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Welcome to FoodMood blog space. Reflections on my travels, musings, favorite recipes, and the  Bunny Chronicles. Storytelling with joy, sass, self-reflection, and hope.

Living in Love - Turkey 2021

Kenan and Agnes, my first impression of them. Shining pure love. For 6 weeks my heart sang for their happiness.

In May, I went to Turkey, for love.

To celebrate the love of two young people, at the beginning of their journey together.

I seem to go everywhere for love. Frankly, if I track the thread of my life, I can say honestly that I do everything for love. My greatest wish used to be to embody grace. On this trip, I realized that my greatest wish is to be love. To radiate love in all I do.

This is not to be nice or kind or liked. Love can be as easily a hug as it can be a slap. The point is where did the action come from. Pure love is said to have the power to move mountains and part seas, both metaphorically and literally. My time in Turkey renewed my belief in this power on unexpected levels.

There were moments of bliss, and the images here highlight them. There were also a lot of challenges and questions and healing.

Being there was dramatically different than my daily life in Switzerland. In every way. The place itself and the people I interacted with. Covid made itself known mainly in the creativity of how people come together. Weekend lockdowns were transformed into healing retreats focused on raising individual and collective vibrations. Immune systems are reinforced with healthy food, laughter, and a sense of interdependence one feels in every breath.

Returning, my challenge is to transfer these possibilities to a highly charged reality of fear and social expectation. For now, I am here, digesting my experience. Integrating it into my daily existence. Notes from my diary, a new feature of FOODMood’s blog section is a manifestation of this process.

This post is dedicated to Kenan and Agnes and the hope their love inspires in me. To Feyza and the reminders she gave me of what it means to be graceful and true. To Begum for her commitment to her mission. To everyone who contributed to this powerful invitation to live in love.

Feyza and Begum beautiful and blue on the beach at one of many celebrations for Agnes and Kenan.

Food, a major joy on any vacation, taken to special heights in Turkey. Top Turkish breakfast, for two! Bottom left Bunny with a Turkish coffee seaside, middle my favorite breakfast bread with tahini, right Bunny sized carrot with our favorite Turkish red (brought a bottle home and shared with friends too).

Bunny returns to Kök camp and gifts Turkish Delights to those who inspired it; Left Miss Blu, middle Emre the Birdman, and right Evrim the gentle presence behind Kök camp.

Sunset on the sea feeling free and grateful near Fethiye.

Gently I began to make my way west, with a stop in Sundance camp; Top left their private beach, right the little hut Bunny and I called home among the trees; Bottom left a hidden cove only reached by swimming, right the expanse of turquoise water swum to get there.

Soft landing in Gokbel at Feyza's home nestled in nature. Sunrise and sunset, the view from her place is stunning. She shares this space, Gökbel Retreat Overlooking İztuzu Beach, via air bnb.

Returning to the town where I once lived, Dalyan, with Feyza who now lives between the Iztuzu beach and this town where she grew up I enjoyed some of the most relaxing and restorative days of my holiday. Reconnecting with Feyza was at the top of my priority list on this trip and here was my chance.

Like the tiles depicted these mosaics give a window to the precious times shared with these special people in equally astounding places.

Top left two perfect, local crabs we enjoyed for dinner, middle Feyza pours tea at our lakeside Turkish breakfast, right one of Feyza’s amazing naturally died cloths - which you can find on instagram MORDAN ; Middle left a homemade ginger tea with the Dalyan river as its background, middle Feyza and I enjoy a cool moment on a hot day; Bottom left a pin made for me by dear friend Erkin from stones given me by Fairy Godmother Elisabeth, middle me at "Alice in Wonderland’s" door, final right Feyza with one of her intricate Mordan designs.

Istanbul, my favortie city on earth. Sharing it with Agnes and Kenan on the final days of this journey was an extra bonus. My three priorities were to spend time with them, cross water on a boat as often as possible, and wander aimlessly in streets full of wonder people watching and cafe sitting. Every minute was beyond my expectations.

Top right vintage suitcases in front of one of Cihangir’s original shops, middle one of many water crossings, right an iced cold brew coffee on one of many café sits, this time in Besiktas; Middle right Agnes, myself, and the amazing tiles of the Harem in Topkapi palace where we harmoniously shared a day, middle the three of us on a walk in the park, right Turkish breakfast on the Besiktas balcony; Bottom right in Yesim’s magical garden we celebrate Kenan’s birthday, middle a sumptuous dinner shared at home, right Agnes and I at Topkapi palace with Galata tower and the Bosphorus in view.

Finally, a peek at the bounty I brought home. A way to share my trip and its experiences with Claudio. From Ismail at Hepsibahceden 3 liters of olive oil, a liter of pomegranate molasses, essential oils, mastic lokum; Olive wood utensils, tea trays, special bath towels, and the list goes on and on – tastes and sensations to remind me of this amazing journey. Things to touch and taste, a way to reconnect with people and experiences.

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