Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Shopping and getting lost in Kars

On Wednesday morning, Michael left to travel to the University and I set out to explore Kars so I walked out of the hotel and turned right…..or was it left!!!  I was determined NOT to get lost….oh well!!!!

I love to just walk along and observe the shops and people, although these children mannequins kind of gave me the willies…..

DSC03111I looked into a Sweet Shop that had all sorts of Turkish Delight and many boxes of chocolates too.  The next shop that I saw was a Men’s clothing shop where they would custom make the suits.  There was one man sitting at a sewing machine and an entire wall of suit fabrics.  By the way, the favorite suit fabric is black or grey and shiny.

I love just going into stores to see what I can find and the first one was interesting.  It had three sections…..beauty products /laundry detergents, jewelry and finally, auto repair/home improvement.  Quite the combination.  I did find this tape that was strange…..it was aluminum foil that had a sticky backing on it…..DSC03112

The next store that I entered sold all sorts of cooking utensils, from pots and pans to mixers etc.   Most of the pots and pans were sold in sets and looked like this…..


There was a huge selection of teapots.  They are always two levels…the bottom holds water and the top has the tea…..DSC03115

Oh yeah, when I am walking around, I dont carry our big camera but instead use my Sony pocket camera.  It is much easier to take surreptitious photos or photos on the fly as I am walking by.

I finally figured out that “Giris” means enter and “Cikis” means exit.  This was learned by much trial and error!!!!

I saw two fish markets that didn’t have a single fish in them.  So far no one has been able to tell me why!!!

I especially enjoy visiting grocery stores and was astounded by the selection of pasta, rice, bulghar and lentils.  It goes to show the Turkish love affair with Carbs!!!….DSC03117

Apparently if you by a bag of tea, you get a glass mug along with it…..DSC03118

I really liked this statue…..

DSC03119 …..and this water-less fountain……

DSC03121 There are two different types of bakeries here.  The first cooks the most wonderful types of bread…..

DSC03152 and the second one cooks sweets….baklavas and other similar items.  I passed one of these shops and decided to go in for a “Turkish Donut”.  It is basically fried dough that has been soaked in a sugar solution…..


I had planned to take it with me and eat while I walked, but the proprietor motioned for me to sit and eat so I did.  Here is a shot of his shop. Doesn’t it all look SO good……DSC03132  I asked the locals about whether they cooked these sweets or purchased them and was told that the older women still cook them but most people purchase them.

As I walked I could easily tell which were the “up-market” areas and which were for the working people.  I came across an outdoor market and decided to buy some cherries.  The little boy in this photo helped me and the older man tried to speak to me in English.   They thanked me after I took their photo.  The older man has his hand over his heart which is apparently a sign of blessing…. DSC03136 We have been told that having a haircut is not just a need but an experience!!   I could always tell when there was a Barbershop because there would be a wooden rack on the street with towels drying on it.

I found the clothing store that I had seen before and checked out the dresses that I had liked.  Unfortunately they did not have sizes that would fit me.  The only thing that was in my size were the less fashionable and dowdy shirts!!  I also checked out the men’s clothes and noticed that dress shirts were of three types…. solid (white or light blue), stripe or garish plaid.

I came across another Mosque that was being built.  This one was on top of a parking deck.  It is certainly bright and shiny!!!!…..DSC03137 

Now by this time, I had made a lot of turns and was completely lost!!!   I ended up in an industrial area that had lumber yards, automotive shops and such….DSC03139

And of course, this was when Michael called to say that they were on their way to pick me up from the hotel.  Oops!!!!    I kept heading in the direction that I felt was right and finally caught sight of the Castle at the end of one street….HOORAY, now I KNOW where I am!!!!

I was picked up by Michael and Ilhame and taken to another wonderful restaurant called Semazen.  We started with Lentil soup and breadDSC03141 The soup was spicy and WONDERFUL!!!!

Michael ordered Ayran (the yoghurt drink) and it was served in this gorgeous copper cup.  We are going to look for these in the Istanbul market and try to bring a few home!!! DSC03142

Ilhame suggested that we order Pide and it came out on a long wooden platter that was sat on the napkin holders and filled the length of the table……DSC03146 It was a thin dough with pieces of spiced beef pressed into it.  We ate it by adding some of the condiments (spiced yogurt, roasted peppers or tomato and cucumber salad), folding it over and stuffing it into our mouth…..

DSC03149 It was SO SO SO good and we both ate until we couldn’t move

2 thoughts on “Shopping and getting lost in Kars

  1. Just been catching up on your posts. I love the Lake Bird Paradise one. The statue in this one is so gentle. Hope you got to Istanbul safely by the way.

  2. Must be so much fun to see everything and how things are similiar to home and very, very different. Love the teapots and the pida looks sort of like pizza.

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