Turkey – Cotton castle – Pamukkale

Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale, Turkey

Just recently, I learnt that Pamukkale means in Turkish “a cotton castle”, isn’t it a nice name?
From far, Pamukkale looks like snow, but then you see palm trees just nearby, so it cannot be so cold, and cotton is a better explanation than snow. 馃槈

Pamukkale is a natural site that consists of hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Unfortunately, Pamukkale is changing quite fast, and some years ago there was much more water. In today’s picture you see dried terraces, I think they’re still very beautiful, but tomorrow I’ll show you for a comparison terraces full of water.

We went to Pamukkale in December, so early morning may be quite chilly, but expect a warm and sunny midday. Since we started sightseeing in the morning, we thought that it’s going to be too cold to walk barefoot on the water-filled terraces, which is the only allowed way. But the water is actually very warm, so walking wasn’t a problem at all. 馃檪

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Dopiero niedawno dowiedzia艂am si臋, 偶e Pamukkale po turecku oznacza “bawe艂niany zamek”, czy偶 nie jest to 艂adna nazwa? Z daleka, Pamukkale wygl膮da jak g贸ra 艣niegu, jednak na tym “艣niegu” rosn膮 palmy, wi臋c bawe艂na wydaje si臋 by膰 lepszym pomys艂em ni偶 艣nieg. 馃槈

Pamukkale sk艂ada si臋 z wielu gor膮cych 藕r贸de艂 i taras贸w, powsta艂ych z wapiennych osad贸w. Przez wiele z tych taras贸w przep艂ywa ciep艂a woda, jednak Pamukkale zmienia si臋 i wody niestety ubywa. Wiele taras贸w jest ju偶 suchych, wed艂ug mnie to ci膮gle wygl膮da pi臋knie. Jutro Wam poka偶臋 tarasy, przez kt贸re przep艂ywa woda, a dzisiaj te wysuszone.

Po tarasach wype艂nionych wod膮 mo偶na spacerowa膰, ale tylko na boso. Z racji, 偶e byli艣my w Pamukkale w grudniu, i poranek by艂 do艣膰 ch艂odny, mieli艣my obawy przed tym spacerem. Jak si臋 okaza艂o, niepotrzebnie, woda by艂a cieplutka. 馃檪

Turkey – Pamukkale

Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous places in Turkey. I had a great time there, especially that I was there in December, so I could enjoy it without tourists crowds! 馃檪
Within the next few days I’ll tell you more about the site, but today I want to focus on practical aspects.

Pamukkale is relatively centrally located in Turkey. So very often tourists stay in bigger (coastal) cities (e.g. Izmir) or resorts (Antalya, Alanya) and take a day trip to Pamukkale. I want to encourage you to not do it! 馃檪 In a trip like that, you spend lots of hours in a bus, and then only a while in Pamukkale. Often, many groups arrive at the same time, so it’s very crowded and not nice any more.
It’s much better to rent a car (driving is very convenient in Turkey) or go by public buses and stay overnight in Pamukkale. There are many nice hotels, e.g., I can recommend to you Ayapam Hotel, that is located just a few minutes from the famous terraces. The owners are a delight and very helpful. We spend a wonderful evening with them and got interesting insides of Pamukkale.
And when you spent a night in Pamukkale, you can also enjoy sunset and sunrise! It’s always a great experience. 馃檪

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Pamukkale znajduje si臋 na li艣cie 艣wiatowego dziedzictwa UNESCO i jest to jedno z popularniejszych miejsc w Turcji, i musz臋 przyzna膰, 偶e wcale mnie to nie dziwi! Odwiedzili艣my Pamukkale w grudniu i by艂a to 艣wietna decyzja, poniewa偶 mogli艣my wszystko obejrze膰 bez t艂umu turyst贸w dooko艂a, wi臋c bardzo polecam Turcj臋 poza sezonem!

Pamukkale znajduje si臋 mniej wi臋cej po艣rodku najs艂ynniejszych atrakcji w Turcji. St膮d bardzo cz臋sto ludzie przyje偶d偶aj膮cy do Pamukkale, korzystaj膮 z jednodniowych wycieczek (np. z Antalya lub Alanya) i sp臋dzaj膮 tylko “chwilk臋” na miejscu. Chcia艂abym Was zniech臋ci膰 do tego! 馃檪 Podczas takiej jednodniowej wycieczki, wi臋kszo艣膰 czasu sp臋dza si臋 w autobusie, jest ma艂o czasu na zwiedzanie, a do tego wiele grup przyje偶d偶a w tym samym czasie, wi臋c s膮 t艂umy dooko艂a…
Zdecydowanie lepiej wynaj膮膰 samoch贸d (drogi s膮 cz臋sto w 艣wietnym stanie) lub skorzysta膰 z lokalnego autobusu i sp臋dzi膰 noc w Pamukkale. Wyb贸r hoteli jest ogromny, polecam m.in. Ayapam Hotel usytuowany bardzo blisko s艂ynnych taras贸w. A dzi臋ki temu, jest mo偶liwo艣膰 na podziwianie wschodu i zachodu s艂o艅ca oraz mo偶na zwiedzi膰 Pamukkale w najwygodniejszym dla siebie momencie. 馃檪

Turkey – Tea

Tea, Turkey
Tea, Turkey

Tea is the most popular hot drink in Turkey. In Turkey, drinking coffee also has a long history, but tea is more common and often you’ll see people in shops, parks etc. drinking tea.
So-called Turkish tea is basically a strong black tea (without milk, may be with sugar) that is served in little tulip-shaped glasses (like in today’s photo).

I love drinking tea, however mostly green tea. But at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul I tried apple tea, and that was really delicious. So now, when I think about Turkey and tea, I have in my mind that delicious taste of apple tea! I have to say, I bought some apple tea in Turkey and took it back home, but it didn’t taste the same…

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Herbata jest najpopularniejszym gor膮cym napojem w Turcji. Cho膰 tradycja picia kawy w Turcji jest d艂uga, i ka偶dy chyba s艂ysza艂 o kawie po turecku, to jednak herbata jest na pierwszym miejscu, i cz臋sto w sklepach czy na ulicy mo偶na zobaczy膰 smakoszy tego trunku. 馃檪
Typowa herbata w Turcji, to mocna czarna herbata, bez mleka, ale mo偶e by膰 s艂odzona, i obowi膮zkowa musi by膰 podana w malutkiej szklaneczce jak widoczna na dzisiejszym zdj臋ciu.

Osobi艣cie, uwielbiam herbat臋, ale przede wszystkim zielon膮. Mam te偶 swoje herbaciane wspomnienia z Wielkiego Bazaru w Stambule. Rozsmakowa艂am si臋 tam w herbacie jab艂kowej i nawet kupi艂am paczk臋 i przywioz艂am do domu. Jednak ta przyrz膮dzona w domu nie smakowa艂a ju偶 tak wy艣mienicie… Mimo wszystko, ta jab艂kowa herbata z Wielkiego Bazaru, jest moim pierwszym skojarzeniem, gdy s艂ysz臋 s艂owa “Turcja” i “herbata”. 馃檪

Turkey – Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with over three thousands shops. It’s a perfect place where you can search for unique souvenirs, species, or anything else. 馃檪
Everyday, there many people visiting the Grand Bazaar, but it’s so huge, so everyone can find his own space. Even you don’t want to buy anything, it’s still a unique experience to visit it, dive into the busyness and take pictures. 馃檪

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Wielki Bazar w Stambule jest jednym najwi臋kszych i najstarszych kryrych bazar贸w na 艣wiecie. Po艣r贸d ponad 3000 stoisk mo偶na wyszuka膰 ciekawe pami膮tki, wyj膮tkowe przyprawy i w艂a艣ciwie wszystko co mo偶na sobie za偶yczy膰. 馃槈
Codziennie, t艂umy odwiedzaj膮 Wielki Bazar, jednak my艣l臋, 偶e ka偶dy znajdzie “spokojniejszy k膮t” dla siebie. A je偶eli nie planujecie nic kupowa膰 to i tak warto si臋 tam wybra膰, poniewa偶 bazar sam w sobie jest ciekawym miejscem!

Turkey – Istanbul

Inside Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Inside Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Many people start their Turkish adventure in Istanbul. And no wonder why, it’s a beautiful city with many attractions for tourists. It has also a great history and used to be known as Constantinople or Byzantium. And it’s also one of these cities that easily could be mistaken as a capital. The capital of Turkey is, of course, Ankara. Have you been to Ankara and Istanbul? So which one of these two do you think is more beautiful? 馃槈

What are the main attractions in Istanbul? Well, there are many. Even its location is very interesting, partly in Europe, partly in Asia, by the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, so you can also enjoy the Bosphorus. In Istanbul, you’ll find buildings from different periods. However, if you don’t have too much time, visit the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (known as the Blue Mosque, in today’s photo), Yedikule Fortress, and take a walk to simply enjoy the Old City.
If you’re not in a hurry, I’m sure you can easily fill a week in Istanbul with its many, many attractions.

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Wiele os贸b, w艂a艣nie w Stambule rozpoczyna swoj膮 “tureck膮 przygod臋”. I nie ma si臋 co dziwi膰, poniewa偶 jest to pi臋kne miasto oferuj膮ce mn贸stwo atrakcji turystom. To tak偶e jedno z tych miast, kt贸re 艂atwo mo偶e by膰 wzi臋te za stolic臋. Oczywi艣cie stolic膮 Turcji jest Ankara. Czy byli艣cie w obu tych miastach? Kt贸re bardziej Wam si臋 spodoba艂o?

Stambu艂 to miasto o wielu twarzach a bogat膮 histori膮, w kt贸rym spokojnie mo偶na sp臋dzi膰 tydzie艅, a ka偶dego dnia zwiedza膰 inne zak膮tki i zdecydowanie si臋 nie nudzi膰. Samo po艂o偶enie Stambu艂u jest ciekawe, poniewa偶 cz臋艣ciowo znajduje si臋 w Europie, a cz臋艣ciowo w Azji. Stambu艂 le偶y po obu stronach cie艣niny Bosfor, nad Morzem Marmara i Morzem Czarnym.
Je偶eli macie tylko 鈥瀋hwilk臋鈥 w Stambule to przede wszystkim wybierzcie si臋 do Hagia Sofia, Meczet Su艂tana Ahmeda (zwanego B艂臋kitnym Meczetem, kt贸rego wn臋trze przedstawia dzisiejsze zdj臋cie), Twierdzy Siedmiu Wie偶 (Yedikule) oraz pospacerujcie po Starym Mie艣cie.

Turkey – Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse 2006, Turkey
Total Solar Eclipse 2006, Turkey

As I told you yesterday, my first trip to Turkey was very special and connected with my profession. I’m aware, it has almost nothing in common with traveling in Turkey, but I’m an astrophysicist, so I had to show you this picture. 馃榾

First, I went to Turkey in March 2006, hoping to observe a total solar eclipse by myself. And we’re very lucky, the weather was perfect and everything went fine. My camera wasn’t so good that time, but I managed to take some pictures. If you ever have a chance to witness a total solar eclipse, I can really recommend it! It’s a very unique experience, for everyone, not only for scientists! 馃檪
I really enjoyed it, not only the spectacular sun, but also nature that behaved in a special way. We’re outside Konya, completely alone, and could really observe how birds and other tiny animals behaved differently, and how silent everything became when the sun was completely covered. Simply amazing!

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Tak jak wczoraj wspomnia艂am, moja pierwsza wizyta w Turcji by艂a zwi膮zana z moim zawodem i pasj膮. Wiem, 偶e to prawie nie ma nic wsp贸lnego z podr贸偶owaniem po Turcji, jednak z racji 偶e jestem astrofizykiem, musia艂am Wam pokaza膰 to zdj臋cie. 馃檪

To by艂 marzec 2006 roku, gdy po raz pierwszy wybra艂am si臋 do Turcji, wtedy z marzeniem o zaobserwowaniu ca艂kowitego za膰mienia s艂o艅ca. I uda艂o si臋, pogoda by艂a idealna! 馃檪 M贸j 贸wczesny aparat fotograficzny nie by艂 najlepszej klasy, ale uda艂o mi si臋 sfotografowa膰 r贸偶ne fazy za膰mienia. 馃檪 Je偶eli kiedy艣 b臋dziecie mieli okazj臋 do艣wiadczy膰 ca艂kowitego za膰mienia s艂o艅ca, to bardzo, bardzo polecam! 馃檪 To niesamowite prze偶ycie, nie tylko dla naukowc贸w! 馃檪
Na za膰mienie, znale藕li艣my odludne miejsce, niedaleko Konya i dzi臋ki temu zachwycali艣my si臋 nie tylko s艂o艅cem, ale i przyrod膮, kt贸ra dos艂ownie ucich艂a i zamar艂a na czas ca艂kowitej fazy za膰mienia. Jedyne w swoim rodzaju do艣wiadczenie!

Turkey – Introduction

Nazar (amulet), Turkey
Nazar (amulet), Turkey

In March, I want to show you the beauty of Turkey. Have you been to Turkey? Since many years, I think Turkey has been a popular touristic destination. I’ll show you some of the places I’ve visited during my two visits. First time, I went to Turkey by car from Poland, it was a very special trip, and tomorrow, you’ll see why. 馃檪
Second time for visiting Turkey’s excavated ancient sites, and they’re very impressive!

And just a word about today’s picture, do you know what’s in it? This blue eye is a nazar, an amulet believed to protect against the evil eye. I think, it’s the most popular souvenir from Turkey, however you can find it in many other countries!

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W marcu, chc臋 Wam pokaza膰 pi臋kno Turcji. Byli艣cie w Turcji? Wydaje mi si臋, 偶e od wielu lat Turcja jest bardzo popularnym kierunkiem na letni wypoczynek. Zaprezentuj臋 Wam kilka z moich ulubionych lub wa偶niejszych miejsc, kt贸re warto odwiedzi膰. Dotychczas, by艂am w Turcji dwa razy. Pierwsza wizyta by艂a zwi膮zana z moim zawodem, jutro opowiem Wam wi臋cej. 馃檪
Drugi raz, zaplanowa艂am zwiedzanie staro偶ytnych ruin w Turcji, s膮 niesamowite!

I jeszcze kilka s艂贸w na temat dzisiejszego zdj臋cia. Wiecie co przedstawia? To tzw. nazar, czyli amulet maj膮cy chroni膰 przed “z艂ym okiem”. Wydaje mi si臋, 偶e jest to najcz臋艣ciej kupowana pami膮tka z Turcji, chocia偶 to niebieskie oko jest popularne r贸wnie偶 w wielu innych krajach!

Norway – Final impression

Northern lights, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Northern lights, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

And today, I finish my winter Norwegian experience. For the last picture I chose another kind of northern lights. This time, you see “dancing” northern lights. They’re not so strong here, but I guess, you can feel the movement. 馃檪

And my traditional question, how did you like February on my blog? I know, I focused basically on two places, Oslo and Kirkenes in winter. I had a great experience there, so I wanted to share it with you and show the beauty of snowy winter, hopefully I managed. 馃檪

p.s. Stay tuned! Tomorrow, we’re starting a new series, I can promise there is going to be lots of Sun. 馃檪

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I dzisiaj, ju偶 ostatnie zdj臋cie, ko艅cz膮ce zimow膮 seri臋 o Norwegii. Na t臋 okazj臋 wybra艂am jeszcze jeden obraz zorzy polarnej, tym razem “ta艅cz膮c膮”. Zorza tutaj nie jest zbyt intensywna, ale my艣l臋, 偶e mo偶na “poczu膰” jej ruch. 馃槈

I jak zwykle zapytam, jak Wam si臋 podoba艂 luty na moim blogu? Wiem, 偶e skupi艂am si臋 praktycznie na dw贸ch miejscach, zimowych Oslo i Kirkenes. Jednak chcia艂am podzieli膰 si臋 moimi cudownymi chwilami i pokaza膰 Wam pi臋kn膮 zim臋. Mam nadziej臋, 偶e mi si臋 uda艂o. 馃檪

p.s. Jutro zaczynamy now膮 seri臋, i mog臋 ju偶 obieca膰, 偶e b臋dzie du偶o S艂o艅ca. 馃檪

Norway – Eating crabs

Eating crabs, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Eating crabs, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Eating king crabs is also part of the “fishing king crabs” experience in the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes.
After fishing, it’s time to observe how king crabs are prepared (i.e., cutting off the legs from the body) and cooked. The recipe is quite simple, some 20 minutes in salty water and the crabs are ready to be eaten, preferably with the right ambience like in a cosy farmhouse by a lake. 馃檪

In the picture, you see a crab’s leg. At first, eating them sounds a bit complicated, but you can master it very fast. 馃檪 Its meat has a kind of sweet taste and it’s very soft and delicious! I wouldn’t mind to have a meal like that everyday! 馃榾
If you ever have the chance, try it! Of course, I can recommend fresh crabs from Norwegian fjords. 馃槈

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Jedzenie krab贸w kr贸lewskich to nieroz艂膮czna cz臋艣膰 “艂owienia krab贸w” – wycieczki w Snow Hotel, Kirkenes. Gdy kraby s膮 ju偶 wy艂owione, mo偶na podpatrze膰 jak si臋 je przyrz膮dza. Przepis jest bardzo prosty, wystarczy je pogotowa膰 w osolonej wodzie oko艂o 20 minut. A nast臋pnie w uroczym, cieplutkim domku nad jeziorem, mo偶na je skonsumowa膰. 馃檪

Na zdj臋ciu wida膰 jedn膮 z n贸g kraba. Pocz膮tkowo jedzenie krab贸w kr贸lewskich wydaje si臋 by膰 pewnym wyzwaniem, jednak szybko t臋 sztuk臋 mo偶na opanowa膰. I w ko艅cu odpowied藕 jak smakuje mi臋so kraba kr贸lewskiego – jest rewelacyjne! Jest to pyszne, delikatne mi臋so o s艂odkim posmaku, i szczerze m贸wi膮c, nie mia艂abym nic przeciwko aby je艣膰 taki posi艂ek codziennie! 馃榾
Je偶eli b臋dziecie mieli okazj臋, to bardzo polecam spr贸bowa膰! Oczywi艣cie, najlepsze kraby to te 艣wie偶o z艂owione z norweskich fiord贸w. 馃槈

Norway – King crabs

King crab, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
King crab, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Fishing Arctic King Crabs on the frozen fjords of Kirkenes is another unique experience from the Snow Hotel. I have to say, at the beginning, I didn’t expect too much out of this. However, it happened we had a really great time! So if you are planning to go there but still unsure about doing “king crabs fishing”, trust me, it’s really worthy!

Fishing them is relatively easy, just be careful while holding king crabs, they are huge!

These crabs go by many names. There is “king crab” because of its blue blood. Some may have heard them by the name “Stalin crab”.
The later one, I guess, it’s a local name given by the Norwegians… simply because these crabs were introduced by the Russians and made with time their ways deep into the Norwegian coastal waters
King crabs are very big, live long and they are aggressive. They eat basically everything on their way. In times and places of food shortage they even eat each others! It has been documented that king crabs destroy ecosystems. In the waters nearby Kirkenes, king crabs have exterminated other species of crabs. However Norwegians try to confine king crabs to particular areas, but with limited success. And, unfortunately, money is always an issue… King crab’s meat is very precious, and there is never an easy solution when economy is in conflict with ecology…

As I mentioned above, king crab’s meat is expensive and you can find it in top restaurants; tomorrow I’ll tell you is whether it’s overrated or not. 馃檪

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艁owienie krab贸w kr贸lewskich na zamarzni臋tym fiordzie to kolejna, wyj膮tkowa atrakcja w Snow Hotel. Cho膰 musz臋 przyzna膰, 偶e pocz膮tkowo nie wydawa艂o mi si臋 to zbyt interesuj膮ce, bardzo mi艂o si臋 zaskoczy艂am. I teraz wiem, 偶e gdyby艣my to odpu艣cili to wiele by艣my stracili!

Samo 艂owienie krab贸w nie jest zbyt trudne. Bardziej wymagaj膮ce jest utrzymanie takie wielkiego stwora. 馃槈

Te kraby maj膮 dwie nazwy, przynajmniej w Norwegii… Pierwsza, oficjalna, to krab kr贸lewski i zwi膮zana jest z niebiesk膮 krwi膮 tego gatunku.
Lokalna nazwa, to “krab Stalina”, a wzi臋艂a si臋 st膮d, 偶e te kraby przyp艂yn臋艂y do Norwegii z Rosji. Jest to do艣膰 agresywny gatunek, kt贸ry 偶ywi si臋 wszystkim (zjadaj膮 nawet siebie nawzajem), st膮d niszczy ekosystem. Dodatkowo s膮 to bardzo du偶e kraby, kt贸re d艂ugo 偶yj膮. W okolicach Kirkenes, kraby kr贸lewskie zniszczy艂y lokalny gatunek kraba. Norwegowie staraj膮 si臋 utrzyma膰 ich terytorium pod kontrol膮, jednak nie zawsze jest to proste, szczeg贸lnie gdy w gr臋 wchodz膮 pieni膮dze… Mi臋so krab贸w kr贸lewskich nale偶y do rarytas贸w, st膮d jest bardzo drogie, wi臋c niestety mo偶na na nim sporo zarobi膰… W takich sytuacjach ekologia rzadko wygrywa z ekonomi膮…

Mi臋so krab贸w kr贸lewskich mo偶na znale藕膰 w najlepszych restauracjach; jutro opisz臋 czy jest przereklamowane. 馃槈