Sunday, January 29, 2012

Imroz Restaurant

In 1952, the manager, Yorgo Okumuş, started working in Imroz Restaurant, which was established in 1942 by Spiro Havuços and Tanaş Yalyas in Kerpen Arcade (today Aslıhan Arcade). In the 60s, Irfan Kara became a partner. To other partner, Mustafa Yıldırım started working here as a busboy in 1970, when he was just 12 years old. In 1975, Tanaş Yalyas retired from partnership. Spira Havuços passed away in 1980. Yorgo Okumuş and Mustafa Yıldırım acquired their shares. In 1982, Kerpen Arcade was demolished and the restaurant moved to its current location. Because patrons of the former restaurant thought Imroz had been shut down, the owners changed the name to ‘Imroz Restaurant at Krepen’. There is no music in the restaurant and singing not allowed. There is even a sign on the Wall which reads, ‘Singing in the tavern is strictly prohibited.’

Nevizade sokak No:24 Balıkpazarı / Beyoğlu
Tel: 0212 249 90 73

The Western Black Sea Coast

The Yildiz (Istranca) Mountains bisect the province of Kirklareli. Lush mountainous landscape dotted with quaint houses transport you to an idyllic and tranquil reverie. In the city of Kirklareli the oldest mosque is the Hizirbey Mosque, built in 1383. The mosque complex includes a bazaar. Nearby stands a hamam (bath) also built under the patronage of Hizir Bey. The 14th-century Kirklar Memorial with its impressive 18 columns stands on Kirklar Hill honouring the site where 40 soldiers lost their lives when the Ottomans conquered this area under the command of Murat I. The Archaeology Museum exhibits finds from local excavations.

The Sokollu Mosque in Lüleburgaz, on the Edirne-Istanbul road, is an exquisite work of Sinan that dates from 1570. The neighbouring town of Babaeski also boasts a Sinan building in the Cedid Ali Pasa Mosque.

Vize (Byzia), an important Byzantine center, houses the Küçük Ayasofya church and a castle, both dating from the Byzantine period.

If you are travelling north to Bulgaria, linger for a few hours in the peaceful and green town of Dereköy, the last stop before the border.

Kirklareli's Black Sea Coast is another place to enjoy beaches and good fish restaurants. Igneada, 98 km east of Kirklareli, lies sandwiched between sandy shores and the Yildiz Mountains. Kiyiköy (Midye) is another holiday resort town with good accommodation and picturesque dwellings from the Middle Ages. The town and its walls date from the Byzantine period. The best site to visit in Midye is the historic St. Nicholas Rock Monastery.

Also on the European Black Sea coast, only 35 km from Istanbul, are the sandy beaches, and hotels, motels and camping facilities of Kilyos.

Across the Bosphorus, on the Asian shore, Sile's (71 km from Istanbul) long sandy beaches, overlooked by the remains of a Genoese Castle, attract many visitors. The excellent restaurants and nightlife make it a popular weekend retreat for Istanbul residents. Cotton blouses and shirts (Sile Bezi) are sewn and embroidered here.

Originally founded by a Polish prince as a home for Polish exiles, Polonezköy (25 km from Istanbul) has been transformed into a relaxing resort with guest houses and restaurants serving a delicious selection of fresh local produce. Inland from the coast, the rolling hills and peaceful woods make an excellent area for horseback riding.

Agva (50 km east of Sile), on the banks of a river as well as on the shores of the Black Sea, is surrounded by lovely scenery, ideal for a camping holiday. Kerpe, Kefken and Karasu are three quaint fishing villages east of Agva. Delightful restaurants and limpid water draw a constant stream of visitors.

Inland, between Ankara and Istanbul, is Bolu (262 km from Istanbul and 192 km from Ankara), an important provincial center with an impressive 14th century Ulu Mosque and modern thermal facilities close at hand. The Bolu Archaeology and Ethnography Museum has artifacts from the Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Southwest of Bolu is the popular and relaxing Lake Abant resort, set in lovely alpine surroundings at an altitude of 1,500 meters. Istanbul dwellers often escape to the lake for a weekend of fresh air and exercise.

In the Köroglu Mountains is Kartalkaya, one of Turkey's major ski resorts. In the summer you can stop for a picnic at Gölcük Lake. The breathtakingly beautiful Yedi Göller (Seven Lakes) National Park lies north of Bolu. Nearby, the town of Mengen has a reputation for its good cooks and holds the annual Chefs' Festival of in August, featuring traditional Turkish specialities.

The sites around Konuralp (53 km from Bolu) the ancient Prusa ad Hypium, continue to yield artifacts from both the Roman and Byzantine periods, which are on display in the local museum. Among the ruins, the Roman theatre is not to be missed.

Back on the coast, the lovely beach and comfortable guest houses and hotels at Akçakoca ensure that it remains a popular holiday resort. Near the town, you can explore the remains of a Genoese castle now set amid hazelnut groves.

Alapli is an ideal place for water sports, especially sailing and surfing. Long sandy beaches stretch both east and west on both sides of the town.

Eregli, whose ancient name was Heraklea ad Pontus, stands on a hill adjacent to a Byzantine castle. In the spring the aroma of strawberries, some of the sweetest grown in Turkey, fills the air, making a visit a mouthwatering experience. Eregli derives its name from the mythological demi-god, Hercules, who, in the 11th century caught the three-headed dog, Cerberus, guardian of the gates of hell. According to Xenophon, Cerberus resided in the cave Cehennemagzi (Entrance to Hell), outside of Eregli near Kavakderesi.

Zonguldak is a major center of coal production and an important Black Sea port. The scenic road on the east side of town leads to the areas of Kopuz and Uzunkum, where tea gardens and restaurants beckon tourists to spend a leisurely afternoon.

Connoisseurs of fine handcrafted wood, travel to Devrek, a pretty town, 50 km southeast of Zonguldak, to purchase its renowned wooden canes.

Karabük, situated 10 km southeast of Safranbolu is the most important industrial center in Turkey, known for its iron and steel industry. Not far from Karabük lies the charming park of Çamlik, the perfect place for rest and relaxation. The entire area is dotted with pine forests and there is a lovely tea garden and restaurant in a nice place to enjoy nature.

Also inland and further to the east is charming Safranbolu. Step back in time in the lovely "old world" style of the town to see some of the most beautiful traditional old houses, unique in Turkey for their outstanding design and construction. The most interesting of these include: Kaymakamlar House, Aygiroglu House, and Asmazlar Havuzlu Konak which has been restored and is now used as a hotel operated by the Turkish Touring Automobile Club. The Mektepçiler House is also noteworthy as is the Haci Memisler House. Pasa House is also restored and has been converted into a lovely cafe and pension as well. The castle on the hill offers a vista of the town. Be sure to see the Cinci Inn and Hamam (17th-century Turkish bath), the Izzet Mehmet Pasa Mosque and Library (18th-century), and the Köprülü Mosque which also dates from the 17th century. Also worth seeing are the Dagdelen Mosque (18th-century) and Kaçak Mosque (19th-century). UNESCO has named Safranbolu as an international cultural area.

Safranbolu originally takes its name from the saffron fields that dotted the area in the 19th century. Today, saffron fields abound in the village of Davutobasi, 20 km away, where a thriving saffron business continues. Before leaving, be sure not to miss the Arasta (Old Bazaar) where you can watch craftsmen at work and bargain with them for their goods. The "lokum" (Turkish Delight) is also a special treat, unique among lokum connoisseurs and a must to sample.

About 36 km. south of Karabük is Eskipazar, where the old Ömer Beyler Mansion is located. It is now restored and famous for its ornately decorated ceilings.

Bartin (80 km east of Zonguldak) is a pretty city of timbered houses that holds a strawberry festival every year in the spring. The remains of a Roman road dating back to the reign of the Emperor Claudius can still be seen. A boat trip on the Bartin river makes for a delightful excursion. Nearby Inkum has been developed into a holiday village with a sandy beach, restaurant and guest houses.

Amasra (17 km from Bartin), one of the most beautiful towns on the Black Sea coast, was called Sesamos in ancient times, when it was founded by the Miletians in the sixth century B.C. It stands on a peninsula made by two inlets. The eastern side enjoys a reputation for good swimming. On a rocky promontory rise the ramparts of a Byzantine citadel, inside of which is an old church, now the Fatih Mosque. The necropolis dates from the Roman period. Remnants from Amasra's entire history are displayed in the Archaeology Museum. You can purchase a lovely handcarved wooden souvenir on Çekiciler street. Continuing eastward along the coast, you arrive at Çakraz (15 km east of Amasra) a typical fishing village with excellent beaches, friendly accommodation and fine restaurants. The winding road between Çakraz and Inebolu has steep mountainsides and offers a spectacular panoramic view.

Beyond Çakraz is Kurucasile, a town known for its fishing boat manufacturing. Cide, 28 km farther, has good hotels and a pleasant beach, providing comfort and relaxation. Gideros Bay will make you think a dream has come true.

Inebolu ( 100 km east of Cide) is a typical Black Sea town set in lush greenery displaying many fine examples of traditional Turkish architecture. East of Inebolu is Abana, another good holiday center. Situated inland amid beautiful forests, the provincial center of Kastamonu (90 km south of Inebolu) also dasts several important monuments: the 12th-century Byzantine castle, the 13th-century Atabey Mosque and the Ibni Neccar Mosque of 1356. The Archaeology and Ethnography Museum displays artifacts found in the region and the Liva Pasa Mansion Museum also has local ethnographical artifacts. Near the town is Evkaya, a rock tomb dating from the sixth century B.C. In the village of Kasaba, the 14th century Mahmut Bey Mosque retains some of the finest wood carvings found anywhere in Turkey. About 41 km west of Kastamonu via Daday, Çömlekçiler village has traditional timber houses and farms offering country horseback riding tours.

Then, 63 km south of Kastamonu is Ilgaz National Park, a delightful protected area in the Ilgaz Mountains, in which also is a ski center and good accommodation. East of the park by the Devrez and Kizilirmak rivers, is Tosya where extensive rice fields cover the landscape.

Ilgarini Cave, in the region of Pinarbasi (northwest of Kastamonu), is one of the largest caves in Turkey. It is a wonderful place for trekking and exploration off the beaten path.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lale Tripe Restaurant

Lale tripe restaurant was established by Hüseyin Özer in Beyoğlu, Büyükparmakkapı Sokak in 1960. In those years tripe restaurants were quite frugal places. Mr. Hüseyin Özer wanted tostart the Tulip Era by opening a classy venue and named the restaurant ‘Lale’ (tulip). In 1966, Baki Akkaya took over the restaurant. His son Vedat Akkaya was married to Hüseyin Özer’s cousin, Osman Özer’s daughter. Back then, people coming out of nightclubs in Beyoğlu would end their night here. In fact it was here that the comedian, ‘Honeybee’ Yalçın proposed to his wife, Lale Belkıs. Lale İşkembecisi is now located on Tarlabaşı Boulevard, in a 300 year-old building restored to its original state. The secret of Lale Tripe Restaurant’s success is hygiene. Mr. Akkaya says he is a ‘hygiene freak’. They on no account clean the tripe with caustic, but always rub it with a knife under hot water.

Tarlabaşı Bulvarı No:13 Beyoğlu Tel: 0212 252 69 69

The Black Sea Coast

The vibrant green of Turkey's lush, humid Black Sea Coast surprises those who imagine the country to be nothing but barren steppe. From the European border with Bulgaria to the Georgian border, dense pine forests cover the mountaintops while lush vegetation and bountiful crops grow in the lower elevations and valleys. Along the coastline, mile after mile of beautiful uncrowded beaches offer sun, swimming and relaxation. In the springtime, delicate wild-flower blossoms carpet the rolling meadows of the eastern hills. The wooden houses in fishing villages and mountain hamlets alike preserve indigenous and traditional architectural styles. The humid climate and fertile soil encourage cultivation of a variety of crops including tea, tobacco, corn and hazelnuts. The magic of such a diverse landscape proves irresistible to any friend of nature, whether hiker or mountain climber or canoe enthusiast; whether you go in by mountain bike or by jeep safari.

Archaeological excavations from the early Bronze Age settlements at Ikiztepe in Samsun Province have uncovered evidence of the region's earliest inhabitants. The Hittites, Miletians, Phrygians and, according to Homer, the Amazons all colonised parts of the coast. Alexander the Great in his world conquest also brought the region under his sovereignty. Eventually, it was incorporated into the Roman and then the Byzantine Empire. The 15th century saw the greater part of the area come under the Ottoman rue of Sultan Mehmet II.

The Black Sea is easily accessible to tourists and provides a wide range of hotels and restaurants at a variety of prices.

Blue Voyage (Marmaris-Fethiye)

 Blue Voyage Marmaris->Fethiye->Marmaris
You can get on the board at 15.30 from Marmaris Port. On the first day, the service starts on the boat with dinner. The dinner and overnight stay will be in Marmaris Port. Marmaris which was built upon the antique Karian city, Phyckos has been under the governorship of many different civilizations. The most significant work piece that you will see today is Marmaris Castle constructed in 1577. There is also a mosque and an 8-room caravansary covered with arches from Ottoman Period. The ruins of the Antique times lie on Asar Hill; a short hill located on the northern side of the city. Being one of the best-known tourist places of Turkey Marmaris also has large yatch marina.
Your dream voyage will start with Ekincik Gulf. If you want, you may join our optional Dalyan Tour from here. In this tour, you will arrive in Dalyan, which was a Carian City known to be founded by Miletos’ son, by passing along the delta, a natural wonder, with the river boat called Piyade. Besides its ancient value with its Rock Tombs, Akropol Castle, Ancient Theater and Basilica complex, Dalyan also exhibits a natural beauty with Caretta – Caretta turtles. Following a rejuvenating Mud Bath the final destination of the day will be Caretta - Caretta (İztuzu) Beach for swimming. Dinner and overnight stay will be in Ekincik Gulf.
Because of wavy capes, Dişibilmez and Kurtoğlu, that we have to cross place, we will cruise earlier than the other days and reach to the World-known Fethiye Gulf. The boat will anchor near Tershane Island for breakast. This naturally protected harbor was used as shipyard in Byzantine and Ottoman times. For lunch and a swimming break, we will go to Manastır Bay. This place also known as Cleopatra Bay or Sunken Bath Bay due to the ruins of an ancient bath. The last destination of the day for anchoring will be Kızıl Burun for dinner and overnight stay.
We will arrive at Fethiye Harbour in the 4th day of our tour. Fethiye, which was known as Telmessos in the ancient Anatolian civilizations, Lykia’s western border with Caria. It is believed that the city name came from Apollon’s son Telmessos. The meaning of the city is city of light was famous for its prophets. Fethiye stretches out in a half circle along the coast protected by 12 Islands. You can visit the city center or you can join our optional yours to Ölüdeniz and Saklıkent. Dinner and overnight stay will be in Fethiye Harbour.
After the breakfast, we will cruise along the uniquely beautiful Islands which all of them are nature’s wonders and finally anchor at Göcek Island. Following swimming break and launch we will sail to Yassıca Islands to spend the night in the wonderful scenery.
After the breakfast, we will cruise Bedri Rahmi Bay. Bedri Rahmi is a famus Turkish artist who was among the people had a “Blue Voyage” in Turkey. Following his visit the bay was named after him. We will go to Domuz Island another swimming place for today and anchor in Ağa Limanı for dinner and overnight stay.
Today, we will start the day by cruising to Kadırga Bay early in the morning. Lunch and swimming break will be in Kadırga Bay. Turunc Bay and Cennet Island will ve our last stop for swimming break. We enter to Marmaris Harbour around 5 p.m. for overnight stay. Guests wishing to see more of Marmaris are recommended to go the city center and experience the lively night life.
After breakfast, journey with unforgettable memories quits.

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