Monday, December 1, 2008

Urla revisited


As we visited our fav restaurant Begendik Abi ('we loved it, brother' or 'we loved it, sister') to eat some very soft meatballs with rice (sweet!), we had another excuse to revisit some of the spots in Urla we like a lot, but didn´t have pictures from.

Also we wanted to show you devious pictures from the house, shot from the right angle the grass is greener than green:

still in use, but slowly people are taking these carriages to their gardens too..

Urla's older parts

The house from the back

house from the side

Urlanian, Urlaoop, Urlaman, UrlaWurlakidoki, urlawoozieboozie..ehr..

Other Cami (three very old ones can be found here)

Other sight on the older parts (before)


The area to our left

We caught this lady working the fields

This is Urla's harbour, Iskele. (ours is the 2nd boat on the right)

Ofcourse, there´s nothing as good as the real thing ;) 

So anybody feeling the urge to drop by and come over to visit will be greeted with an open door and a warm welcome from the Janse family. 

The beer is cold (the port is op ;), the BBQ's burning and the sucuk's on the table: Turkiyeye hos geldin!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Urla, authentic, chaotic, sometimes charming

Ever wondered what this town Urla exactly looks like?
Well it is a town of farmers ! At the bank or postoffice you can smell the 'farm' smells haha, and everywhere are traces of farm land.
Tractors, fields, men wearing high boots..
It makes Urla not a very modern or ''beautiful' place.
We know Urla now for 6 six years, and a few weeks ago the first nice, modern coffee shop was opened!
Urla has it charming sides, the old greek houses, of which a few now are restaurated and will be shops or restaurants. An old mosque here, a mysterious small street there, a tiny bazaar, a lane with palm trees, little shops everywhere, a few green parks, a beautiful city council building...
The major, half his staff and the kadastre staff were in prison for a while due to fraud; this has stopped a major construction project in the heart of Urla.
There is a huge hole in the ground, where the shopping centre/parking lot should have been built.
The fraud says enough about professional city management, there is none!
Look at Bodrum, look at Alacati; without a proper vision of city council management what to do with a town, Urla will remain a farmers town, little change and development.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Finally some pics of our house!

A view on our IKEA kitchen from the living room

Here a few pictures of our house..We bought new furniture, the terrace in front of the living room is finished, a few walls in the garden are ready etc.
We are very happy to live here in Urla! There are still zillion projects on our list, from small things to do, to big project like our garden, but we are limited by our budget and depending on carpenters, gardeners, construction people and most importantly: ourselves... we are not easy decision makers!
Almost every evening we make a long walk in the country side, it is really beautiful, ofcourse construction work is going on, but most of the land is owned by farmers or olive yards.

Above left: our terrace/ right: our kitchen. Look closely to find Femke in one of the drawers!
She loves to play with the (plastic) plates, cups etc in this corner of the kitchen.
A view on the living room from the study
We still need nice pictures on the wall in front of you, and ofcoure the fire place is still missing

Above left: Femke's play corner/right new furniture

Above : a view from the kitchen. The fences were necessary as Femke wanted to climb all stairs.
Very dangerous!

Above left, our terrace, where we sat and ate most of the Summer
Right: new finished garden walls, very nice ! We are happy to have found 2 men who
worked like horses. Unfortunately they are in their home town at the moment and
return to Urla end of October! Hopefully they can finish their work before the rain
season starts

Monday, October 13, 2008

Femke's milestones

Femke is now almost 14 months and I thought it is interesting to write about her development/achievements so far.

* Well last night was the first night that she slept in her own room! I was hesistant to do this BUT she didn't even notice that we were not in the room anymore. She still woke up 3 times in the night, at 12, at 4 and 5, and at 5 I breastfed her and then she slept till 6.45. But more importantly is that this is a very big change for her and us!

* She walks most of the time now and really enjoys that ! So we bought shoes for the first time, for 2 reasons; firstly it is mid October and although it is still 25 degrees, it is much colder in the morning and shoes protect against cold and rain. Secondly, I let her free to walk in parks, malls, pavement, shops, museums etc... Till now she did that barefoot, but comments from Turkish people AND dirty floors made me decide that it is better to have her wearing shoes. She likes the shoes! She is aware she is wearing 'adult things' and can play with her new and old small sized shoes (which she never wore).

* When she is hungry she ofcourse cried when she was smaller... a few months ago she pointed with her finger that she wanted something to eat, now she makes a noice with her lips which indicates she wants something to eat. She is more and more copying sounds animals make, although they are far from similar to the sounds we make.

* She now understands simple sentences as "get the ball" "bring the book" or 'sit down' or 'give this to daddy'.

* She is humming songs and making gestures to go along with it.

* When I change her diaper, she tries to grab the diaper and smell it saying 'bah'. She now knows that she is doing something in/t0/with the diaper, and that it smells bad.. but she is still laughing everytime I hold the dirty diaper in front of her.

* She can walk backwards and doing that with a big smile.

* She can fool you! We found that out while feeding her grapes; she likes to feed you as well BUT that time she brought the grape close to my mouth and suddenly took her hand back and ate the grape herself.

* And for me (Meryem) a very important point: I can leave her alone with someone else than her father for a few hours! Next Monday I will try for the first time to stay away for a whole morning. I am still breastfeeding so every 4-5 hours she wants me for that reason, but when I am not around she will need to be satisfied with alternative food/drinks.

And for the rest what is so lovable about her: she is not afraid of animals, she likes other children and walks up to them, she is very social and not afraid of strangers, for example in a restaurant the other day, one of the waiters (male!) entertained her for 2 hours and she had a good time, she gives you hugs and kisses, she bites with her 4 teeth in my belly and when I say 'AUW' she laughs, she plays hide and seek, she can play alone for at least half an hour, she comes and sit on your lap with her back to you, she wants to sit on my lap when I feed her..........

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Athens Sept 2008

It is holy holidays in Turkey and Arthur's firm closes down for a whole week. Jippie, always a good time to go on a long holiday. We choose Athens, we have been here during the Olympic Games in 2004 but wanted to visit again and spent more time. The journey goes via the island of Samos (by boat from Kusadasi), where we take the plane to Athens. The Olympics always give an enormous boost in investments in a city, and the metrosystem is therefor new, clean, efficient and good. It takes us in 20 minutes to the centre of Athens.

We have rent an apartment this time, instead of the regular hotel bedroom. It is very convenient like this. With a seperate bedroom, Arthur and I can spend time reading and watchin tv, while our baby is sound asleep next door. And having your own kitchen is also great for cooking Femke's meals for the day. (To quote A note to new parents thinking of going on a holiday with their young one: Unless you can afford a suite, staying in a rented flat rather than in a hotel room really makes a huge difference. Not only can you cook, eat, play or nap when you feel like it, but you can actually enjoy your evenings à deux by having dinner, a chat, playing cards, watching TV etc. while your babe is safely asleep in another room.)

Our first day we walk up to the Acropolis through Plaka, the old town.
Athens is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world, and especially in the Acropolis area it is crowded with them.

We always enjoy making long walks to discover a city's best spots, eat where the locals eat, and just wander trough streets the locals live.

Plaka with the narrow streets and old houses are this time not so relaxt with a baby and pram..
Athens is not child-friendly at all! Cars are parked on the pavements which makes it im possible to go there with the pram, no single child seat to be found in restaurants, and very few playgrounds for children. We found out that a one year old also has special needs while on holiday, this means time and space to practice her walking, and life is more adventurous on foot anyway than sitting on daddies lap or lie in the pram.
The best place for her was actually the Archeological Museum, clean floors (no sigarettes!), spacious, nothing that she could break, and friendly guards everywhere. She walked with me for more than an hour, making noices to sculptures of dogs, lions and horses, and saying ''hela'' to everyone (which means hello) and waving byebye when we move on.
We especially enjoyed the Asian restaurants! You don;t have them in Izmir, only one good Chinese restaurant; so we visited the Noodles bar twice, ate at a Vietnamese restaurant (take away as Femke would not sit quietly) and only once we had traditional Greek food.
Starbucks's were everywhere so our need for Caramel Machiatio's were satisfied.

What else did we do?
Visit the harbour of Pireus, and walked along the coast
Watch the guards at the grave of the unknown warrior (I am convinced they choose the most hansom men for this job!)
Go with a funicular up the Lykavittos hill, with beautiful views over Athens
Visit the meat and fish market

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cake & grandma/uncle in Izmir

To celebrate Femke's 1st birthday we, grandma Vacide and uncle Ab, had cake at famous patisserie "Reyhan" in Izmir. Femke of course thought the candle was more interesting than the cake, although she put 2 fingers in the cake in the end as well... She tasted the orange-pineapple cake by licking off one of the spoons...

After the Reyhan experience we went into the Fuar and enjoyed a ride in a Ferris wheel and had a nice view over Izmir... But the 32nd floor from the Hilton hotel gives a better view. There we enjoyed our most expensive cola in Izmir (8 ytl per glass).

Cafe Crown recently opened, it is connected to the Swiss Otel; on the picture below Arthur and uncle Ab; and Meryem and her mother...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It is 25th of August and our daughter Femke turned 1 years old!
Yippie. Congratulations dear, how time has flown.

Here a collage of pictures of her, representing each month of her 1st year.