How a day goes by in Hatay...
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... The cradle of a vast culture! We have come to Hatay, a city built on the banks of the Asi River, where our feelings of gratitude have reached a visible level. We visited this land last year and returned with our taste in our mouths. This time, we deemed the winter months worthy of Hatay. There is no other place in the world with such a "multipolar population"(!) Hatay is one of the most special places for us.
It is a city that expresses itself in time. Timing really is everything. Thousands of years of civilization reveals the human element from the depths of history... The texture of historical buildings, Saint Pierre Church, Habib-i Neccar Mosque make the spirit of the city unique. On top of that, we can look at the beauty of green and blue tones in every season by blinking our eyes. Wonderful, wonderful rains, sunny winters, rich soils... Hatay's unreal, mysterious state under the fog is something else! It is indeed a very special situation to experience such splendor and warmth together.
Of course, this is the homeland of delicious food! They have a synthesized cuisine that reflects tradition and does not disturb the modern palate. Whether it's the zahter that blooms and flourishes in the sun, the olive oil in accordance with their customs, the laurel soaps made with the oil extracted from the leaves of the laurel tree, the cultivated and planted fields, the people, the sea that makes you feel that it is close with its breeze... It's a riot of colors and smells!
It is 6 o'clock in the morning. With the first light of the day, we leave the room of Çankaya Konakları where we are staying on Kurtuluş Street, where old Antakya houses are located, and walk to Affan Kıraathanesi through the beautiful smells of bakeries. In the fall it is warm inside the historic Affan, and in the spring it is beautiful outside with tables shaded by trees in the open area of the backyard. The best part is that everyone who comes to this café is at peace. Everyone is interested in their coffee or tea, or boiled herbal juices, newspapers and stacks of papers, with no interest in showing off.
🍀As you might have guessed, Antakya's cuisine is simply amazing! They have an unapproachable record of variety and flavor! As we taste the flavors towards the heart of their cuisine, the picture of "flavor" in our personal dictionary starts to change. Even when we hear the name of these dishes, we get excited: The lunch we had at Ali Mürdüm Restaurant, the döner at Dönerci Tacettin, the künefe at Çınaraltı Künefe Yusuf Usta, the tray kebab at Pöç Kasabı, the local mezes at Konak Restaurant, the hummus at Hummuscu Nedim Usta...
✨With a worthy greeting, we leave these beautiful people and the city that gets better as we get to know it. Our road is our destination, our time is now!