Monday, December 5, 2011

Kusadasi, Turkey Part 2: Hookah and a Turkish Lunch

After spending the morning with the locals in town, we decided we needed to hit up the beach. Getting there was a pain. The taxi driver ripped us off, the beach was super crowded and dirty, but after wading out into the clear, warm, blue Mediterranean, perspective came back real quick. A memory I'll have for the rest of my life. The experience reminded Emi and I how fortunate we truly are.

One of my top priorities going into this trip was to smoke hookah in Turkey. We found a nice beach side lounge and ordered an Effes beer and a hookah.

Smooth, apple hookah. Also for those of you unfamiliar, it's perfectly legal. When you smoke hookah you smoke flavored, molasses flavored tobacco through a water pipe. Instead of a harsh smoke, you inhale a sweet (apple, mango, mint, lemon, caramel, etc) flavored tobacco.

Honestly there is nothing more relaxing than having a view of the Mediterranean with a beer and hookah pipe in hand with no where to go.

All of that reflection and relaxing I was hungry. We headed back into town to pick up some Turkish food. I was a little disappointed by the availability of good Turkish food ( there was an abundance of burgers, pizza, and pasta), but we finally found a place that looked decent.

I started with their minestrone soup. I expected it to be thicker, but it was more of a broth with a slight lemon aftertaste. The soup was a nice, light, palette cleaner. Subtle and delicious, not like the overpowering Mediterranean food I had come to expect.

Boom, straight into the gyro combo dish. The rice was cooked in some form of meat grease/broth which added a lot of flavor. The meat of course had all the spices we enjoyed throughout the trip which included lots of salt and garlic. They drizzled a tomato sauce on top of the meat and served the meat and rice with fresh tomatoes and a grilled pepper. Also what is a gyro dish without fries!

Emi went a slightly different route with the meat skewers. All in all, a solid filling meal.

mmm, my favorite, Turkish desserts. Crispy, light, honey soaked filo over stuffed pistachios and other nuts.

We weren't done yet. Emi wasn't ready to get on the boat yet, so we stopped in the port for some gelato. Big mistake! Never eat in the port right off the cruise ships unless you want to pay double if not triple what you would across the street.

Luckily the girl who served us was friendly and made for great company. However the gelato, Turkish coffee, Turkish delights, and water ran us each $20. Emi wouldn't let me drink the water, at that price though what a waste!

Emi and my expensive ass gelato :). Nothing compares to the gelato in Italy, however on a hot, humid day like the one we experienced in Kusadasi, the gelato was a nice treat before we headed back on board the cruise ship.

- Kyle

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