand how you might forget to take pictures before the meals with such wonderful food being placed in front of your hungry eyes and stomach, it’s no wonder – don’t worry about us, as long as you will always remember how good everything was and you enjoyed it ;)
    I have made stuffed zucchini (squash) blossoms over the
    years. I stuf them with cheese, bread them and then pan fry
    until golden – yummy!

    My favorite picture was of the art street! I LOVE ART!

    I received news from Italy today – my uncle was killed in a
    moto accident this afternoon and yesterday my youngest nephew was taken by helicopter to a medical center as he suffered head injuries from a skooter accident :( My heart is heavy this evening my friend…so glad you are home safe and so good to hear from you.

    I’ve been able to enjoy some of the bounty from my garden, however, I lost all my tomato plants from a fungal disease that is spreading all over the northeast here in the states. Not good, not good at all!

    …Looking forward to seeing more recipes.

    xo

  4. says

    Hugging the Coast- They were absolutely so tasty!

    Gera- Glad you love the pictures. Even they themselves are relaxing, aren’t they? Doner is so common in Turkey, but this vegetable version is not. As you say, all versions of doner are scrumptious!
    Hope your Winter is not so freezing.

    Leesie- So sorry for your uncle and nephew. Sometimes life is so cruel. Hope your nephew gets better soon.

    I’ve never heard fungal disease on tomatoes. I know that you worked on them hard, you were so excited about your garden. It’s not fair!

    Jessie- Thank you, it was great!

  5. says

    Welcome back! This looks like a wonderful vacation, such gorgeous places to visit and beautiful views! I just love the sunset picture! The food looks excellent too!

  6. says

    Welcome back!! Thanks for sharing your pictures and story with use. A well-deserved rest. I’d love to have some of those zucchini flowers. mmmm…

  7. says

    Wow! What a great report on your vacations. Seems like you guys really enjoyed to the fullest.

    We also eat squash flowers in Mexico, one of the ways to eat them is stuffed with ground meat or cheese and them bathed in a tomato sauce.

    Great pictures!

  8. says

    This looks like a slice of heaven. Between the blue waters and skies relaxation would be easy. The people look so friendly and the food looks great. This has definitely made my list of places I want to visit.

  9. Leesie says

    How is that doner with vegetable made? Is it layered meat on a spit and then roasted and sliced. It reminds me a bit of the Greek gyro.

    You can read about the fungal disease here if you’d like:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/dining/29toma.html

    and some pictures here:

    http://www.oisat.org/images/lateblight_tomato.jpg

    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/plantpath/2006-11-tomato-disease/images/Late-blight-destruction-sm.jpg

    As it also affects the potato plant, this is what caused the Irish potato famine, starving millions of people back in 1845.

    The disease over-wintered in the southern part of the United States where it can survive because of mild winters. The supplier shipped the new plants all over the northeast where it thrived in the moist, humid conditions we have been experiencing this year. It is a very contagious disease. The fungal spores spread super fast in these conditions and so we are all on the losing end this year. It is really sad for many of the farmers who stand a lot more to lose than me.

  10. says

    Welcome back, arkadasim. Looks like you spent wonderful time in Bodrum. This is where i Turkey I would love to visit one day. A very interesting read, as alwasys.

  11. says

    I’m glad you enjoyed your time! This looks like it was such a fabulous vacation! From the pictures it looks like heaven on earth!

  12. says

    Zerrin, what a wonderful vacation. I would love to get there someday, you make it all seem so beautiful and lovely. Sounds like you ate well too!!!

  13. says

    Welcome back, we missed your lovely posts!! I am glad that you had a fab time on your holiday!!
    Beautiful pictures too!

  14. says

    Aww Zerrin, I am jealous. I haven’t been to Turkey before. My mother in law and sister in law love to go there on vacation. One day I’ll visit your country for sure. It’s in my top list.

  15. says

    It looks and sounds idyllic and I’m glad that you had the opportunity to recharge your batteries in such a lovely setting. As for not taking pictures of some of the food, don’t worry about that. Sometimes you just have to stay in the moment, enjoy the food and everything that goes with it and not spoil it by rushing off for a camera. You can always paint a picture for us later with your words!

  16. says

    Oh, I envy you for your beautiful vacation! Your photographs are so lovely and I’m so happy to hear that it was such a relaxing time for you. I’m hoping that my husband and I will have an opportunity to ‘get away’ during Christmas for our chance to re-charge. Until then, I’ll enjoy a bit of your experience!

  17. says

    Great article, I would love to go to Turkey and I fell in love with Greek and Turkish food many years ago. The smell of the lamb cooking just drives my taste buds crazy.

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