Thursday, 25 September 2014

Of markets, coffee and fish dinners

It's commonly assumed that a person with a blog while travelling should or would take a gazillion photos to document every single bit of their journey. That's not so much me. While I'll readily admit to wanting to take a gazillion photos like every other person, I'm pretty adamant about enjoying the amazing sights and sounds without whipping out the Nikon every single time. 

Sometimes, it's just best to put away the camera. Stop. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and open them again while ever so slowly sweeping your gaze across the horizon of wherever you are to simply soak it all in. 

My time away is about the warm feeling that fills your heart while sipping a hot cup of coffee by the sea; shared laughter during dinner time conversation; the coziness of a hug; the coldness of ice-cream on your tongue while a cold wind whips around you; watching the sun go down in a spectacular show of colours and so much more. My time. My feast of senses.

Kemeralti was just that. Probably smaller than Istanbul's Spice or Grand Bazaar, it was still exciting to say the least! 

When you walk in, you're assaulted by the loud, excited chatter of people that you would find in any bazaar across the world; along with smells of hot. brewed cups of Cay and Kahvesi; roasting meats dripping with fat ready to be sliced off and placed on flatbread to sop up its juices; dried peppers and aubergines hanging in bunches from rooftops; twinkling silver catching your eye in the silver shops and so much more. 

The first thing I saw at Kemeralti was this very, very hardworking little Bear. He was busy pounding coffee beans outside a little coffee shop selling what looked like a whole range of coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Turks seems to have a passion for preserving fruit and vegetables, perhaps because everything is seasonal. There were dried chilli peppers and aubergines almost everywhere.

Ooey-gooey, sticky sweetie that sticks to your teeth and gums. Every colour is a different fruit flavour. The vendor twirls a bit of each flavour on a stick and dips the finished sweet in lemon before giving it to you. I felt like a child again eating it!

After a walk hither-tither peeking into little shops that sold anything and everything, we stopped for coffee just as some buskers came by to entertain everyone. There was some amount of eye-candy (wink, wink) as well, but sorry they're not in the photos! 

More shops! I tried on some pretty Ottoman-inspired necklaces in a silver shop, poked around places selling pots and pans (my favourite!), antiques and inhaled the pungent aroma of spices in the spice shop. 

Then, we were off to Urla for my first fish dinner! It was a perfect dinner that lasted almost 3 hours I think? Or was it 4? Who cares. We started with little plates of Meze and Calamari; then graduated to utterly scrumptious Grilled Prawns with Brown Butter and Fish; with Cay and a complimentary mother-of-all-fruit-platters to finish. All the while being carefully watched over by the neighbourhood cats and hounds. 

The sun set over the sea while we were driving to Urla for dinner. It is quite a spectacular thing to behold in all its glory. 

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