How can we sum up our stay in Turgutreis, the Aegean Riviera?
Perfect beach weather, hot sun, cool sea breeze, amazing dishes that contain just the right mix of Turkish spices and the best eggplant we have ever tasted. The red and white moon flag is well deserved, after seeing the most beautiful moon sets.
We spent only a week in this modern Eurasian country but we had a long-enough glimpse at the place and its people to make us want to come back and explore much more of this unique country.
Turkey is a muslim country with over 77 million inhabitants and 97% of its land in Asia. During the last years of Ottoman Empire, Atatürk’s reforms started the much controversial secularization of the country. The reminders of its religious importance within the Islam world include the most beautiful mosques and adhān (calls to prayer throughout the day).
We loved their strong Turkish coffee (called ‘coffee’ by locals) and the potent teas (çay) served in delicately shaped glasses. Tea is at times even considered a substitute for alcohol by locals and that’s probably why Turkey is now the biggest consumer of tea per capita in the world!
Turkey’s well deserved claim to fame includes … its baths, booze (Raki), tea (çay), coffee, the expected respect of bargaining, great hospitality, amazing fabrics, kebab joints at every corner and to top it off with sweet Baklava. Not all in this order of course:)
We took short day trips to explore the local life in Bodrum and Turgutreis, popular holiday destinations yet full of local character, beaches, waterfront restaurants, bars and markets of counterfeit items. We had a glimpse of local life at a little gem joint where locals played Bastra.
I was also hunting for the best kebab only to be surprised by the simplicity and lack of sauces that I learned to love back on Queen Street in Toronto. Both towns offered a hint of its grand and vivid history and made us want to go back and see Istanbul and the rest of this beautiful country … one day:) Niko really enjoyed exploring the castle, looking for dragons but instead found some stuffed lions!
… the best part? You can expect the locals to be very friendly, helpful and family oriented, just some of the reasons we decided we want to come back to explore further.
Kebabs, tea and really awesome people. What else can you ask for. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Here are some of our photos from Turkey: