I freakin went to the Black Sea yesterday!
I mean who says that?!! AMAZING!
Mahoney told us that he would take us on a tour of the Asian side and the whole time Katie and I were wondering what the heck we were gonna see over on this side, maybe some posh cities around here or something, the water....? But when we met up with him yesterday morning he told us we were going to the Black Sea!!! Crazy!
Mahoney stopped at a few cities along the way the way there. First, we stopped to buy 3 different types of Turkish pastry like treats, sitting seaside at a cafe with tea (naturally). This cafe also happens to have a tree that is 700 years old! yowsas! Plus it's gigante! So beautiful. I must tell you know, every single place he took us to had spectacular views -it's like he said: each place just gets better. Katie and I were constantly stunned and speechless, just standing there in awe and he would be like running to the next spot after 20 seconds of looking at one, rushing us to come see or get going. We would have been fine with just one view and staring the whole day! So we had to snap pictures super fast and rush to the next spot, which would be just as amazing or even better! These views never get tiring! Anyways, so after he stuffed us with fatty pastries at this cute little seaside town that is known for its trees and used to be known for growing cucumbers. He then took us to another city known for its yogurt. Ok, yogurt hails from Turkey, and really, this country should be called Yogurt, they barely even eat Turkey here anyway! They are serious about this stuff, I could see them going to war over it or killing themselevs if they were ever to run out! So we stopped, at a cafe also located seaside, for yogurt and topped it with powdered sugar. Tasty treat, but still full from breakfast, but stuffed it down -this was a 5 minute drive mind you from breakfast to yogurt town. Then along the way to where the Bosphoros meets the Black Sea, he decided to quicklly show us a famous cemetery. Apparently Moses' cousin is buried there, in a 17 meter long grave. He gave me this scarf so I could bobcha-myself up! Haha! Even he was laughing at me and told me it was too much! This cemetery is located at the top of a moutain, so again, we were in awe of the view! Then off to Yorus Castle just north of Anadolu Kavagi (sp?). Holy cow! It's a super ruined castle, but it has a crazy view of where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea (also located on top of a mountain)!!!!! Crazy! Actually, Katie just stopped taking pictures at one point and just videoed it bcuz it's just that good. Oh I should tell you, the water, it's aqua and clear; at yogurt town in the cafe, there was a short wall that separated us from the water and you could see jelly fish and fishies swimming by! So of course Katie and I were just beside ourselves! Plus what American can easily say "oh I went to the Black Sea today"?!! We're sooo lucky! Mahoney also told us that many people don't know about this castle, even Turks! Then we went into the super cute, tiny village (which was a step back into the old world for sure!) and had lunch, actually, we didn't we had a feast. Oh, but on the walk there, all the men were saying things and Mahoney was telling us. He was so excited bcuz everyone was jealous that he was with 2 gorgeous girls! It was cute and also another great perk for us, since he was so excited by this fact (he didn't need strangers to tell him) it got us more stops along the way that he typically doesn't show people! Ok, so the feast, oy-vay! This was also seaside, with another breath-taking view....he ordered us all of these traditional dishes. Which was great, we've been wanting to try lots of it! So we're sharing these little dishes, very family style here, everything's tasty, yes, even the calamare (wouldn't ever order it on my own or eat a ton, but it's not that bad -though he did make me eat the last one, you know the girl that doens't like fish -great...). So I knew I was going to have to be forcing fish down at some point of this day right, but since we're sharing I was getting so stoked thinking great I can get away with just a few bites of it and I'll be done with it! Perfect, right?! Right?! Well I got up mid-feast (they eat for hours here) to go to the bathroom and when I came back (duhn duhn duhn), we each had a whole fish to ourselves and it looked like it just came out of the water -so skin, eyes and all...mmmmm tasty. Plus before I went to the bathroom, he was saying how he hates leaving any food behind, everything must be eaten. Crap. This fish was just cooked, they didn't put any sort of spice or had a dip on the side or anything with it. But luckily, it wasn't super fishy. So it wasn't complete torture! Katie kept looking at me to see if I was going to vomit or something! Haha! She was so scared for me! I just ate it quick to get it over with! .....on the way back he showed us more views of the city, girls: I know some great places to get married -like woah! (Oh Shawna!! forget Mexico get your butts over here dude!!), we went to another hill over by our place. Another CRAZY view with a restaurant and cafe on top overlooking the city. So because we were famished since we hadn't eaten in forever, we shared two pieces of tasty cakes and had tea/lemonade. During that time we were discussing our plans of wanting to go to the European side the next day, and he told us that he would take us another day! He couldn't go the next day because of work but, we are meeting him later this afternoon and he's taking us to Bada (sp?) Street, apparently one of the Rodeo Drives of Istanbul. Ferraris run rappent over here, or so I'm told. All my students are always telling me to go. They love it here. We are really sooooo lucky to have met Mahoney, the places we got to go many people don't know of, and the Black Sea isn't that close to Istanbul either!
So he dropped us off around 6ish, he had a tennis game that night, and we ran into our friend Anthony who had just dropped by with his gf and two other friends (also teachers). We enjoyed tea with Mustafa and his wife and then went off to have beers at some bar over by Bada Street (its over by us), a super nice part of town (we haven't made it that way yet)! Katie and I ordered the huge beers (surprise!) so all the guys were forced to do the same, they couldn't let a woman beat them! Let's just say it was a good night! Haha!
Oh! A few nights ago (I just had to change my wording, I'm writing like I'm talking to people who don't know English -when I come back, it's not that I think you're incompetent, it's just gonna become a natural way of talking for me! So sorry now!) Katie and I went out for beers over by our school. It was a really cool place with live music (their guitar, congas, singing really loudly! So cool!!) we met some other Turks and they gave us some of their appetizers to try -holy shit mom and dad, there was this dish, hyardi (I think), it's like tiki-wiki sauce but with garlic in it!!! Do it, Do it now!!! Anyways, I of course, had to pee at one point. Haha! So I went up the skinny little stairs and found that it was a pop-a-squat type. Sweet. Luckily, I was only buzzed, drunk may have been an issue because as I was squatting, holding on to the walls so I don't fall over and watching my aim (haha), the lights go out. I was like oh shit it would happen!...so luckily I already have t.p. in my hand for any easy finish as I'm bent down (with jeans on, yes I have great aim!!) BUT when I get up, I found out that it was one of those motion-sensor lights!! lol! It turned back on before I even finished standing back up!!!! Hahah! I guess it couldn't see me down there, well it's not like I was moving either though! lol! Awesome! Good times! lol!
Oh that top ten picture list, it will come it will come! Just gotta go snap a few more pics!