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Feeding the birds near İstanbul’s spice market

Feeding the birds near İstanbul’s spice market

İstanbul, like most major cities, has no shortage of pigeons.

Despite the busy square outside the Yeni Cami, the New Mosque, near the busy spice market, the pigeons still gather and are regularly fed by children and tourists.

Check out my adventures in Turkey.

3 London markets

London is full of sites for tourists. Once you’ve had enough of the guidebook must-dos, there is still plenty more to see.

I enjoy going to markets. You can see where the locals really are (they aren’t at the museums) and experience day-to-day life a little better.

In London, the markets show off the city’s multicultural communities and culinary diversity. With this approach, London’s markets become a tourist attraction by themselves.
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Turkish foods to cook at home

Turkey is full of delicious food. You can find Manti, dumplings served in both a red and cream sauce; Lahmacun, a pizza-style dish; and Menemen, spicy scrambled eggs. Everything is delicious and full of flavour.

If you want a snack, you can pick up a simit, similar to a bagel. Hummus is a tasty chickpea spread.

Craving something sweet? Get some lokum, the flavoured jelly sweet commonly called Turkish Delight.

Thirsty? Turkish tea and coffee are everywhere.

It would be difficult to be hungry in Turkey. Even if you don’t want to cook, the markets offer plenty of fruits, vegetables and freshly squeezed juices. While there are many choices, some of my favourites can be found easily and can be made after returning home.
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Travelling through food in Vancouver

I recently returned from a 4-day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. For a $13 Amtrak ticket, it couldn’t be passed up. Once I decided to go, I discovered my Dutch CouchSurfing host from Amsterdam last year had just moved there, a Chinese surfer I met in Bellingham could host me and there were a few CouchSurfing meetings organized for the Cherry Blossom Festival and Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Celebrations! I knew the four days would be packed with CouchSurfing activities, but in the end, the focus was all on food.
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Dumpster diving for dinner and back riding a bicycle in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a great place to let your hair down and relax. The laid-back canals offer a nice place to sit, munch on a space cake and watch the world float by- literally. Coffeehouses around the city serve up soft drugs which are legal (hard drugs are definitely illegal) and controlled under a tolerance policy making them not nearly as much of a problem as in countries where they are illegal. The country’s progressive view on drugs is one thing many tourists remember about Amsterdam and the reason why many young, rebellious backpackers love the city! But my two weeks in Amsterdam taught me less about coffeehouse menu-reading and more about how to scavenge markets for leftover produce in markets and how to ride ‘sidesaddle’ on the back of a bike.
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Dancing, shopping and living with the international communities of Seattle

When I was traveling Europe and people learned I was from Seattle I discovered the many things the city is known for. Usually people brought up Nirvana, Pearl Jam or some other grunge band, but often it was Starbucks, Microsoft or Boeing they knew. Actually, more often than not, it was Seattle’s rainy weather. As it often happens while traveling, I was expected to be an expert on these topics and on Seattle but I’ve never really been a tourist there besides the occasional day trip or stopover on our way somewhere else. Even though it’s less than 2 hour’s drive from my hometown, I didn’t really know much about Seattle, so I was looking forward to seeing what the Emerald City really should be known for.
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All you need is love… or wine, cheese and a good picnic spot

The Beatles said all you need is love. Well, they should take a lesson from the French. Yes, love is one option but good wine, decadent cheese and prime picnic spots are another way to go. France’s couples and singles really know how to live the good life. Whether they’re eating alone or in a rush (very rarely on-the-go), meals aren’t wasted on crappy food and when they drink something, they enjoy the hell out of it. Many times in France, my palate was blown away in ways I had never experienced in picnic locations straight from a postcard.
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