"WELCOME! It's an honor to have you visit..." Alikatt's Profile
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor
Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture
still, treat each guest honorably
He/She may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
As early as I can remember, the desire to explore has been with me. When I found the opportunity to fly, I spread my wings and took off... I set my eyes on Asia, then Europe, etc. The place I call home now is SAN FRANCISCO, It's true, you'll leave your heart in San Francisco once you've been captivated by her scenic beauty! The Golden Gate Bridge supposedly earned its name since an observer was reminded of the Golden Horn in Istanbul as the setting sun cast golden rays that were reflected by the water entering the bay. San Fran is a truly diverse city surrounded by the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the bay. San Francisco is very European in feel yet it's a real melting pot of many cultures and persuasions. It's a culinary destination as well that rivals New York and any major city in the world . The wine valleys of Napa and Sonoma are just an hour's drive away. San Francisco is must-visit city if you plan to be in the US. She won't disappoint. Try not to go in the summer months when she wears a cloak of fog. Late spring and Indian summer (September-October) is best when it's sunny and warm. I feel fortunate to be living here yet I part with her a few times a year to revisit favorite places, discover new ones and meet new people. So look out, I will be knocking on your door soon!
Kapali Carsisi is unlike any market in the world! This medieval market is surely a delight to the senses. This photo was taken in 2000 with my very good friend who introduced Turkey to me. It was her birthday bash that I attended in Istanbul back in 2000. I've been back every single year since! Kapalicarsi comprises of over 3,000 shops selling various goods from carpets to coats. I love the fabulous & sumptuous coats and jackets at Koc, jewelry at Timucin, trinkets, silver (Alex Bey), turquoise, amber, etc. I enjoy browsing at the Afghan market and the various alleys that lead to hidden courtyards with more fabulous finds. Abdulla has the most interesting array of textured towels, linen, natural soaps and lambswool bedcovers in his chic shops right beside Fes Cafe. Be sure to say merhaba to Metin Tosun.
I could spend a couple of days in and around the Grand Bazaar without going back to the same shop! The old bazaar is truly remarkable. I come in through the mosque entrance. It's within walking distance from Sultanahment. Just for fun, I actually joined an tour of Capali Carsi once. The guide took us to the roof of one of the very old covered textile mills for a 360- degree view of Istanbul on a crisp winter day. It was gorgeous!
Turkey is the other place where I feel so much at home. Could it be that I was living in Constantinople in my past life? What was I doing? I feel my pulse racing when I'm by the Bosphorus, gazing at the channel that merges two great continents into one eternal city. I can wake up in Europe and be in Asia for breakfast should I want to. No other place is like Istanbul to me and that's why I'm hooked. My journeys in Turkey will continue. Next destination, Gocek, Ephesus and Cappadocia.
I went to Bodrum for the first time in 2003. On the bay of this ancient city of Halikarnassus sits a magnificent medieval castle. It's younger than the city itself but it serves as its landmark. The castle now houses an archaeological museum. I toured the entire casle in 2004. Strangely enough, a replica of the Trojan horse stands outside the castle entrance. Troy is hundreds miles away from here but apparently, this very horse was used in documentary which was filmed here not that long ago. It now stands guard to welcome visitors.
In Bodrum, one is likely to encounter many tour-group type people from Western Europe. Bodrum offers many choices for dining and entertainment: restaurants by the water, pubs or clubs & even a 1,000 capacity Bodrum Marina Club vessel that sails from midnight to 5 am - your very own floating club. It stays in the the waters between Turkey and Greece for several hours so patrons can dance the night away.
The photo below was taken at the Granga Beach Club in Turkbuku in 2003. In the summer of 2006, it became Suite. Last year it was no longer there but a row of shops occupies its former space.
Turkbuku is very different from Bodrum. The New York Times Travel Ed called it the 'St. Tropez of Turikey' back in 2006. It is a beautiful bay too and it's mainly populated by affluent Turks who escape city living for some sun and sea, beach parties and swish establishments catering to them and their guests for 5 weeks in the summer months. Turkbuku is a fabulous place in my opinion since there are no tourists! Its small but gorgeous crescent-shaped bay is an amazing sight from the hills where I have been staying every time I go there since 2006. Many yachting enthusiasts also drop anchor here to wine, dine, soak up the tony scene and be spotted among the camera-worthy. Pricey but well worth the Turkish liras and the celebrity-like summer. Watch out for famous tanned bodies and not far behind, the paparazzi! Ship Ahoy (it even has its own Facebook group now) just keeps getting better each summer with DJ Metin spinning house tunes and keeps everyone going until 3 am! He starts with sexy, soulful house music and then goes deeper and funkier interspersed with Latin house , Istanbul and Ibiza summer anthems and some proggy house too which my group loves.
I highly recommend the Lifeco Spa for massages. For shopping, there are boutiques that cater to high tastes and budgets. One of my favorite shops in Kapalicarsi, Dervis opened up in Turkbuku as well. Ipekce is still there with wonderful offerings (clothes, wraps, sarongs from Pakistan, India) and Turkish designer's lines + tribal/ethnic jewelry. Super nice and friendly owner, Ipekce wasn't there in August '08 but her staff was lovely as well. The beach area has also expanded and overall, it was better om '08. To sum it up, Turkbuku is a beautiful bay that is also a chic and trendy place to see and be seen. For me, it's always a relaxing place to be with my friends and to be away from it alll.
Antiphellos is its ancient name. Kas is very interesting with Lycian rock tombs dotted along the hillside. One of them has a second inscription in Latin. They gave an eerie glow at night since they are lit up. The so called Lion Tomb sits by itself on a square and is quite large and imposing. It is on the northeast corner of Cumhuriyet Meydani. There are carvings forming lions heads.
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