Antique Ankara

Ankara has a tender spot in my heart.   Having lived in Turkey’s capital in my elementary school days way back in the late 70s, I have been back every year for the last ten years to meet my childhood friend for a long weekend in August.  We reminisce about the good old times, laugh a lot, gossip a little, shop some and make sure to observe our ritual of spending at least half a day “re-exploring” the winding lanes of Ankara Citadel.   It is our ceremonial procession to commemorate “the” annual reunion.       We try to invade as many … Continue reading Antique Ankara

An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Whenever I am visiting a new city or country, attending a classical music concert or the opera is on my priority list.   Main reason is of course the therapeutic effect.  Music is my salvation and antidote to the fatigue of walking around, trying to absorb every single detail during my travels.  Those concerts are my secret gardens only I allow myself to enter.  I feel elevated.  And the music itself of course feels wonderfully soothing There is another reason. Attending a classic music concert or the opera opens the window to the cultural state of the city or the country.  I … Continue reading An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

That famed street renown for art galleries in Istanbul: Boğazkesen

This afternoon I changed my regular route and decided to stroll from the architecturally enriching, very colourful and except for Sunday mornings, the forever clamorous touristy Istiklal Street down to one of my favourite museums, Istanbul Modern via Boğazkesen Street. Boğazkesen definitely deserves a long account of her stories to be disclosed, all from the history of the current Tomtom Suites, to the presently abandoned home of French nuns of St Joseph’s Orphanage to the myriad art galleries for which Bogazkesen is now well known for. However today she will merely shine through snapshots. Literally translated as “throat slitter” the … Continue reading That famed street renown for art galleries in Istanbul: Boğazkesen

A short promenade around Istanbul’s irresistable Grand Bazaar

The region between Galata Bridge and Beyazıt is the old market district of the city. As well as being one of the oldest, it is also one of the most architecturally rich and picturesque quarters of Istanbul where the tumultous sreets are full of clamour and commotion with crowds of shoppers hurrying along the maze of streets and sidewalk vendors trying to grab their attention. It is also a part of Istanbul where one is more than likely to come across a typical Turkish Bath which is has kept its authenticity to a degree without becoming too commercialized. Albeit brisk … Continue reading A short promenade around Istanbul’s irresistable Grand Bazaar

An evening stroll around Les Grands Magasins in Paris

Paris is famed as “La Ville Lumière ” due to its reference as the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment – the center of education and ideas throughout Europe in the in late 17th- and 18th-centuries. And this self-commendatory motto is used by Parisians today to convey the magnificence of the city as still being the cultural and material beacon to the world. I believe Paris also holds its “city of lights” tag from the “wattage” point of view even after a nationwide”lights-out” law which became effective Mid 2013 forcing shops and other buildings to switch off their lights every … Continue reading An evening stroll around Les Grands Magasins in Paris

Beykoz – a peaceful waterside retreat in the suburbs of Istanbul

With one of the most spectacular views of the Bosphorus, delightedly, Beykoz town center still belongs to its residents. Beykoz, once upon a time a remote fishing village with limited access to transportation and communication to central Istanbul is today linked by a very long stretch of road.   In fact, the coastline leading up to Beykoz is home to some of the most expensive houses and the grandest of the huge wooden Ottoman seaside houses called ‘yali’ so how Beykoz center has been spared the overdevelopment witnessed in many parts of the city is beyond my comprehension.  Beykoz derives its … Continue reading Beykoz – a peaceful waterside retreat in the suburbs of Istanbul

Ayvalık – Turkey’s Olive Riviera

It was the first time I had been to Ayvalık , literally “quince orchard”,  off-season.  Only about 120 km from my hometown of Izmir, I used to frequent this small fishing town of 30,000 for delicious seafood lunches on Sundays during the spring months.  It dawned on me that I had not set foot in Ayvalık since moving to Istanbul in 2006. In reality what started out to be a day business trip from Istanbul, coupled into being a delicacies shopping fest. After contemplating with my colleagues which mode of transport to use, the unanimous decision was the comfort of … Continue reading Ayvalık – Turkey’s Olive Riviera

Paris observed through a friend’s camera and my guidance

I am one of the luckier souls for being extended the opportunity to travel to Paris for work. Each and everytime I set foot in that very alluring city I fall in love with it all over again. I was thrilled but at the same time skeptical on giving advice to a colleague, who an adventurer himself was curiously enough setting foot in Paris for the first time, on what not to miss out. Off for a two day business trip, with only the late afternoons to spare for himself, I was confused on how to compile the Paris to-do … Continue reading Paris observed through a friend’s camera and my guidance

My Montevideo picture book

I had scant idea how much I would enjoy Uruguay when I decided to explore it for a week during my mini South America tour. I merely had two pieces of solid information about this delightful little country. First was that the distinguished novelist, Onetti, who apparently had fled his home country after a 6 month imprisonment in a mental institution was Uruguayan, the second was Uruguay’s strength as a solid soccer competitor. For a solo female traveler like myself, I can say it is one of the safest and peaceful countries in Latin America and simply a corner in … Continue reading My Montevideo picture book