The first few months of our time here we’ll have to move around a little.  Right now we have said goodbye to our first “home” in this country and moved to a different part of town.  During our stay in the first place we got to enjoy some amazing sunsets.


Favorite Snack

Not our favorite snack, but of the local people: Simit.  You can see simit-selling carts like this one parked on many street corners or being pushed by men going down streets yelling “(something) simit”.  I haven’t quite figured out what that first word is yet.  The best description I can give it is dry bread topped with sesame seeds in the shape of a large donut.  People eat it for breakfast, during breaks or when drinking cay (tea) at the pazar (market) after a long afternoon of shopping.

By the way, you can always eat simit with a glass of ayran (next to the water bottles in the picture), another national favorite, which is a (very) salty yogurt drink.  Mark likes ayran, but I have not acquired the taste yet.


Today I made my first ever attempt at making homemade pizza.  The store-bought frozen pizzas here don’t taste quite like American pizzas.  After a friend’s encouragement and live demonstration I decided that there’s no time like the present to start making my own pizza.  Here’s the final product:

Not bad, we thought!  And it was easy… Who knew!?

This one is just for your enjoyment.  I was going for the stylish housewife look, can’t you tell?

Black Sea Getaway

On Wednesday after language class Mark and I found our way to the main bus station of our city, hopped on the bus and headed toward the Black Sea.  We rode for two hours west to a town to transfer to a minibus that would take us to our destination, Kiyikoy, a little fishing village on the Black Sea.

While waiting for the minibus a lady started talking to us.  Turned out she lives in Kiyikoy and runs a bed and breakfast.  We ended up spending the evening chatting with her and her two sisters and a friend, having chai and snacks, and just enjoying ourselves.  We thoroughly enjoyed their great hospitality.  We did stay at her B&B, too.

That evening after our time with the ladies Mark and I wandered around the village and decided it was time for Mark to get a haircut.  The barber did an excellent job.  We watched a soccer game with some men in the barber shop while Mark was being worked on, had chai and chatted.

The next morning we got up early and walked down to the harbor.  The quaint little town was still asleep.  When we came back to the B&B we enjoyed a nice local breakfast.

Right outside the village there is a monastery carved into the rock, built in the 6th century.  Mark especially liked the place.

(For better picture quality, please click on each individual picture.  Thanks.)

Trip to the East (part 2)

Here are some pictures from the third city I went to out east.  There are a few Islamic holy sites in this city.  For example, Abraham Lake is filled with carp, and there are a number of stories about how the the lake and the fishes came about.

Abraham Lake is situated in the middle of another very old city.

Did I mention the lake is absolutely filled with carp?

Standing on the ruins of an ancient castle in the city.