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Loco for Lokum: on assignment inTurkey The lowdown on winning the 2011 World Nomads/Rough Guides Scholarship...

Dawn to Dusk on the Mediterranean

TURKEY | Monday, 20 June 2011 | Views [1381]

After spending the previous evening with Jodi enjoying a delicious dinner of fresh fish and shrimp at the highly recommended Bahce Balik restaurant and downing possibly a little too much wine, we were keen to keep the morning laid-back. Wisely opting out of the second day of kayaking on the tour itinerary, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then wandered up to the Friday bazaar, where an array of food vendors showcased, amongst other things, luminous colored teas and the brightest, plumpest tomatoes I’ve ever seen. And of course, there was Turkish Delight (or Lokum as it’s known in Turkish), as ubiquitous to Turkey as the red bus is to London. The time had come to tuck in and I didn’t hold back, filling a box with as many flavors as I could find and reviewing them as follows:

Pomegranate – Weird 

Orange – Nice enough

Lemon – Yum!

Mint – Like accidentally swallowing a mouthful of toothpaste

Watermelon – Tastes like watermelon

Rose – Simple, yet perfect

Vanilla – Deliciously sweet

Strawberry – Sickly yet strangely satisfying

Banana – Downright bizarre

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Tea Selections at the local bazaar

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A vendor at the bazaar

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Jacked up on sugar, we hopped on a bus to the neighboring town of Kalkan, a 30 minute drive from Kaş, where we strolled aimlessly around the cobblestone streets, gorged on Italian pizza, gushed over embroidered scarves and mistook a police station for the bus station (much to the officers’ bemusement). 

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Me and Jodi, chilling out in Kalkan

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Kalkan

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Kalkan beach

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Back in Kaş, we soon headed out again, this time for our tour group’s farewell dinner, a wine-fuelled affair at the popular local restaurant Mama’s Kitchen where I indulged in the house special – a decadent baked pastry filled with layers of meat and spinach. Adjourning to a terrace bar for some cocktail drinking and dancing, the night quickly descended into madness as a group gathered on the dance floor for perhaps the most random DJ set of all time featuring traditional Turkish pop music, some 80’s power ballads, the entire Shakira back catalog and the kind of tracks that would feature on a compilation CD entitled ‘Disco Hits You Hoped You’d Never Dance to Again’.  But dance we did, until the sun was long gone and everyone had left, one by one, leaving just me and Awnhee acting like a pair of giggling schoolgirls who’d been allowed to stay up late. Must be something in the Mediterranean air!

Tags: beaches, istanbul, kalkan, mediterranean, sea, travel writing, travel writing scholarship, turkey

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