Friday, May 31, 2013

Aziziye Restaurant, Selcuk, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Dah puaih jamu mata tengok jaket kulit dan rasa Turkish Delight, perut pun mula la berkeroncong. Nasib baik lepaih pi Kircilar Leather Art, kami berenti makan. Elif bawak kami semua pi Aziziye Restaurant. Tempat makan ni kat Camlik, Selcuk. Luaih restoran ni siap ada kedai juai souvenir lagi. Time kami sampai tu punya la ramai orang dalam restoran ni.

Macam besa la mula-mula depa idang salad ngan sup.
Lepaih tu depa bagi nasi kaler kuning (saffron rice) yang sejemput tu dgn lauk ala-ala sate (kebab). Kebab daging tu sedap.
Last sekali depa idang pemanih mulut. Pemanih mulut ni ala-ala puding gula hanguih. Yang ni pun sedap…..tak manih, tak tawaq – just nice.

Dan lagi anak dara ni posing. Time ni mama dia nak pi surau kat tepi belakang restoran.
Sebenaqnya nak ambik gambaq cara masak kebab tu tapi chef ni beria dok senyum, ambik la sekali gambaq dia.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Turkish Delight

Dear Diary,

After being wowed with good-looking Turkish models and seduced with soft shiny leather products, we made a quick stop at a shop selling Turkish confectionery such as Turkish Delight, Baklava, Cotton Candy Chocolate and many more. Besides these sweet things, there are also locally made merchandise being sold.

According to Wikipedia:
Turkish delight or Lokum (Turkish) is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; the cheapest are mostly gel, generally flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange or lemon. The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra or powdered cream of Tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common types include such flavors as cinnamon and mint.

We bought a few items. The most special among all is olive oil. No, it is not for cooking but for the whole body use. It can be applied on hair and skin. It is not very oily, easily absorbs into skin and smells very nice too.

Kircilar Leather Art, Selcuk, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

During our Turkey holiday, we didn’t just visit historical places but we also visited a few places that specialize in manufacturing merchandises. Like on our third day in Turkey, after visiting House of Virgin Mary, we were brought to Kircilar Leather Art. It is a leather factory outlet. Boy, we were in for a big surprise.

After we were ushered inside and comfortably seated, lights were dimmed and loud music started blaring from hidden speakers. Then, one by one gorgeous models paraded on a walkway in front of us displaying beautiful leather jackets. Tea was served to us while we watched the fashion show. At one point, two people from the audiences were asked to become models too. One of them was my brother in law, Dan, and the other one was a Chinese lady. It was both fun and entertaining.

Company representative giving explanation
Leather samples
After the fashion show ended, we proceeded to their show room in which we were given a brief explanation about the company and its leather production. There are all sorts of leather wears and jackets on display. Everything looks elegant and chic. But after some calculations, we realized that their products are expensive. We can get cheaper leather jackets with the same quality back home. Bear in mind, the transaction is in US dollars.

I did some online research about this company. Apparently, Kircilar is a well established company and is famous for its leather products not only in Turkey but also overseas.

Address: Selcuk Aydin Karayolu Mersinlik Mevkii / Izmir, Turkey. Telephone number: +90 232 892 93 30. Website:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

House of Virgin Mary, Selcuk, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Our third day adventure started with a visit to House of Virgin Mary. It is a shrine situated on Mount Koressos in the vicinity of Ephesus. For in-depth information, please refer to Wikipedia.

My family decided not to join the tour of this place. Instead we walked and shopped around its entrance where there are shops and cafes. We also enjoyed nice hot cup of teas while watching the kids playing among themselves.

Address: Selcuk, 35920 Izmir Province, Turkey. Telephone number: +90 232 894 1012.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Alkoclar Adakule Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Two ancient archeological sites visit in a day plus long hours on a bus with children to entertain, I was certainly more than ready to call it a day. It was music to my ears when Elif, our tour guide, announced that we were going to our hotel next.

The hotel that she meant was Alkoclar Adakule Hotel in Kusadasi. We got two rooms (436 & 437). There are two single beds in each room. Actually, we were given a slightly bigger corner room with 3 single beds but we switched it with my in-laws. Benefits of traveling with family eh :-)

We neither got the chance nor the time to fully explore the hotel. When we arrived at Alkoclar Hotel, it was already late evening. Tiredness beat us. The next day, we checked out very early. You can expect basic amenities and free WIFI the very least.

Many types of breads & jams
Choices of foods
My breakfast plate
The hotel’s buffet dinner and breakfast were acceptable. Among all the foods, I found a treasure, cili api jeruk. Naik selera makan! One thing for sure, there was always rice served at every meal be it at hotel buffets or restaurant servings. Although Turkish rice is not plain white rice like ours, at least our Malay taste buds were gratified.

Preparing salad as per request
Desserts choices
Beverages selections
From surfing the net, I gathered that there are many beaches around Kusadasi. In fact, our hotel has its own private sandy beach. Hotel guests can enjoy sunrise and sunset views. Too bad time was not on our side. Overall, our stay was pleasant. The only setback was the hotel elevator. It is slow and its space is quite small. As we were traveling in a group, you can imagine the long wait in front of the elevators. Memang berjanggut menunggu! We resorted to using the goods elevator during check out time.

Address: Alkoclar Adakule Hotel, Bayraklidede Mevkii 09400 Kusadasi/Aydin. Telephone number: +90 256618 11 43. Website:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ephesus, Kusadasi, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

After our rumbling stomachs were satisfyingly stuffed withTurkish cooking, we continued our journey to the next destination, Kusadasi. And our next stop was Ephesus or Efes in Turkish. It is another Turkey’s famous ancient ruins, the best preserved of the world’s classical ruins which include theater, temples, library, baths, fountains, brothels, gymnasium and many more.

The Basilica Stoa
Located in Selcuk district in the Izmir province (a small town about 20km from Kusadasi), Ephesus was under the rulings of many great empires (Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman) and leaders (among other Alexander the Great). Entrance fee is 25TL.

The Rhodian Peristyle & The Prytaneum
The Curetes Street
It was initially built as a port, which later transformed into a trade center due to its strategic location. Along the way, it also became a religious center during the early Christianity era.

Temple of Hadrian
Among the many famous ruins that can be found there are Temple of Artemis – one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, the Basilica Stoa, Odeon, etc.

Library of Celsus
Processional Street
The whole tour takes more than 1 hour and you’re required to walk quite a distance to enjoy all Ephesus has to offer. You cannot turn around to go out should you decide not to continue the walk because Ephesus is a one way archeological site in which you enter through the entrance and leave through another exit. Both entrance and exit are not the same way. Furthermore, the marble flooring is quite slippery when it rains. It is advisable to wear comfortable attire and shoes.

Souvenirs sold at shops at Ephesus exit

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bergama Restaurant, Bergama, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Next, we headed for Kusadasi after exploring Acropolis in the morning. Before reaching Kusadasi, we made a stopover at Bergama Restaurant for lunch.

We arrived there during peak lunch hour, so the place was packed with customers who are mostly tour groups. In fact, almost all eating places that we went were full with tour groups. Traveling agencies ni pakat kot dengan restaurant owner nak bawak tourists pi makan situ.

Sweet Memories at Acropolis of Pergamon

Dear Diary,

Pictures of us during our visit to Acropolis of Pergamon, Bergama last November

5 adorable kids having fun on a hill

The rest of the family

Tok with his cucu