All posts filed under: Turkey

Safranbolu turkey, shivya nath

Dear Turkey: My Million Reasons to Visit You.

Why visit Turkey? Over a month of exploring the country, I met the sweetest locals and formed amazing friendships, despite no common language between us. Dear Turkey, I left you with a heavy heart, etched with the magnanimity of your people. A kind lady in the small town of Safranbolu opened her doors to me on a late rainy afternoon, to feed my vegetarian self a special meal of Peruhi (Turkish pasta) and Pasta (cake in Turkish) prepared for a family gathering. Also read: 10 Travel Tips for Your First Trip to Turkey An old man from a bakery in Ordu gave me a ride in his truck to the town’s chocolate factory, after I walked five kilometers and stumbled into his shop for directions for the remaining three. A family living in an isolated hut on Boztepe Hill invited me in for a meal of home grown aubergine. Also read: Mauritius is Not Just About The Seas You Sail, But Also the People You Meet Ashore A blacksmith who found me admiring his creations invited me …

vegetarian dolma, turkey dolma

Guest Post: A Vegetarian in Turkey.

Guest post by Harsh Mehta. After reading about my vegetarian adventures in Turkey, Harsh asked me about all the Turkish vegetarian dishes I didn’t try, and left me craving to take my taste buds to Turkey again. Through this post, he attempts to tempt the vegetarians among you to plan that trip to Turkey and treat yourself to Yaprak Dolma, Testi Kebab, and Turkish Baklava, among other vegetarian delights. Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

Turkish coffee, Turkish coffee cups

Turkish Food: A Vegetarian’s Delight!

In a country where people love their kebap as much as Turkey, finding vegetarian food was a delight in itself. Treating my taste buds was a welcome bonus. While I expected to be eating a lot of mezze and aubergine, I didn’t find any till the tail end of my trip, when I landed in a small village on the outskirts of Capadoccia. I did however, sample delicious Turkish vegetarian dishes in small towns and villages along the Black Sea coast in the north of the country, and I’ve found myself salivating as I reminisce about the indulgences! Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

Flying Over The Bosphorus in Style: Turkish Airlines Review.

My trip to Spain materialized so quickly and unexpectedly, that I really didn’t have enough time to contain the excitement of flying business class on Turkish Airlines, revisiting Turkey enroute, and losing myself on the cobbled streets of Europe again. The start of the trip felt like I was coming a full circle; my tryst with travel blogging took a serious turn on my first Euro trip a little more than a year ago, and this week-long invitation from Spain Tourism meant everything I had worked so hard for and dreamt of, was finally coming true! Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

Ordu, Black Sea Turkey

An Unexpected Friendship in Ordu, Turkey.

We impulsively got off the bus at Ordu, a charming little town by the Black Sea Coast of Turkey. But perhaps it was destined. We maneuver our way through Northern Turkey’s gorgeous countryside. Across alpine meadows sprinkled with the colors of spring. Past cattle grazing on fields of wild purple grass. Alongside carpets of blooming sunflowers. It’s been eight hours since we boarded the bus for the famous Sumela monastery in eastern Karadeniz, our last stop in the Black Sea region of Turkey, before we head into Kapadokya’s underground cities. When the sun set an hour back, it took with it the pleasure of gazing out the bus window at the majestic landscapes, and the monotony of the dark quickly set in. Still hours from our destination, the bus rolls into a small town called Ordu. Glittering with the reflection of the moon on the sea on one side of the road, and with the dim lighting of cozy street cafes on the other. I look at my friend, and lament about how we’ve hardly been impulsive on this trip. …

7 Quirky Things About Turkey.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~Aldous Huxley. To travel is also to discover what no guidebooks, travelogues, documentaries, or photographs can tell us. While travelling in Turkey, I got the chance to interact with Turkish people in small towns, despite the lack of a common language, and make observations that Google couldn’t tip me about. Here’s a collection of the quirkiest ones: Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star. In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life. Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.

Safranbolu photos, Turkey photos, Turkey pictures, Safranbolu

Travelling Back in Time to Safranbolu, Turkey.

Living in a 300 year old Ottoman house, an unexpected friendship with a local blacksmith and more adventures, in Safranbolu Turkey. In the wee hours of the morning, we manoeuvre my way through the cobbled streets and ancient stonewalls of Safranbolu, a small town in the western Karadeniz region of Turkey. I had been reluctant to leave Istanbul, probably the first big city I’ve fallen so in love with. But as we step back in time into a 300-year-old Ottoman house perched on a slope, I’m glad we came! Genghis, my host, greets me with a warm smile and bits of English, and shows me to my quaint room in the part of the house now converted into a pansiyon (pension aka guest house). Genghis inherited this house from his great grandfather, and it is one of the many wooden houses with large windows, well-preserved wooden interiors, and a slate roof. These houses are the town’s claim to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hundreds of years ago, the Ottoman people, one of the greatest …

Living Like a Local in Istanbul.

Since I moved back to India exactly 11 months ago, a lot has changed in the way I travel. Shoestring budgets no longer decide where I choose to stay, unlike in my student days, and reviews of other people no longer heavily influence my choice of accommodation, unlike in my corporate days. In the last 11 months, I have learnt to swim to the depths of google and take leaps of faith with accommodation options that have struck a chord, review or no review, cheapest option or not. For the most part, I have been pleasantly surprised, sometimes even overwhelmed, with the discoveries of home stays, farm huts and forest camps that are littered in secluded places throughout India, and India Untravelled was born out of these discoveries. My choices have facilitated interaction with native families and communities, helped me travel a bit more responsibly, and let me live like the locals of a place, even if for just a few days. Shivya NathI’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, …

On Losing My Turkish Hamam Virginity.

She leads me by my hand up the stairs, grabbing a towel on the way and muttering something in Turkish to another woman in the room. In a small glass cubicle, handing me the towel, she says in her first English words to me, ‘take off everything and wear this.’ I look at her a little puzzled as she shuts the transparent door and waits outside. I’m at a Hamam aka the much famed Turkish Bath, and no amount of googling could make this situation feel less awkward. For the uninitiated, a Hamam is a sort of traditional group spa from the Ottoman era, complete with steam bath & massage, typically with separate chambers for men & women. I contemplate for a few seconds, and recalling the advise I’ve read online, I decide to go topless below the towel but keep my underpants on. I step out the cubicle and follow my lady through passages with gradually increasing levels of steam, and enter a massive area with high marble ceilings where four women are chatting in Turkish, naked except underwears, some being lathered & massaged, others …