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Don’t be ugly

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

 

A group of children is playing on the street. There’s a little girl wearing a pink princess dress. One of those fluffy ones. She’s pushing a bike, surrounded by three boys.

“You’re the fattest one in your family!“, one of the boys exclaims, referring to the little girl as I’m just passing them. The others laugh. “And you’re the ugliest one in your family!“, the girl replies. Again, collective laughter.

I freeze and turn around. Read more…

Izmir, Pearl of the Aegean

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Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city which is also known as the Pearl of the Aegean, has been one of my favourite places on earth ever since I set foot on it for the first time in September 2012. I consider myself very lucky of having been able to spend one and a half years in such a beautiful place. Here’s why: Read more…

Adventure!

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

As someone whose blog is titled aNadventures, I just HAD to take part in this week’s photo challenge. So here I am, sharing a picture of an alley in Istanbul, where my Turkey adventure started a little over two years ago.

This city is full of history. Each corner tells its own story. Do you see the Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) amid the old buildings in the alley? It’s much smaller than it seems. Yet, it was the city’s tallest building when it was constructed in 1348 in the course of the expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople. This tower was used for spotting fires; it witnessed several restorations and today represents one of Istanbul’s main touristic sites. It provides a marvelous view of the Bosporus, the Golden Horn and the giant city’s historic peninsula.

My personal “Galata Tower adventure” consisted in pretending to be Turkish upon buying an entry ticket when I visited the city for a second time with my family in September 2013. The entrance fee is less expensive for Turkish citizens. It somehow worked.

August Travels: Bonjour, Hi!

In 2003/2004 I spent a high school year in Québec, Canada’s francophone belle provence. I lived with a host family in Joliette, close to Montréal, and got to know their culture, language and traditions. It was the first time I spent considerable time away from home, in a place that soon became home. Before I left, ma famille québecoise handed me a key to their house insisting I could come and see them any time. We have stayed in touch ever since.

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

It took me ten years (!) to be back. This summer it FINALLY happened. My August travels led me to Québec. All these years didn’t seem like all that much, though. Being back was as if I’d never left. I stayed for almost three weeks and had a fantastic time with my host family and friends. They organized a welcome back party for me, integrated me into their routines once again, took me around old and new places. I had Lucky Charms or peanut butter bagels for breakfast and ate lots of poutine, Québec’s popular junk food meal consisting of fries, gravy and cheese. It looks distasteful at first glance but once you try it, you may end up loving it. Read more…

2nd aNaversary: Best of aNadventures

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

It’s been two years since I started this blog, on August 30th 2012, shortly before leaving Berlin for my 1.5 year Turkey adventure. A lot has happened ever since. I’ve been on the move. In Turkey and elsewhere. Experiencing change, happiness, challenges, the feeling of home.

Previously on aNadventures:

              …

And of course my series on Turkish everyday life: Turkish Daylights.

Thank you, dear readers and followers, for passing by aNadventures and expressing your support and your thoughts. It means a lot to me.

Let me know about your favourite posts and any suggestions for the future. Any topics you’re particularly interested in?

July Travels: Berlin

Having been to Eskişehir (January) and Manisa (February), having explored new corners of Izmir (March) and travelled to Lisbon (April), Osnabrück (May) and Potsdam (June), it’s now time to dedicate a post to the wonderful city I live in: Berlin.

I had a visitor in July whom I showed around my favourite corners of the city and who made me fall in love with Berlin all over again, pointing out the many advantages and fun sides of living in such a diverse and crazy city. Having a visitor around makes you discover new parts of town, notice some details and appreciate your city from a fresh point of view. That’s how it was for me, at least. Here’s a little compilation of our time exploring my home town of choice:

Have you ever been to Berlin? What did you particularly like?

Turkish Daylights: Sport parks

You’re walking down the street – in Istanbul, Izmir or any other Turkish city – and you spot them all over the place: Open air sport parks. They’re often located next to children’s playgrounds and they’re free to use for everyone. First I thought: Who wants to do sports in this summer heat? But trying them out myself, I found the various devices to be quite some fun. It’s like a playground for adults. So you can work out while watching your kids play. And you save yourself the gym fees. We should have these parks in Germany, too!

June Travels: Cheesecake in Potsdam

As one of my 2014 projects, I’m taking at least one trip every month. This can be far (e.g. to another country) or near (within the country or city). In June, I went to Potsdam, a city southwest of Berlin. The Sanssouci Palace and its beautiful garden parks represent Germany’s largest World Heritage Site.

I had been to Potsdam before to visit the palace and other touristic sites.  This time, I had a mission of a different kind: Trying the famous cheesecake at Das Käsekuchen-Café in the Dutch Quarter. It had been highly recommended to me and I was not deceived. Their cakes are absolutely delicious and so generously portioned that I couldn’t even finish mine. Whether you prefer fruity or nutty tastes, they have a large variety of ingredient choices. The café is small and cozy and the staff is particularly friendly. So, all in all this was quite worth a visit.

What was your last memorable palate experience in your city or elsewhere? Share your experiences with the rest of us.  

Summer Lovin’: Follow your heart

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

It’s summer – that special time of the year. Days and nights tend to be longer and brighter, the warm air caressing your skin and your senses. People smile, people enjoy themselves. Out in the sun, in a park, by a lake, in cafés… The feeling’s all over the place.

Having a stroll around one of Berlin’s popular districts the other day, I came across a torn poster that caught my attention, clearly stating to follow the heart. Only later did I notice the pair in the background.

For other interpretations of Summer Lovin’, have a look here.

It’s been two years…

© aNadventures

© aNadventures

… since I first set foot on Turkish ground. I remember it was a Sunday. I’d been anxious for this day for months. Nervous and excited alike. My one and a half year study abroad adventure in Izmir started later, in September 2012, but I had signed up for a language course in Istanbul before that. So, on July 29th 2012, I first fell in love with Turkey. Read more…

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