2/12/2014

Can I eat more "pasteis de belem"? (Part-1)


“Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”
 Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Despite to Alice, I knew where I wanted to go. Four months ago, I was sneakily searching cheap Barcelona tickets in the office. And I made it, I found some cheap tickets but just because of my laziness, I did not buy them on that day.
Very next day, those cheap tickets weren’t that cheap any more. So I cancelled my Barcelona trip but did not give up, I continued my research.
Et voilà ! I found new tickets but this time to LISBON!!!


Lisbon Air View
 

We can divide Lisbon to 10. You can find below top ten places in Lisbon;

1.     Baxia and Rossio

2.     Sé, Castelo and Alfama

3.     Chiado

4.     Bairro Alto

5.     Estrela, Lapa and Santos

6.     Belém adn Ajuda

7.     Avenida, Gulbenkian and Parque Eduardo

8.     Sintra

9.     Lisbon coast

10.  Parque das Naçoes

Our hotel was very close to section 7; Avenida, Gulbenkian and Parque Eduardo. So first day, right after leaving our luggage to hotel we went to “Museu Calouste Gulbenkian”. Taking pictures is not allowed so I only took pictures of museum ducks.
Ducks of the museum

Admission fee is € 8 but you can have a discount if you have Lisbon Card (http://www.golisbon.com/Lisboa-Card/)
Calouste Gulbenkian is an oil expert and business man who was born in İstanbul. Besides being a business man Calouste Gulbenkian is a collector. Throughout his life, he assembled a unique collection. In the museum you can see precious pieces such as Portrait of Madame Claude Monet, Still life with melon.

After Museum; we headed to Avenida and Parque Eduardo (Well, actually there is nothing special at Parque Eduardo)

Avenida or Avenida Da Liberdade is main boulevard of the city. This 1.3 km connects boulevard  to Parque Eduardo, at the end of it you can reach to Baxia and Rossio.Avenida is a posh and nice place. It is covered with luxury brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton and palm trees. It is nice walk there.

If you feel hungry you can stop by “marisqueira santa marta” and have nice fishes.  But please keep in my; the place is not open at lunch hours. (http://www.marisqueirasantamarta.pt.vu/)
Forgot to take pictures of fancy shops

 
Every European city has a straight street where you can find almost everything. Straight Street of Lisbon is called Rua Augusta. Rua Augusta is main Pedestrian Street of Baixa.
So Baixa and of course Rua Augusto is located between Rossio and Praça do Comércio. If you are fancy in traditonaol travel shopping (like buying magnets and key chains as souvenirs) Rua Augusto is the right place. The street is covered with souvenir shops, stores like Zara, Mango and you can  also find resturants, cafes.


Rua Augusto at night
At the river side of Rua Augusto you’ll notice (it is not impossible to notice) a huge, white arch. Rua Augusto Arch is like door which opens to Praça do Comércio. Before telling you Praça do Comércio or in English Commerce Square I would like mention about the arch a little bit.
 
Arch and Rua Augusto
Maybe you know maybe not, on 1755 a great earthquake was occurred in Lisbon. Lisbon was totally destroyed. After earthquake, the city was rebuilt and in order to remember this enormous catastrophe Rua Augusto Arch was built.
Severity of damage done by earthquake and hugeness of the arch is parallel. You’ll see four statues, they represent

·         Nuno Alvares Pereira

·         Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo

·         Marquis of Pombal

·         Vasco da Gama

 
If you like take aerial viewpoint of the city you can climb the arch
  
Who wants to take a picture?
 
Before the earthquake, Praça do Comércio was home of royal buildings. But today it is a square which is located near to Tagus River where people meet.
 
 
   
So in the middle of square a king welcomes you. Don José was the king of Portugal at the time of 1755 earthquake.
Long Live The King
 
The Square was also main scene of political acts; in 1908 King and his was killed in there and in 25 May 1974 with Carnation Revolution the regime of the Estado Novo was overthrew. Billions of people gathered there during the Revolution.
 
 
You'll love the view which seen from square. Tagus River, 25th of April Bridge and Jesus Christ monument. If you like take pictures of the sunset  Praça do Comércio is the right place.
 
 

Love
 
More Rua Augusto
 

12/16/2013

Travels, trips and journeys: Wonder Workers

Travels, trips and journeys: Wonder Workers: What can mankind do to be remembered? Or what can you do to evoke admiration? Or is it too important to leave a mark in this impermanent wo...

12/12/2013

Travels, trips and journeys: I LOVE YOU, AMSTERDAM!

Travels, trips and journeys: I LOVE YOU, AMSTERDAM!: People are becoming wiser when their 30's? Well, did I become wiser? No! I'm still a fool but not that much. Better than nothing I ...

One Way Ticket to AMSTERDAM!


People are becoming wiser when their 30's? Well, did I become wiser? No! I'm still a fool but not that much. Better than nothing I guess? Do I know what I want? No! But at least I know what I do not want (Even that part is not crystal clear). And I know one thing for sure, I want to travel. I can't stop my desire for travelling. So, last weekend I was at Amsterdam...
I Amsterdam and me, trying hurt my self.


Before telling my Amsterdam journey, I would like to say something;

When I was 18, I was thinking I would drown in cash, be CEO of a top notch company&career psycho, and have lots of Louis Vuitton bags at my 30.

Now I'm 30 I'm not drowning in cash, I'm working as a tax consultant and trying to be a CPA (such a loser I'm), I do not have even one Louis Vuitton bag.

But those things that I wanted when I was 18 are not required any more (expect the bags). Only thing that matters for me is being a good human being.

So far I have learned something for sure, titles and money will vanish. One day we'll all get old, only the memories will stay with us. So earn memories, have something to remember and tell.

Do not stay at home, travel; you don't have to be rich to travel. Travelling is not a luxury but a necessity.

Oh, God! I talked too much. I'm sorry the tiny city Amsterdam, home of great painters.

Now, I'm giving all my attention to you.


I love myself, does it count?
As I mentioned, city is small but content is huge. There are 2 big and important museums first of all. Van Gogh and Rijks Museums.



I have been Amsterdam before, this time it was only for 1.5 days of journey so we went to only Rijks Museum. It took 3.5 hours to visit all museum and please note that; it was a quick tour. If you do not have 3.5 hours, I recommend you to visit Gallery of Honour where you can find Rembrandt, Vermeer. One floor below, you'll see Van Gogh and Monet.





A quick question, what is name of Rembrandt's most famous painting? Could you recognize it?


There it is, the great Night Watch;





What makes the Night Watch so great? I guess the details, you feel like Frans Banning Cocq will leave frame and talk towards you. The painting is not still, every figure is moving.

By the way, original name of the painting is The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq.

Look at Vermeer's the most famous painting. He paid attention to every small detail, there is a nail on the wall, and window glass is broken....



Look how she is pouring the milk carefully; everything is still except the milk. It feels like you can hear the sound of pouring milk.
 
Kitchen Maid

If only a servant is only handling a letter to a lady, why this painting is called as "love letter"? Because the cittern that is holding is the symbol of love.

Love Letter



Rembrandt's self-portrait

Another Vermeer, a young lady is reading a letter, you the map behind her; they say it could be an allusion to the sender.




After Rijks we headed to Red Light District. Even if the place famous with drugs and prostitution, it's a big place with nice cafes and bars. There is even a church there.

But just to follow customs we bought a small cake and saw hookers.

Be careful, you are not allowed to take pictures of ladies.



 
Break in the case of emergency
 

After walking around Red Light, we went to Dam Square, saw Ukrainian protesters. Square was preparing for Christmas, pity, we could not see the big Christmas tree.

 
Decorating Christmas tree

I'm supporting every body who demands justice


So after Dam Square we biked to again Leidseplein. Yes bike, I recommend you to hire a bike. Biking is perfect way to travel in the city. Since the city is small biking is the best solution.

We rented our bikes from our hotel for 16 EURO (daily price). We stayed Hotel Central Park. It was a OK hotel, clean sheets and room, no breakfast service.

Hotel was close to Vondel Park, approximately 1.5 km to Museum Quarter.
 


When it comes to food, Amsterdam is not famous with its food. If you are fancy in french fries you are in the right place.

We went Hard Rock Cafe at Leidseplein near to canal, typical American food, meat, hamburger and shitty beer.

When you are in Amsterdam your expectations from beer is huge but do not expect too much. I haven't taste any good beer but thanks to God they had Belgium beers.

At night, we went to a bar called Momo, nice bar where white collars hang out. After reaching enough alcohol in our bloods we again biked to Red Light District.

Then somehow, we found our hotel, went to bed. The day that we left, we went to a nice breakfast place, called Anne&Max. It was really close to our hotel. We spend our last in Amsterdam with having breakfast and praying for a blizzard. With a blizzard we could spend one more day in Amsterdam but we were in İstanbul on time.

Yummy

Some clichés;

 
 



 

11/24/2013

Wonder Workers

What can mankind do to be remembered? Or what can you do to evoke admiration? Or is it too important to leave a mark in this impermanent world? What is ambition?
Or can I simply ask how many wonders of ancient world can you tell?
I can tell seven, thanks to Heredot who brouht the idea of wonders of world.
 

Heredot


As it is seen subject of this posting is about wonders of  ancient  world. Well, I'm not planning to mention all of them. I would like to talk about "The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus "

While my friends were having nice times with their cold beers, I was looking for Tomb of Mausolus under the burning sun of Bodrum. (My love for archaeology is making me a lonely person. No body wants to join me, but they don't know what they are missing.)

I said "I was looking for Tomb of Mausolus" because there was no sign which indicates the place. I found it by change and asking people.
There is also no sign in front museum says there is a museum in here

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus was built  for Mausolus by Artemisia II of Caria, who was wife of King Mausolu.
The forgetten architects of the tomb were Satyros and Pythius of Priene.

After death of  Mausolus the wife and also the sister (yes, sister... Odd things can happen in ancient world) decided to build  a magnificent tomb for her husband.  When the construction was finised the tomb was over 130 feet high and erected hills of Halicarnassus (Bodrum). So The King could watch the his city and his beloved wife.
 Mankind tries to cover its weekness and fears with great buildings and magnificent temples. Below pictures, you see a chariot with horses, they are pulling the king and his wife.





 The tomb was damaged with an earthqueke at 14th century (AD). This is how the wonder looks like at 21th century:

 




British archaeologist Charles Thomas Newton discovered the tomb, so remining parts of the Mausoleum are the British Museum, away from their home. Since we are not capable to protect or value our history,  I believe, Mausoleum is safer in England. Those are what left from wonder of ancient world








Amazon Relief

Poor King Mausolu and his wife, despite their great effort to be remembered, world already forgot them.

But I do remember you, may your god bless your immortal souls! You are the mother and father of this great tomb so I'll never forget you.



 

10/13/2013

Halicarnassus, memories of a sunny day

It's october, winter is coming. The days we had sun bath under the Aegean sun are over.
But memories are still fresh! So what do I remember? Firstly, I remember the song about Bodrum, secondly Bodrum Castle or  Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

The castle was  built by The Knights of Saint John between the years 1406 and 1522

Arms of Knights
 After conquest of Rhodes, the castle was captured by Ottomans.

Marks from Ottomans



As the irony of fate the castle was built with rocks of one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient World, The Mausoleum of Halicarnasus.
I said irony because, there is almost nothing left from Mausoleum of Halicarnasus. But, this is another subject of another writing.
These days, castle having calm days compared to Ottoman & The Knights of Saint John times. It is now served as a museum.
Admission fee is TL 20.
The castle is huge, it is possible to spend like 4-5 hours to visit entire castle. This "must see museum" is one of the best underwater archaelogy museum of the world.

Amphoras

An amphora is a double handed clay jar. In the ancient times, amphoras were used for commercial purposes. They were used to store wine, olive oil and dry food. At first glance, all amphoras look like same,  double handed  terra cotta jars. For instance pointed amphoras were used for trading. Because they took small place. Roman amphoras have rims with a long neck. Knidion amphoras have cone shaped handles.




Bodrum Museum has a huge amphora collection. Because most of those amphoras were found in water excavations.




The Glass Hall

In the Glass Hall you can find glass artifacts dating from 14th century (BC) to 11th century (AD)

 



 
The Snake Tower
At the entrance of tower you'll see a snake. Snake is symbol of medicine. So the tower was used as medical room.
But today it is home of amphoras all around the world.



Carian Princess
 
Carian Princess, her name is Ada and known as step mother of Alexander The Great. She was found in an excavation in Bodrum. The foundings were sent to Manchester University for facial reconstruction. So you can see what looks like Princess Ada. Between the years 344-341 BC, she became Persian Satrap and ruled Caria.
At Carian Princess hall, it is not allowed to take pictures.



 Uluburun Shipwreck

The Uluburun shipwreck is the oldest wracked of the world.


Real size replica
The ship was 15 m long and it could carry 20 tons of cargo. The ship was carrying
  • amber
  • gold
  • resin
  • weapons
  • clay lamps
  • pots
  • Golden seal of Nefertiti


The Dungeon