I am now rooted here in London for the next few months, working with clients on their nutritional and food needs who are shooting films here. I’ll also be writing and editing extensively here. It’s a beautiful time to be in London! More on that later….for now, I wanted to share some info and pics from our jaunt over to Turkey, which we recently returned from.
Turkey is an amazing place, for many reasons! Let me get into it right away…
Two of my favorite things about Turkey are 1) the people, who are so kind, animated and passionate and 2) the food!
Unlike many other countries I’ve traveled to (such as Switzerland and Italy!) I didn’t’ have to adjust or special order anything on the menu (other than asking for veggies instead of bread to go with the hummus). There are so many veggie options everywhere, which makes it so easy to eat Beauty Detox! Lots of fruit also (some local and some imported), fresh spices, delicious nuts and dried fruit….yum, I’m getting hungry just writing about it.
One of the most mystical, mysterious things I’ve ever witnessed with a performance by some Whirling Dervishes. There was no explanation of what they were going to do- no intro at all as we sat down in a room in a place with some chairs. The Sufi music just came on, and the participants sat, then started a beautiful ritual of bowing to each other and walking in circles, all in tempo. Then gracefully, one at a time they started to unfurl their arms and whirl around, eyes closed, keeping in devotion and meditation. The primary aim of Sufism, the mystical part of Islam, is to merge with the divine. It was utterly enchanting to witness.
Sunset over the beautiful Istanbul skyline!
In a land with a million different spice markets and shops, you have to stand out. This gentleman did to me, with his kind and generous nature. We returned many times to his particular shop to stock up on spices and gifts.
Hmm, hmm! Fresh, enormous salads (just the way I love them), with purple cabbage, carrots, tomatoes and more.
This is a nice picture of the hummus, but after this first time ordering, we remembered to ask for olive oil to not also be poured on TOP of the hummus as well! It’s a bit of oil overload. Here, they mixed the oil with pomegranate juice.
Veggie and mushroom guvec, or clay pot casserole. Very typical fare found everywhere (thankfully!). The veggie casseroles were often tomato-based, and featured a wonderful array of spices.
After meals we were often served a kind of apple tea. It was pretty sweet, so I could only handle a few itty bitty sips!
This is the Basilica Cistern. Remember what I said about Turkey being mysterious?? Going down all the stairs and then into this enormous cavern of columns and arches, dimly lit, is an experience all on to itself. I loved it down there. It used to supply the water to the palaces. There are carvings in some of the columns (like some Medusa heads) and symbolic carvings.
Ah, the Blue Mosque. Here are some pics of the ceiling (hence the name!) and the scene inside.
You are not allowed to enter the mosque without proper hijab, or head dress and attire, which they supply to people like me that don’t have their own!
A new friend to teach me about the details of the mosque!
On the next morning, have some asana time out in front of the Blue Mosque!
Here is the inside/outside of the Hagia Sophia, an ancient cathedral that was converted into a mosque in the 15th century. It’s stunning and enormous.
There is a definite camaraderie amongst the women here.
My kind of “candy ” store! Many shops carry an assortment of spice, nuts, dried fruit (including mulberries!) and some traditional Turkish treats.
Family time in the park on the weekend!
This is actually good Beauty Food Pairing! Dried fruit (though not fresh) and nuts go hand in hand and digest well together…
Tea…and even though it’s not really Beauty Detox foods (lots of gluten and some contain dairy products!), here are some shots of the honey-filled treats…
Veggie Mezze platter- eggplant, a version of muhummara (red pepper and walnut pate, like our version in Beauty Detox Foods!), beans, hummus and more. Dipped with veggies, it is delicious!
Sufi music being played live. Haunting! And touches your soul.
There is so much amazing architecture everywhere you look. Here I am in front of a random door that my hubby found and loved!
In front of the Grand Bazaar. Not my favorite place to be frank…too crowded and lots of fake bags and stuff like that. I prefer the Spice Bazaar!
The Whirling Dervishes again!! The “leader” in the middle walks silently through the middle, and when he does, the dervishes sense him and start moving in a circle, keeping their eyes closed.
The Blue Mosque at sunset, from a romantic rooftop restaurant. What a memory!
Parts of Istanbul can be well, crowded. It is the fifth most densely populated city center I believe.
I just love to walk all day and check things out!
It’s a bit creepy down there in the cistern, but addictingly exciting! Especially if you can catch a day when there aren’t many others down there, and you’re moving around in the shadows nearly alone.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing a piece of Turkey along with me!
It has been inspiring and part of the learning journey, with lots of lessons, as all travels offer.
Now I’ll be rooted and working in one place (jolly London!) for a few months- though lots of weekend trips around Europe to report on and share, and more are coming up!!
Stay tuned for a recipe I’m posting tomorrow. And have you gotten your Beauty Detox blog set up yet??