Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Anatolian Textiles in Transylvania

Classic gül (rose/flower) and cross design

Today I went to the Sabanci Museum in Emirgan with my friend Alex. This is an exhibit made for grandma. It was all Turkish carpets or embroderies from our region that were taken to Romania, the Transylvania area, to be displayed in churches when they all broke away from the Catholics and whitewashed their churches. Apparently around the 15th century they got bored with white and started importing vast numbers of Turkish, Turkmen, and other Turkic tribes textiles. Some of the pieces were really phenomenal!

Embroidery from Dagistan (southern Russia)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

San Sebastían

Eating breakfast in Paz's mom (age 90)'s kitchen in Madrid. I don't have a picture of her unfortunately, but she was very sweet and fed me lots when I showed up, almost a complete stranger, at her door at 11 pm.

Iñigo picked me up at the bus station in Madrid

Out for late night pintxos in La Parte Vieja

Gros and the surfer beach

Looking out over the harbor and the Playa de la Concha and el Centro - where we lived

Paz, me, Enrique and some classic Donostia weather

The wind combs

The paseo de la Concha

Enrique & Paz paseoing along the beach

The bakery, Labeak, where we used to go everyday. I had hot, fresh romanos from here, just like old times!

The building, #3 - it's much uglier than I remember...

Calle Elcano, in front of building three where the fam lived in Spring 2002

No trip to Spain is complete without the hanging ham legs photo

The second part of my trip: I took the hour train ride back to Alicante, took the 4 hour train from there to Madrid, waited an hour, and took the 11 pm night train 8 hours to San Sebastian. There, Paz picked me up at 7 am, gave me a quick tour of the city in the rain and took me home and fed me (fresh coffee and fresh bread over lots of talk). That day I got another whirlwind tour from Enrique and Monica, and we had a great huge lunch and siesta, and then more paseo later that day. They were incredible hosts as well, a great family, were very patient with my Spanish and fed me very well!

San Sebastian is even more beautiful than I remember, especially compared to many of the places that I've seen since then, and I definitely want to go back since one night and two most-days wasn't really enough.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Spain: Costa Blanca

We dug a huge hole and (mostly) buried ourselves in it. I still have sand in my suit as a souvenir.

Isabel, me, Natalie, fun!

Natalie, Isabel and Kristin on the beach

The beach: 4 minutes away walking = rough life

I swear this was Kristin's idea not mine!

Classic not to be missed not to be repeated more than once a week chocolate con churros. Spaniards are definitely onto something with this one.

Running in Villajoyosa on the beach with Natalie

View from the house terrace

Isabel with paella

I went to Spain for the week in between finals and I spent three nights and 4 days with the Jamerson girls in the house they're renting from a British writer for the summer. It was beautiful and they were incredible hosts!


Hakan and I on the ferry

Mad waffles.

Horse drawn carriage almost running me over! Smile!

Hakan at the top of a bit of a hill a little warm and enjoying the wafting scent of horses

On sunday ... or saturday - anyway, over the weekend Hakan and I went to the Prince Islands. Just Islands if you speak Turkish. They're about a 1.5 - 2 hour ferry ride from the city though that's only because the boat is going about as fast as global warming. We went to the farthest island, called the Big Island, which was filled with Istanbulite tourists teetering on bicycles, packing into hawking cafes and careening around in more horse drawn carriages than I've ever seen in one place, let alone an island that's probably only 5 km across. Great festival atmosphere. We left early because it was hot and smelled bad but we had fun nonetheless... and then when we got back to Istanbul we went to see Pirates of the Carribean 3.


Simit seller. This guy once stopped to talk to me when I was doing my homework on a bench on the water and gave me a free simit. He has three kids and lives in one of the slums far away and he comes to this side of the Bosphorus everyday to sell simit to the fishermen.

Someone's grandfathers

Men fishing in Arnavutköy


Yufka shop. They just make yufka.

The Bosphorus at night looking at Asia

The track where I run at school

The water near Bebek and some serious sea weed.

These are just some random pictures around Istanbul and the Bosphorus

Ballıkayalar: MORE Climbing in Turkey

Lots of Turks trying to get out of the hot sun

Chris and Ralf awaiting the arrival of a rope

On Sunday I bummed a ride with an American, Chris, working for Pepsi in Turkey and we went out climbing again. There were a ton of people and it was really hot, we tried to set a climb but the rope was too short so a Turk who goes to Stanford and has great English climbed another rope up for us, and I on-sited a 6+.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spring Break

Since you can't buy buttermilk in Turkey, I hadn't had pancakes in ages, so for three mornings in a row we made buttermilk pancakes over the camp stove, one at a time. It took Bryan an average of two hours to carefully cook the whole batch, using a special "wave the pan over flame" technique (after I severly burned the first couple of pancakes that ended up with soggy middles and a mild metal aftertaste, Bryan took over).

We went camping in Squamish for several days. It rained on us, but we got enough sunshine and a break from the wet to go rock climbing in the Smoke Bluffs for an afternoon. This was just a neat looking canyon through the granite.

This tree had fallen (with encouragement) from a rock face above and got turned into one of the coolest staircases I've ever seen - 50 stairs out of one log!

At climbing on one of the faces in Squamish

Bryan and one of the beautiful, raging waterfalls near the Chief.

The next day, since it was quite rainy, we decided to hike to the top of the Stawamus Chief. For those of you who don't know Squamish but are familiar with Yosemite, it's like taking El Capitan and laying it on it's side. The chief is basically a huge cliff of granite. We hiked up and around the back side of it to two of the three "peaks" (highest points - around 690 - 710 meters respectively).

It rained the whole time we were hiking, right up until the end when we were almost back at the trailhead. We didn't actually make it to the top of either of the two peaks we hiked too - the wind was blowing so fiercely we didn't want to end up flying over the shear cliffs off to one side, and it was cold enough that we didn't feel the need to clamber up the last 15 meters of bare rock. It was really fun and really beautiful!

Looking out at Howe Sound from the trailhead area.

The Chief (we were almost at those top bits!) from Squamish.

More photos of Howe Sound in rare moments of sunshine.

Part of Whidbey Island and other watery-green places in Western Washington, from a mountain.

Bryan overlooking Whidbey Island, WA

Rock climbing in Washington

For my Spring Break, I flew to Seattle where Bryan picked me up. We went to the Symphony and heard Bobby McFerrin sing, drove out to Port Angeles and went to church and stayed with his parents, took a ferry and drove up through Washington, visited Camp in Canada, went camping, climbing, and hiking in Squamish for a few days, and came back to Seattle in time for me to fly out a week later. It was a very, very nice break for me (no big cities! clean air! No traffic! fresh water! TREES! the outdoors!) even if it wasn't as exotic as going to Egypt (though safer and cheaper.)