Suitcase and World: June 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kitchen Experiments. Glyko Karydaki.

A few years ago, at a party thrown by an Armenian colleague of mine, I tasted sugared young walnuts for the first time and fell in love with them. Later, the same colleague bought a jar of them for me at a market that sells Armenian food products. I finished the first jar and managed to find the same brand in a Mediterranean food market near my house.  Now, I may never have to buy the commercial stuff ever again!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Elastic Ice Cream of Turkey. Dondurma.

I love eating ice cream and I love making ice cream. My recipe is based on an egg custard that is then flavored with whatever ingredients I want to add to it. I go through lengths to make the proper custard so it's as creamy, smooth and silky. That way, my ice cream ends up being creamy, smooth and silky.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mount Nemrut.

Mt Nemrut (Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis)

On my first visit to Turkey, I didn't know Mount Nemrut existed. By the time I returned to Turkey, a few short months later, I knew of its existence and had hoped to visit.  But that second visit took place at the end of November and access to the mountain was closed because it was winter time.  So, third time will be the charm.  Mount Nemrut is located a short drive from the town of Kâhta.  After doing quite a bit of research into getting to Kâhta on our own, I came to conclusion tht it would be far simpler to have someone take us there so I opted to sign us up for a three day, 2 night tour to Mount Nemrut from Cappadocia.  For 160 euros per person, it's not a bad deal.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Greece & Turkey. Itinerary

Feels like it's been ages since I've posted up anything on this travelogue but aside from a three week visit to California during which time I thought little about this trip, I have been flushing out the details for the trip.  The actual trip dates were finalized months ago when Bro got his leave request approved.

As of today, we have our plane tickets.  Our flight route has us arriving into Athens and departing from Istanbul.  As always, I got Bro's tickets first and then managed to find a flight for me that basically has us both on the same flight from NYC to Athens and on the return, from Istanbul to Amsterdam.

Then, came the day by day itinerary breakdown.  We'll be renting a car and driving ourselves around on a road trip through ancient Greece - Olympia, Delphi and last but not least,  Kastraki/Kalambaka where we will spend our time visiting the famous monasteries at Meteora .  Kalambaka is the name of the larger town - we'll actually be bunking down in the smaller, neighboring village of Kastraki.  I just hope it's not too small a village, at least large enough to have a restaurant would be good so we don't have to go far to find dinner.

I put together the Greece road trip following similar routes offered by tour groups except we'll be book ending our drive with stays in two seaside towns - Nafplio and Kemena Vourla.  If there's any time to go off the beaten path and check out some smaller villages, we'll definitely take the opportunity to do that.

We'll only make it Athens six days into our trip and will be staying at an Airbnb apartment located in the heart of the city.  We'll no longer have the car so we'll make our way around by subway or taxi.

Saying goodbye to Athens, we'll then head to a Greek island.  I've not worked out the details yet because the ferry schedules for when we will be traveling have not yet been issued.  The tentative plan is to fly to Santorini and then go by ferry to Syros, Samos, finally arriving into Kuşadası which will be our entry point into Turkey.  Although the itinerary for this one portion of the trip is still very much up in the air, I went ahead and booked all the hotels.  Fortunately, I can change hotel booking dates/cancel without penalty up until about a week our arrival date.