The Caribbean of Europe!

Just because my Cappadocia videos are over now, doesn’t mean that it was the last series about Turkey.

Next, you can look forward for videos full of beaches, ocean, and colourful sunsets.

First part is right here!

Advertisements

Top 5 Things to do in Cesme, Turkey

1. Visit Ilica Beach:

At least that’s the beach we went to. It is a public beach famous for its turquoise to light-blue water and a long beach you can take a long walk at. The Sheraton Hotel is located on that beach as well. Convince yourselves:

2. Stroll through the soap-smelling streets of Alacati:

The streets of Alacati are famous throughout Turkey. It is considered as a little version of Mykonos. It is guaranteed that you will fall in love with that place. Every corner offers a perfect photographic background. The cobble-stone streets mix perfectly together with the aegean beach flair. After a long stroll and some photo-sessions, the best way to relax is to sip some coffee at a corner cafe, feast on some turkish sweets or some western cupcakes. Be warned though, the prices are a bit higher than at usual restaurants in Turkey. But totally worth it. Also, don’t forget to visit the windmills.

 

3. Visit the Marina at the City Centre of Cesme: 

Here, you can find all the touristy shops ligned after each other when walking down to the Marina and the Yacht Club. I bough a beautiful white-purple shell and some ice cream on the way to the Marina. When you arrive there, you will be overwhelmed by the amount of the yachts parked there. You can sit in a cafe or a restaurant with a view to the sea, or you can hike up the Cesme Castle and get a great view over the bay.

4. Have a turkish breakfast with organic foods:

The hotel we stayed at offered a organic breakfast every morning which was so yummy, I am dreaming about it now. They had different kinds of bread to offer, hard boiled egg, tea, different kinds of cheese, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, cream, honey, olives and different kinds of jam which were so delicious and exciting to taste. The most delicious jam I had was lemon jam, something I had never eaten before. I am generally more the nutella kind of person, but this lemon jam would definitely make it on my breakfast table. They also had rose jam that I enjoyed a lot.

img_20160925_094833

5. Relax at the Ayayorgi Beach: 

This is actually not a public beach, so you have to pay for it, but it was out of season, so we had free entry, but still we had to eat or drink something in return. The prices were quite high of course, but we enjoyed the day and the beach was as calm as a lake.

 

I hope I could give you a little insight into life at Cesme. It still has many other things to offer that I didn’t have time for like the Boylik Beach, Altinkum Beach, the Surfer’s Bay (since it is considered as Turkey’s Surfer’s Paradise due to its winds), and the possibility to hop on a ship towards the greek island of Chios.

Final rating:

Sightseeing: 1/5

Food: 4/5
Shopping: 3/5
Nightlife: 4/5
Transportation: 3/5

Travel Blog Posts Plans

So, I am finally back from vacation (since the beginning of this month actually, but I had some things to do), and I have a lot of posts planned already. Can’t wait to write about everything I did and saw. If you were following my instagram, you have already seen a lot of the pictures. But I promise proper posts with information :)

So here are my blog plans for the following days and weeks:

  1. My Cappadocia Trip in 3 Parts
  2. My short vacation on the beach in Cesme
  3. My trip to Ephesus
  4. Top Things to do in Izmir

I am especially looking forward for number 1 since it has easily become one of the most beautiful and magical places I have ever been to.

I’ll keep you updated!

Thanks for reading!

Summer Vacation Turkey 2014 – Wrap Up Part 5

Friday, 29th of August. Izmir:

That day we went to Karsiyaka to go shopping a little bit. I only had 4 days left there, and my sister just recently came, so we wanted to look for accessoires. I found these:

IMG_20140829_190546
A Looney Tunes lip balm and a cute nail file :)

Later, in the evening, my sister and me went to a restaurant to eat something, before meeting our cousin later on who would leave from work at 11pm.

20140829_211743

My cousin Irem’s colleague took her by car and before he brought us three to Irem’s house, we went to drink something warm in a cafe nearby. The night got quite cold, so we wanted to warm up a little bit.

Late in the night we went to Irem’s home where she lives with her grandma and her father. We saw her dog and greeted her cute grandma who welcomed us so nicely.

We drank a bit Malibu-Cherry together and talked a little bit. Then went to bed at 2 or 3 am, because we wanted to wake up early the next morning to go swimming in the sea a little bit.

Saturday, 30th of August. Izmir:

We woke up early, at about 9 am. We wanted to take the bus to the sea. Before we went, we fed Irem’s dog and watched her grandma’s birds a little bit.

20140830_093530
He’s soooo cute!!! His name is Capak :)

20140830_093645 20140830_093721

Without having a breakfast, we left. Irem suggested to have breakfast there by the sea to which we agreed.

After a 30-minutes busride, we arrived. It was a beautiful place. There was a pier and a cafe. If you eat there at the cafe, you could use the canvas chairs and seat cushions as you wanted to. So, at first we ate something there for breakfast.

IMG_20140830_103415
Turkish black tea and Kumru (A sandwich, in which the sesame bread is famous for)

After that, we went swimming in the sea.

IMG_20140830_113546 IMG_20140830_164813

The sea was really so beautiful. The perfect kind of sea that I like. Gets deep very fast, dark blue, and cool. We were in the water for about 30 minutes, then went out to get dry a little bit. We couldn’t stay too long because Irem had to go to work at 3 pm or so.

IMG_20140830_170031
The beautiful flowers in Irem’s grandma’s garden

When we arrived, we went to shower and then dressed up. My sister and me returned home. My cousin went to the fair in Izmir, because that’s where she worked in the summer. In the evening, we wanted to visit her there and go to a concert from a famous turkish singer which took place there that day.

IMG_20140831_152847
That’s how the fair looked like

When the concert was over, and Irem left her work at 11 pm, we left to go to a bar nearby at the bar street.

IMG_20140902_134857

It was a shot bar and we got free inject shots at the entrance.

IMG_20140904_141833
The sign says: I am not drunk, but I might get

IMG_20140831_023331

We danced and had a lot of fun. These are the shots we ordered.

IMG_20140830_232614
The shots were called Dawg, Sospiro, Oha, Popo, Ping

20140830_232346

At about 1.30 am we left the bar and went to catch the bar. There, we got a bit stressed out, because we realized, that we had to fill up our bus cards. Irem hurried and ran to the next supermarket to charge it up and we waited for her. It was a marathon against time, because the bus should come in a few minutes. In the end, we caught the bus. However, it took quite long to arrived in the street nearby our house, because the bus stopped quite often.

At about 2.30 am we arrived at home and went to sleep immediately. I was so tired, and my feet hurt so badly.

Sunday, 31st of August. Izmir:

Today, Irem’s boyfriend wanted to take us out for breakfast. He picked us up at about 10 am. His friend was also there, so we went to a location to have breakfast and talk. His boyfriend is very nice and funny, also quite talkative. And his friend was also a very talkative person, so we always had something to talk about. Time flew by so fast while we sat there for about 3 hours, eating and talking :’D At 2 pm we had to leave, because Irem had to go work again. Her boyfriend drove us home and then he would take Irem to work.

In the evening, our aunt’s invited us to a wedding eve-party of their relatives. It took place in the back streets. We went there, but my sister, my cousin Funda and me only stayed for about an hour, then we went to our place to eat and drink a little bit. Half an hour later, our parents also returned and we all sat together, drank Malibu or tea, ate chocolate and talked. After midnight, they left for home as well.

Monday, 1st of August. Izmir:

That day, I packed my suitcase and the rest of the day I relaxed, drank tea, and continued reading “A Game of Thrones”.

20140901_113556 IMG_20140901_124755

Tuesday, 2nd of August. Izmir/Stuttgart:

That day, we went to Karsiyaka for the last time to shop for the last few things to pack, like gifts for friends and family. We left early in the morning to have breakfast there.

IMG_20140902_100646

IMG_20140902_115521
I also found a book by Orhan Pamuk.

After breakfast, we went to buy some turkish delight.

20140902_103456
Top shelf right side: Turkish delight with rose water and pistachio Top shelf left side: Turkish delight with honey Middle shelves: Turkish delight with chocolate Lower shelf right side: Normal Turkish delight Lower shelf left side: Turkish delight with fruits
20140902_103534
Here, the ones on the right side are all with pistachio. The ones on the left side are all with pomegranate

We bought a mixed package of turkish delight from here. I especially like the ones with pomegranate and orange.

Later, we met with Irem again for the last time. It wouldn’t be a long absence, because she would also do her Erasmus this year in Prague, and we want to visit her on New Year’s Eve. At about 2pm we made it home. We prepared the last things and then left for the airport at 4pm. There, my suitcase had overweight, so we had to leave some things, or put them in my backpack. The rest of the day didn’t go as I imagined. The next mishap was the belated plane. My plane should take off at 7 pm, but it got delayed for over an hour. Of course, everyone there stressed out, and looked for a wifi – code to write their friends and relatives who would pick them up when landed. Me and a woman with her older son looked at the kiosk and found a wifi code. I even saw a girl I knew from my old school who was also in the same plane as me. Finally, at 8pm it took off. The whole flight over, there was a little child crying all the time. When we landed, my head was about to explode. I arrived at 10 pm in Stuttgart, and until I got out, it was about 10.30pm. Yet, another problem: When I took my luggage, I noticed a big, sticky stain on it. I almost exploded of rage. Some idiot probably put jelly or something sweet in his/her luggage, and that stuff leaked out and onto my baggage. Later, my father brought some wet tissues from the toilets to wipe it off. I was so pissed off by the turkish people myself, because they always do shit like that. Taking food from Turkey in their luggages. No wonder that something like that happens. Well, after raging for minutes, my father calmed me down and we went home. I was too tired to get out my stuff from my luggage, so I did it the next day.

All in all, I had great vacations, with lots of yummy food, good weather, nice books to read and a lot of people I met.

How were your holidays?

Thanks for reading all of this :D

Summer Vacation Turkey 2014 – Wrap Up Part 4

Thursday, 21st of August. Izmir/Marmaris:

When we had visited our family friend two weeks ago, we had asked him to organize a hotel for us. He gets the rooms for cheaper, since he knows the owner of that. So that week on Thursday the 21st of August, we woke up early in the morning and went to the bus station.

We had a 4-hour-ride, but it went fast enough. We got a lot of free stuff served in the bus, like free ice cream, free snacks and free drinks like water, juices and coffee. The service is great! We also had a monitor with movies attached in front of everyone. But I already had my book to read, so I did that a little bit, before getting sleepy and falling asleep.

20140821_100136
The free ice cream
20140821_132116
We passed a lot of different landscapes

When we arrived, our family friend picked us up, because he himself also was at that hotel with his wife and little daughter. But it when we arrived, they only had 1 or 2 days left at the hotel.

We checked in at about 2.30 pm. We went to our room to unpack our stuff.

20140821_141540
I love that free hotel stuff
20140821_142205
We had a glass elevator *o* Like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory :’D

Then we dressed and went down for the beach. It was beautiful. Right in front of the hotel. Without any walking distance. There also was a pier, but when we arrived at that hour, it was already quite full there, so we sat down on the sunbeds. We also swam in the sea the first day, and got ourselves a cocktail, but I soon went back to the room to take a shower. My sister and my mum came later. By this, we were quite on time for dinner. Well, okay, we were a bit late actually, I don’t quite know why. But we still got something to eat. Oh, and how much we ate…

IMG_20140821_204412
I overdid it a little bit… ehehehe. The plate couldn’t be big enough :’D
20140821_205142
Errr desert! :D

In the evening, there was a Mongolian circus show at the poolside. It was unbelievable what they did!

IMG_20140821_215300 IMG_20140821_222943

20140821_220718

20140821_222037

Friday, 22nd of August. Marmaris:

We started this day, of course with a breakfast. I overdid it again… This time with the chocolate sauce…

IMG_20140822_090429
I had a sugar shock after that I think :’D

After breakfast we went to the pier right away. Our mother has reserved us some places on the cushions. It was so comfortable there, and the sea right in front, under, and around you.

20140822_093615
A panoramic shot

IMG_20140822_095916

20140822_093223
Our hotel. Elegance Hotel.
IMG_20140823_081056
A great shot from my sister

During the day, I did almost everything. Read a little bit in my book, also a little bit in my sister’s magazine. After lunch, I granted myself a cocktail. Or two. Or three. If I had known there was pool aerobic, I wouldn’t have drunk so much Vodka-Cherry :’D But still, I did it, drunk as I was :’D It was fun, but the pool was just too hot!

IMG_20140822_125341

IMG_20140822_195822 IMG_20140823_073706

Later, I met some guys with whom I talked a bit. One of them kept bringing me drinks which made me feel dizzier and dizzier :’D When we later jumped into the cool water of the sea, I had quite a shock :’D

Later during dinner, I realized just how much I have drunk and my appetite was gone. I felt kind of sick and couldn’t think about eating anything, not even salad. After the animation show I went to my room, and slept right away. After our first whole day, I realized that I overdid everything a little bit with the food and the drinking and so on :’D

Saturday, 23rd of August. Marmaris:

Our second day at the beach/pier. Basically almost the same. This time I drank less, and no Vodka. I think the Vodka was a cheap one, and the heat also contributed to my feeling sick, because usually, I drink more than 4 Vodka-Drinks.

20140823_142256
Yepp that’s me in the sea :’D

Dinner was quite epic that night. There was this…

20140823_195241

After dinner, the nephew of the relative who organized that hotel for us took us to show us the city a little bit.

20140823_213820
Fish eating the crusts on your feet. I wish I had the money to do that too. I bet it is funny :’D

We arrived at the hotel at about 11 pm. That night, we wanted to go clubbing. The animation team organized a bus every night at 11.45 pm to the famous bars&clubs street in Marmaris which also picked everyone up at 3 am from the club we originally went to. Every day, they go to a different club. But we can also leave that club and go into other clubs. And if we want to return to the hotel at 3 am we are supposed to be at the first club. The busride there and back costed 20 Lira, including a free drink of choice at the club. So at 11:45 pm we met at the Lobby and later entered the bus. It was already almost filled. There was only one seat in the back. There were already 3 guys from England sitting there. They were quite funny, and I talked to them on the busride. I was lucky that the animateur was drunk and forgot to take money from me in the bus, because I sat with the english guys and they have already paid, so he automatically left me out as well :’D Later in the club we all danced together. And we all got a free shot and a free drink. I got sex on the beach, although I heard that the free drink voucher only included Longdrinks :’D Lucky me! Very soon, the others left the first club, and me and my sister also left after we finished our drinks. We asked the doorman if we could come to the club again later. We didn’t know that every club had a free entry. The owner of the club told us that he would give us a free drink if we came again :’D

So we strolled through the filled street, music pumping from left and right. We went into almost every club just to see and went out again. At the biggest club there we met the English guys again. They were dancing on the bar :’D So we joined them.

20140824_012045

20140824_020502
That club is called Joy, and it is probably the most popular there

Funny thing: In turkey, they play electronic music almost in every club. There was only one Hip Hop club which was a small open-air club. And there was another open-air club which looked like a garden where they played mixed Turkish pop songs.

At about 2 am we went back to the first club again. And as promised, the owner gave us free Vodka Bull :’D I got drunk without paying for anything :’D Later, the barkeeper even gave us free shots. I don’t have a clue why he did that :’D

It was a fun night, but unfortunately, my sister got a bit tired towards the end, so I had to dance alone, and let strangers take selfies with me :’D

Sunday, 24th of August. Marmaris:

That day, I mostly relaxed and watched the watersports guys :’D In the evening, there was a python show, and at the end of the show, we were allowed to touch it and have a picture taken together with the python. And yes, I did it of course. I touched a python! *o*

20140825_133147
I am the girl in the middle obviously :’D

Monday, 25th of August. Marmaris:

That day was quite funny. I met a turkish girl and her friend, both coming from Australia. At first, I didn’t know that she was turkish. After I jumped into the water, I felt something at my feet while I was still underwater, and when I came out again, I saw that a girl jumped right behind me and I was afraid that I accidently hit her, so I asked her if she was okay in english. She also answered in english, and then we kept on talking. Apparently, she was drunk, because she smelled of beer and she talked quite loudly :’D Then after we introduced each other, we found out that we both were turkish. Then we talked in the sea about Australia, Germany and Turkey. And what we were doing in normal life and in Turkey for vacation. Her name was Esma and her friend’s name was Songül. Esma’s guy cousins were also there with them, that’s why she drank so much she told me, because they stressed her out quite a lot :/ We told them to join us to go to the bar streets with us again, and they also wanted to, because it was their last day at the hotel. The next day, they would leave.

IMG_20140824_130734

A few hours before that, I went with our relative’s nephew to another watersports stand because he knew them and we could do anything for free. We decided to do the great mable, the sofa thing.

_DSC0003

On the way back to the hotel, I admired the environment

IMG_20140825_184549 IMG_20140825_185356

In the evening, we unfortunately couldn’t find Esma and her friend. We nevertheless went to the club street. Funny thing: That night, my sister and me were the only girls in the bus.This time, we went to a beach club, and this time, I paid :’D It was quite good that night again. My sister danced more, because we went to the hip hop club afterwards. Two guys from the hotels came with us as well.

IMG_20140829_110626

Tuesday, 26th of August. Marmaris:

That day was quite relaxing. I talked a lot to the female animateur who always did the Water Aerobics. I also talked with the DJ a lot. He was still so young, only 19 years old. They were all so nice and talkative. In the late afternoon, I drank some beer with my mum and we took some selfies together :’D

IMG_20140826_191950

In the evening, there was a strange animation show, but they introduced their new club dance :’D It had to do something with Tequila

Wednesday, 27th of August. Marmaris:

Our last full day at the hotel. I spent the days reading and talking with the guys we met at the club on Monday night. They were quite funny. Especially one of them, who seemed quite silent, suddenly became so hyper talkative in the evening after he drank too much :’D Even my mum laughed. Late in the night, we went to our room and fell asleep. Ocean air really tires out extremely.

Thursday, 28th of August, Marmaris:

That day, we packed our luggage and had to leave the room at 12. We wanted to leave at 1 pm to catch our bus back to Izmir which was at 2 pm. So we still had time to eat lunch at 12.

In the bus, I watched “The Words”, which was a hauntingly beautiful movie. A dedication to literature. So beautiful and sad. I will write a review about that soon :) We arrived at about 6 pm in Izmir. We were quite tired, and I didn’t feel like doing anything when we arrived home. I was already so used to doing nothing in that one week, that it felt strange coming home and having to cook for yourself suddenly :’D

Going to an all-inclusive hotel really did us good. It is neccessary to do this often enough in order to relax and get rid of the stress. And trust me, every penny is worth paying.

A few things I regret not having done are:

– I wanted to go Parasailing, but it was quite expensive, so we haven’t done that.

– Visiting Turtle Beach, where you can observe turtles and have a mud bath

– Going to the Swimming with Dolphins. But that was quite expensive as well.

Next time I will have to bring more money with me. Why does everything have to be so expensive?

What about you guys? Do you like all-inclusive hotels? Or do you dislike being bound to a hotel?

Summer Vacation 2014 in Turkey – Wrap Up Part 1

Hello dear readers, I am back!! To be exact, I already returned last week on Tuesday, but I was so busy that whole week that I couldn’t post anything yet :/ I will also report about my post vacation time here, of course, but before it all gets confused, I wanted to share with you my holidays.

Friday, 25th of July. Stuttgart/Izmir:

I had my flight to Turkey. I had to take my laptop with me as well, because I had to write an essay until the 11th of August, so I had to do that in Turkey. I also had lots of books with me, and tried to read “Divergent” at the airport while waiting for my plane. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out as I had imagined. While I was waiting, there were 3 or 4 women who kept on talking to me all the time, so I couldn’t concentrate on my book properly :/

IMG_20140725_104319

But fortunately, I could read on the plane for fully 3 hours. The woman seated next to me noticed already that I like reading :D She was funny. Before the plane took off, she swallowed some pills, I think in order to calm down. Then, during the whole flight, she was asleep, and her husband had to nudge her all the time, because her head kept falling on my side all the time :’D It didn’t disturb me, though. It was quite entertaining somehow.

When I arrived in Turkey in the late afternoon, my mum picked me up at the airport, and we drove home by train. We both were super hungry, especially me, because I only had a breakfast early in the morning, and since food on the plane is not included in the ticket price, I refused to buy an overexpensive sandwich, and waited until we landed. A good idea, as it turned out, because when we brought the luggage into the house, we went outside for dinner at once.

We went to the famous shopping and food street in Izmir, called Karsiyaka. It is very popular among the people living there, and also among other turkish people. It is told that the girls there are very pretty. In general, there is a saying that the most beautiful girls in Turkey come from Izmir :)

20140725_190020 20140725_192052

This is what I ate at a barbecue restaurant. These are Köfte (Meatballs) scolloped with cheese on a bed of bread <3 It was so yummy, and very filling.

After eating, we strolled through shops and went to exchange some money. I even found some new clothes.

20140725_222347

Then we walked to the harbor to sit by the sea.

20140725_201138

At the weekend, I didn’t do a lot, except relaxing and reading.

Saturday, 26th of July. Izmir:

20140726_112227
Turkish breakfast
20140726_121508
Review about “Divergent” is coming soon :)
20140726_195741
Dinner. Beans, Rice and Salad.
20140726_205150
The view of our balcony by night

Sunday, 27th of July. Izmir:

20140727_111517
Breakfast with Omellet and Simit (turkish pastry with sesame. Has the shape of a ring)
20140727_121237
I have read all day on the balcony that day, until I god a sunburn on my back :’D I also finished Divergent that day and made the Faction Quiz. My results were Amity and Dauntless :’D Funny, right? The two opposites.

Monday, 28th of July. Izmir:

That day, bayram (religious holiday after Ramaddan) began, and my aunt and uncle came together with my older cousin for dinner.

Tuesday, 29th of July, Izmir:

The second day of bayram. We visited my step grandma. It was a hot day, but it was a nice, familiar feeling to sit at the huge balcony on one of the divans right inbetween the flowers and the bunch of grapes.

20140729_133053

20140729_133205
The grapes always remind me of my grandpa. He is dead since 2007. The balcony will soon be gone as well. New buildings are planned for that area.

20140729_133213

After staying at my step grandma for a few hours, we went to the aunts of my father. They also had a lot of visitors, also a few girls my age. In the evening, they invited us to go picknicking by the sea. Yeah, I know, but it is normal in Turkey to go picknicking in the evening, since it is too hot during the day :’D

Wednesday, 30th of July. Izmir:

That day, we went to a little town by the beach. We had already spent our summer in 2011 there, so we knew the place. It was the last day of bayram, so the beach was as filled as I have never seen it before.

20140730_105828 20140730_122604 20140730_144805

20140730_183855 20140730_194039

In the evening, we returned and arrived at 11 pm at home.

Thursday, 31th of July. Izmir:

That day I finally met up with my stepcousin Irem. At first I went shopping with my mum in the afternoon. Then, towards the evening, I met Irem at the train station and we went to drink and eat some things in Alsancak. Alsancak is a town in Izmir which is famous for its nightlife.

20140731_061821
This bar was quite funny. They had food and a lot of tasty drinks. We have only drunk something here.
20140731_080445
This was my dinner. They made some really yummy food at this restaurant called Bisquitte. The drinks were also great!
IMG-20140731-WA0006
This lemonade tasted so good :) Not sure if you can see it on my face ;D

After dinner, we got some Heineken from the supermarket and sat down on the lawn in front of the sea. In the evening, there are a lot of young people sitting outside on the lawn, drinking, talking, playing the guitar,…

IMG-20140731-WA0015

I arrived home at about 11 pm.

This was one week of vacation. In Part 2 there is another few days spent at the beach, a lot of animals, and poolside relaxing.

Last Day of Christmas Break

Today is the last day of the two and a half weeks of Christmas vacation. I wanted to do some stuff for university in these about 20 days. I have finished or at least began some of them more or less, but I still have to do a lot of things :/ 

  • Read “Lolita”
  • Write an essay about “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Read “I have blinded myself writing this”…
  • … and write a response to it
  • Write at least two more writing tasks for my Written Communication Class
  • Write a response about my own workshop
  • Write a response to my Oral Comm 2 speech
  • Buy and Read “More information than you require”…
  • … and prepare the presentation about it.
  • Prepare the paperwork for my Erasmus year in England

We had guests last weekend just before New Year’s Eve, sonI couldn’t do anything those 2 days. And on the day of NYE we had to prepare a lot, as well as the day after.

I have also looked for some jobs in the meantime just yesterday, but have to apply still. The problem is with the paper stuff like my grades from my A’levels. I somehow can’t upload them with my tablet… really strange. I will have to try with my sister’s laptop later. And I definitely have to buy a new laptop soon. Only with this tablet, it is a pain in the ass :/ 

So much to do, so less time… Now, I will start with the two stories I have to give in for my written communication course. 

The real purpose of Christmas

Soon it is the 24th of December again. The feast of the Christians when they worry about christmas presents half a year before. As a former muslim, and newly atheist, I wonder if they really don’t notice the trick behind all this. Christmas has become merely a feast of capitalism, consumerism and materialism. When big shopping malls and stores already begin decorating and advertising in November, about the best present for your mom, your cousin or boyfriend, I wonder if they don’t notice that the love and individuality fades, and the manipulations of big concerns decide the perfect present.

Of course, it is a nice feeling receiving a present from your loved ones, but why are love proofs always associated with presents? Do we really have to spend a lot of money on things just to prove our love for someone? And most of the Christmas presents end up in a trade off, or on the counter of the shop it was bought, in order to return it. Is the measurement for love really the Christmas present that you like or dislike?

Of course, when it comes to food, I can understand the enthusiasm about Christmas. But this is of course just a part of the whole feast. I think the presents would be tolerable if the people would also do something for the poor, hungry, disabled, sick, and old ones. I have seen in movies and series that they invited beggars from the streets tomdine with them. Just give them a feeling of belonging to a family for one day. I think that’s something beautiful. Butnof course, very few families do that. In some Christian cultures, this even belongs to the Christmas tradition, which I think is something very nice. Then the people could also allow themselves to give gifts to each other. But very seldom, this happens I think. Then, sometimes, just like the Black Eyed Peas sang about 10 years ago: Where is the love?

Maybe the reason for my negative opinion on this holiday is because I never had experienced Christmas in my family. My parents and relatives are muslims, so we don’t celebrate Christmas. But growing up in Germany, a christian country, I realize everything what is going on, also when I was a child. Back then, I was a bit confused why we don’t celebrate that. It was like a fairytale story for me as a child: Snow, Decorated trees, Santa Claus and his reindeers, christmas songs, presents, chocolate, biscuits, a d gingerbread. As a kid, I liked it. My parents also bought us chocolate on Santa Day on the 6th of December. We also got an advent calendar (but me and my sister opened all the doors at once and ate the whole chocolate in the calendar on one day :’D). Maybe I just think like this because I am pissed off we haven’t celebrated it, and I never completely experienced something magical that almost every kid around me has.

Of course that could be, but to be honest, I am already too grown to feel like that. And after thinking about that and comparing it with other religions like Islam, I come to the conclusion that the latter is doing more for the poor, and spending more love to the minority. Of course, they also have a holiday, in which they give money or sweets to the children, but a few weeks later tbey have the victim feast in which they sacrifice a lamb to share the meat with the poor. Although I am sometimes disgusted by the mass slaughter of the animals, I still think that it doesn’t goe to waste in the end.

Well, all in all, I think that every religious holiday somehow doesn’t make sense to me. The world will never get peaceful no matter if we decorate trees, or slaughter lambs.

I hope I haven’t ruined your Christmas mood with this entry. At least, I can be happy about all the yummy food and beautiful decorations that come out during winter time, and the 3 days of holidays in which you can stay in your warm house without feeling guilty of moving too less.

With that, I wish all of you a happy Pre-Christmas time.

Free Day, Baking and Cooking Day: 30 Days Challenge

Today, the 3rd of October is a feast day here in Germany, “Tag der deutschen Einheit” (Day of the german entity). On 3rd October 1990 the Berlin Wall was being plonged. Germany has a lot of fest days which means no work, no school, everything is closed except for restaurants and cafes.

This meant that my sister and father were at home, too. My sister and I decided to cook and bake today so that our mum wouldn’t do a lot. However, she has already planned to fry fish today, so we decided to only make a noodle salad and vegetable skewers. And strawberry cupcakes as desert.

Day 18: Cupcakes, Caprese Pesto Salad, Vegetable Skewers:

1. Cupcakes:

We started with the cupcakes. We got the receipe for the dough from here: http://cupcakesandberries.blogspot.de/2012/11/cupcakes-mit-nutella-schoko-haubchen.html

And the receipe for the frosting from here: http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/1923241313595323/Strawberry-Frosting-fuer-Cupcakes.html

They are both in German, so I will just explain how we made it.

The dough:

While preparing, pre-heat the oven on 190°.

– 120g margarine or butter

– 80g sugar

– 1 package of vanilla sugar

stir all these into a fluffy mass. Then add while stirring:

– 2 Eggs

– 120 g flour

– 1 tsp baking powder

Now fill the mass in cupcake forms and bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

While this was baking, we started with the frosting.

– 250g strawberries (fresh or deep-freezed)

– 200ml milk

– 1 pack of custard powder

– 175g butter

– 175g cream cheese

–  sugar

– food coloring red (Only if you want to)

At first, we heated the frozen strawberry with 150ml milk in a little pot.

Image

Then we chopped the strawberries with an immersion blender so that no little pieces are left inside anymore. Seperately we mixed 50ml milk with 2 tbsp of sugar and the custord powder. Add this into the heating strawberry-milk mixture. Continue heating it, until it has a pudding-like texture.

Image

After finishing, let it cool for a few minutes. Then mix the butter, the cream cheese and 50g sugar and stir it until it has a a fluffy texture. After finishing, add it to the cold strawberry-pudding mixture and stir it together. If you wish, you can add some color to the mixture. Then fill it into a decorating bag and top the baked cupcake dough with it. Add some cute decorations and everything is ready.

In our case, we had a problem with the frosting. The receipe we had found was a bit complicated. Our frosting was too liquid after we had heated it with the custord-powder-mixture. The custord powder became very disgusting after a while and a pudding-skin had developed on the surface. I hate that. And now I notice that we forgot to add the butter in the last procedure with the cream cheese. After we had also mixed that together with the strawberry-pudding-mixture, it was still to liquid. We tried it on a dough, but the cream was not standing upright, it was sinking. Then we put the mixture into the fridge again, and started to prepare dinner. After dinner we finally decorated the dough with the frosting and the decoration, and this was our result:

Image

2. Caprese Pesto Salad

I got the receipe from this blog: http://myhealthykick.com/2013/10/01/caprese-pesto-salad/

  • 200g multigrain penne pasta
  • a handful of cherry, grape, or heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp pesto
  • a few leaves of fresh basil, torn
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

While we were waiting for the frosting to get more solid, we started prepareing the salad. At first, we put about 200g of pasta penne into the cooking water and boiled it for quite a few minutes. While it was boiling, I cut the cherry tomatoes, the yellow bell pepper, and the mozarella.

Image

After the noodles were cooked we let them dry on a sieve for a few minutes. Then we put the noodles, the cut vegetables, the Basil, and the mozzarella into a bowl. After that, I prepared the dressing by mixing 2 tbsp of olive oil and balsamico vinegar, 3 tbpsp of pesto, and pepper and salt together and put it on top of the salad. It already started to smell so good. My sister stirred it together and it was finished.

Image

3. Vegetable Skewers:

I got this receipe from this blog: http://imjustthisawesome.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/recipe-vegetable-skewer/

Ingredients:

  • Bell peppers (one big or two small ones per person)
  • Zucchini (half a zucchini per person)
  • Mushrooms (six to eight mushrooms per person)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Peppers
  • Skewers

This dish is quite easy and healthy. Of course you can’t get full only from this, but we already had the salad, and my mum wanted to fry fish.

While I cut the vegetables for the salad, my sister cut the mushrooms, the bell pepper and the zucchini. Then she mixed the cut vegetables with olive oil, pepper, and salt with her hands. It wasn’t too oily, so that the vegetables didn’t swim in it. After that, we sticked the vegetables into skewers. We had skewers with diferent vegetables on them, not only one vegetable per skewer.

Image

Put the skewers in the oven and heat it on 200° for about 20 minutes. You’ll notice that the juice of the mushrooms will squeeze out.

Image
Sorry for the bad quality!

My mum had also prepared a green salad and after the fish was ready, we had a big dinner with two salads, vegetable, and fish. Everything quite healthy. If I would live alone, I would cook a lot fo dishes with vegetables. I also have to learn how to cook Musakka and Karniyarik (Turkish Aubergine dishes. I will post them as soon as I learn them from my mum. They are so yumm!)

Already looking forward for my next food/cooking post. It has been a while now since the last time I cooked at home. My challenge still goes on, even if slow ;)

Thanks for reading. Bye!