Stray off the regular tourist route and you’re bound to experience the willingness of locals to meet you. In fact, in Turkey the people are so friendly that, as Lyndall Partington discovered, you can expect an instant feast to be shared by your new friends…
“While travelling through Turkey I was astounded by the hospitability of the people. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to show you their country from their perspective and offer you a traditional home-cooked meal was amazing. Our Intrepid group was invited to join family picnics and try the local specialities, such as ice-cream that you eat with a knife and fork. Bizarre but tasty!
One morning camping in fascinating Selcuk, our base for exploring Ephesus, we woke up in our tents, struggled out into the mist to find our Turkish neighbours (who we had hardly spoken to) standing around a feast and motioning us over for a traditional Turkish breakfast of tea, white cheese, fresh bread, butter, eggs, marmalade, honey, hazelnut spread and olives. We couldn’t speak the same language but we managed to communicate based on our love of food.
And who could not love the food in Turkey? Tasty kebabs around every street corner. Then if you’ve had your fill of them, you can move on to Turkish pizza, pide or gozleme. And don’t forget those shisha water pipes to finish of the meal… one of my most memorable Turkish moments is sitting around a shisha with the locals smoking pistachio tobacco over a game of backgammon!”
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* photo by Val Shooter – Intrepid Photography Competition