All posts filed under: Turkey

Wednesday Sightings: The Bodrum Castle Peacock

I realize it has been a little hectic and as a result I have not been blogging a lot lately, and certainly have not been keeping my self-imposed site schedule. To keep a semblance of it, I bring back Wednesday Sightings with the Bodrum Castle peacock — or at least one of the ones we ran across during our time in the Turkish region. We did not expect to see beautiful peacocks at the site so it was a nice, colorful surprise. They are free to roam the grounds so all visitors have fun admiring their beauty, photographing and interacting with them. This instance reminded us yet again to always be open to little surprises at every turn in all of our travels.

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie Le Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

Wednesday Sightings: Sunset in Istanbul

What do you see when you wake up? How about when your day is about to wind down? Have you had the chance to have been able to marvel at sunrises and sunsets half the world over? Aren’t these priceless, humbling experiences ones that diminish all the importance and effort we put on the insignificant, minute stresses of our everyday — and beauty, only beauty, comes into focus?   Photos taken of an Istanbul, Turkey, sunset from the Celebrity Constellation Cruise Ship, November 2013

World Heritage Site Tuesday: Galata Bridge

If you’d like to experience another texture of Istanbul other than its beautiful mosques, the Galata Bridge is just a few blocks away from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Apart from its historical significance, it has now taken a whole new cultural importance in the Istanbul landscape. For instance, foodies that we are, we went to the area for the famous fishing boats and the fish sandwiches. My boyfriend is not a fish person but I am, so this was totally my thing — we had to see the decorated boats under the bridge and I had to taste the much-talked about sandwiches.   The area is great overall if you like experiencing more of the street food scene. There were also a lot of locals, and it was nice to see the fishermen across the bridge. I liked the sandwich, it tasted like a smoked fish I ate growing up, with a vinegar taste. It was just a little more chaotic for my migraine. One warning, if you are to go: do not …

World Heritage Site Tuesday: Ephesus

I am learning as I see more of the world how much I don’t know. I have never heard of Ephesus before the second quarter of last year. Ancient Rome, yes. Athens, yes. Ephesus was an alien concept, and it blew my boyfriend and I away as our tour guide started walking us through the ancient ruins, and telling us the story of the site that doesn’t get as much credit as the Acropolis or Rome. Which also proved how much we know about history and the ancient wonders of the world, since we learned that one of them, the Temple of Artemis, is in Ephesus. As we started the tour, what was most interesting is that the excavation isn’t done yet. Only about 15% is done, which means there is so much we have yet to learn about our history. Pottery, Lunch and Rugs. After the tour, our guide asked us if we would like to pass by a place where they make pottery. We had time, so we said yes, and it turned …

Wednesday Sightings: Turkish Sprite, Thai Sprite

Great brands have such strong identities and recall, that end users associate colors and images, sometimes even shapes with them. Global brands like Apple, McDonald’s and Coca Cola are a few examples. No matter where you are in the world, you would instantly recognize products, advertising and all things associated with these companies. Taking it a step further, what makes a global brand great? Meeting their customers where they are, speaking their language, adapting their customs and tastes to company practices. McDonald’s, for example, serves fried chicken and rice with gravy in the Philippines to compete with strong Filipino fast food chain Jollibee and meet the Filipino taste. In Australia, you would find vegemite on its breakfast menu; and a McVeggie is served in India. During my own travels, I have seen Sprite packaging tailored according to the country, but the brand has strong recognizability that you know immediately it’s the same drink. In my job we went through a branding exercise. Having been a part of a team that defined a company’s brand was …