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December 2011

Old Houses Zeytinbağı, Turkey #watercolor #bursa

Zetinbagi_Turkey

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

Zetinbagi (or alternate name Tirilye) is a small town on the southern part of the Sea of Marmara, not far away from the port of Mudanya. The name Zeytinbagi means olive garden - there's many street vendors of olive oil in the town and the hills in-land are full of orderly rows of olive trees. Until 1922 it was a Greek fishing village with many Greek people living there until it was taken back by the Turks.  The town has an authentic shabby chic appearance about it, with many of the old multi-coloured timbered houses (reminiscent of maybe Swiss or Bavarian style houses) in need of some TLC.

 


Bufe on the Yeniceriler Caddesi Istanbul

Yeniceriler_Caddesi_istanbul

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

When you’re talking about the generally expensive Sultanahmet area (where the main tourist attractions are in Istanbul), especially places to eat along the main tram strip, this is one of the least expensive to feed yourself. Bufe outlets up and down the street (or Cadessi in Turkish) offer Sandwiches, Doner kebab platters, Durums and breakfast in the morning at relatively low prices.  Watch out for the regular trams on Yeniceriler Caddesi - they're pretty fast!

 

 


Mahmutpasa Bazaar, #Istanbul #turkey #watercolor

Mahmutpasa_Bazaar_Istanbul

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

Few bazaars feel both as real and surreal as the one leading downhill from the Grand Bazaar toward the Spice Bazaar in Eminönu. Commissioned in the 15th century by Grand Vizier Mahmut Paşa, this frenzied market gives a unique glimpse into the synthesis of East and West, religion and consumerism that underlies modern Turkish culture. Inside the jumbled buildings and brightly lit basements is a bustling world of bargain shopping, where stores selling circumcision costumes stand side by side with those trying to sell discount underwear and fresh roasted corn on the cob.

 


Asirefendi Caddesi Istanbul

Asirefendi_Caddesi_Istanbul

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

Many of the streets surrounding the Grand Covered Bazaar have a theme, none more so than Asirefendi Caddesi, a street specialising in Textiles, shirts and suits.  It reminded me of those places abroad where you can get a tailored/hand made suit in under 24 hours at a bargain price.  But Turkey has an excellent reputation for the quality and range of textile products they produce, and is one of the world's biggest clothing exporter.  They're not just famous for their rugs!  The small mosque in my painting is Hobhar Cami (cami is Turkish for Mosque), which had an odd, slanting skirt of a roof below the dome.

 


Piazza Umberta, Erice, Sicily

Piazza_umberto_erice_sicily

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

A central square in Erice, a medieval hilltop town overlooking Trapani in West Sicily.  The best way by far  to get up there from Trapani is the cable car, which offers you great breathtaking views over Trapani and out into the Mediterranean. The town Erice is lovely place to spend an afternoon wandering the medieval streets, with their baroque balconies and flowering vines, and drinking in the vistas.

 


Fruit Seller Trapani Sicily

Fruit_seller_trapani

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

Trapani occupies a low-lying promontory with a curving harbour which, combined with its position at Sicily's western tip, made the town into an important hub for traders and travellers. Today the ferry port is still a base for journeys out to smaller islands like Favignana (a great little island to visit for the day - no cars and very peaceful), to the Italian mainland, and to Tunisia. It's around here the entrepreneurial fruit sellers arrive in their small little 3 wheel trucks that you only seem to see abroad, and start selling their produce. The town isn't particularly well-known to foreign tourists (when I was there I think I heard a brit once), and is not one of the island's most obvious holiday destinations.

 


Istanbul Market 2

Istanbul_market_2

Original Watercolour 15" x 11"

It's late in the day and the shoppers still throng the myriad of alley ways and shopping streets around the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.  In addition to carpets and kilims (flat rugs), popular purchases in Turkey include colourful tiles, plush towels and hamam (Turkish bath) accessories, antiques, gold jewellery, and scarves, slippers, and other textile products. The Grand Bazaar and other shops in the vicinity offer the broadest variety of such traditional crafts in one place, as well as an atmospheric setting.

 This painting is sold.