After 2,5 years, I finally went home, to Istanbul.
It was more than a vacation but an existential journey or a time travel. When I first arrived, I traveled back to 2,5 years ago and it felt like I've never left home. Everything was exactly how I remembered. Then, that feeling became my present. I was stuck in 2015 and living in 2018. Crazy, right? That made me realize that time is simply an illusion made by us. If you want you can exist in all universes and you don't need a beginning or an end of time. Everything is happening right now.
That's how I felt there. Other than that, I ate too much good food and got to spend time with my precious girl, Sakız. (means chewing gum in Turkish because she was too squishy when she was a baby)
We also took small trip to Kars, a city in North-Eastern Turkey.
“It was as if he were in a place that the whole world had forgotten; as if it were snowing at the end of the world.”
― Orhan Pamuk, Snow
Imagine a beautiful city, covered with snow most of the winter season. A forgotten city, too far from the civilization, has some small villages where only 3-4 families live. There's definitely a silence of snow between those villages. You can see stray dogs everywhere and sometimes foxes in the wild.
I've got an enormously big kashar (a type of Turkish cheese) from this small village, Bogatepe. They make their own cheese and they sell too.
I haven't taken any portraits but I've seen the most beautiful, kind, generous human beings in Kars.
They still ride horses. Come from a shamanic tradition, they decorate horses and trees (some still do, ex: Christmas trees) because they are sacred and they bring power.
Knots at the wish tree.
We walked on the frozen lake, Cildir.
Last day of the trip, we visited the spectacular ruins of the medieval city Ani.
Ani, ruled by many kingdoms and five empires over centuries – from the Byzantines to the Ottomans.
This mysterious ghost town is currently being restored as an important piece of world history which may lead to it being named a Unesco World Heritage Site. Fingers are crossed!
Inside of the town, there are remains of Cathedral of Ani, many churches, an old citadel, its walls, and a cave village.
Kars, a beautiful city, still remains rich with culture and history, surrounded by gorgeous scenery and ancient wonders. It was a wonderful experience but I couldn't help but wonder how can it be forgotten?