Christmas in Turkey!


Last Christmas I was travelling around Turkey. Although saying this isn’t so simple, because this country is so big….with 75 million of inhabitants dwelling along a vast territory…one has to be accurate for being understood. I consider myself lucky because I visited charming cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Capadocia, Izmir, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pamukkale or Sirince. And the most important, I visited, knew and saw houses, traditions and habits of authentic Turkish families. This country has a great History and people, and a great museums!!!. Actually, the Museum of Civilizations of Anatolia, located in Ankara, contains precious samples of earlier cultures which inhabited this land before Turkish. This museum was considered the most important museum in Europe (2007) regarding its amount of important pieces from ancient ages and its quality. Located on the top of a central hill, just to a hundred meters from the castle of the capital, this unique place is a great source of knowledge for explaining the origin and history of this country. Some examples of its richness are the reconstruction of the tomb of Midas King, sculpture of Cibeles goddess (Phrigyan symbol which represents  the mother earth) or pieces from Hititas period that represents the customs of this old cultures who inhabited Central Anatolia around 1700-1200 B.C. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the famous leader who headed the independence and creation of the modern Turkey, considered very important to establish this museum as an attempt for finding, unifying and showing to the turkish population the value of their roots. Through delivering the cultural heritage he created a powerful sense of  nationalism, essential for the newborn Turkey in 1923.


With such a big session of anthropology, after visiting the museum I had to take a breath and drink a good Salep!….If you don’t know what is this wonderful juice, ask to Mr. Google or visit Turkey, because Salep is one of its fortunes for the gourmand visitor….I tasted it for first close to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the second day of my trip. Since this moment I couldn’t stop of drinking! It is a soft white liquid, a mixture flour made from Orchid’s tuber and milk with spices and cinnamon inside…a pleasure for tasting.  As some turkish told me,  doctors recommend to take one a day in winter. If you follow this instruction, you won’t get a cold with the bad weather!……

Lastly, thanks to my dear Ogui, my fellow traveller who kept all the time next to me, helping to me inconditionally with my language barriers, trying to make me feel as a member of his family and culture, giving to me the opportunity to discover another piece of his pure and genuine vision of life.


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