Tag Archives: baklava

Our idea of a holiday: 3000km driving later…

Tiya at Kizkalesi

We drove from Antakya to Kizkalesi (Maiden’s Castle) which was just what the doctor ordered. Sand, sea (with fantastic views of a castle thrown in for good measure) and fish.

From there we drove on to Mamure Castle and Anemurium. The former is a child’s ideal of a medieval castle: fantastic location by the sea, ramparts walk with impressive battlements, surrounding moat, and almost deserted. And a mosque in the middle! Anemurium was pretty but eerily quiet. I had that sinking sensation in my stomach when I realised I was walking on (and crushing) 1400 year old bits of brick, mosaic and pottery (the town was abandoned in the 7th century AD so I did the maths!). Years ago I once stopped my taxi while travelling in Punjab, ostensibly following the path of the Saraswati river – I know, one of the many strange things I have done – and loaded …

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South-east Turkey: Gaziantep and Urfa

Zincirli Bazaar, Gaziantep

Sorry, this post has taken a long time in coming. Lots happening, mostly good, so should be keeping up with things again from now on…!

And that was the end of my sourcing trip and the beginning of a short holiday. Mike and Tiya joined me in Istanbul and we all flew to Gaziantep (“Great” Antep). I was expecting a sleepy old town and was in for a bit of a surprise. Gaziantep is a buzzing city that is the machine-made carpet and pistachio capital of Turkey. It has its own unique handicrafts and whilst the copperware was excellent I didn’t much care for the thickish mother of pearl work. It is also famous for its food. We ate at the Imam Cagdas two nights in a row where the kebaps and pistachio baklava (they only make the pistachio filling in this town) were delicious – their website is in Turkish but …

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Day 3: Istanbul Grand Bazaar in a Whirl

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

The day passed in a whirl (although not of the dervish variety). Made two separate trips to the Grand Bazaar for multiple meetings and in the process manage to see quite a lot of the bazaar and its many interesting architectural features. When I was here last I remember being completely overwhelmed by it all. This time around, I have found it much easier. Everyone speaks some amount of English and are incredibly helpful, so if you ask for directions you get there faster than by looking at a map!

Met a vendor who makes gorgeous Ottoman lamps in every shape and colour. Watch this space.

And of course I managed a Gözleme (Turkish spinach pancake), Adana kebap, some Ayran (equivalent of the Indian buttermilk) and baklava meant for queens (and kings!) while weaving my way in and out of the many lanes of Sultanahmet!

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

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