Burcu COLLECTIONS

First Introduction to Norway/Scandinavia and How It Made Me Feel
4 months ago Norway

First of all, I need to confess that my first trip to Norway and Scandinavia was merely motivated by the fact that I had no burning desire to see new places in the continental Europe in addition to those places that I had already seen. Even though this first trip to Scandinavia was not triggered by exciting reasons, I can today say that this 2009 trip has to great extent changed my life. Scandinavia is today my favorite region in the entire World. While every single region of Norway is...

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Tromso: We need to Talk About the Northern Lights
5 months ago Tromsø

Seeing or not seeing the Northern Lights, that is the question. Don’t you agree? One of the most sought after travel experiences of our current times is the concept of “experiencing the Northern Lights”, a concept that I somehow refrained from getting close to for a long time. The main reason for that was to avoid the potential disappointment that I would have to face if I planned my whole trip around this concept and then did not get to see the lights. Even if you travel during the best...

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The Tiny Red Cabin in Hamnoy
4 months ago Hamnøy

My first trip to Lofoten Islands was in autumn and there were very few visitors on the islands other than the locals. I remember that a tiny red cabin sitting right in the middle of a fjord blew off my mind during this time when I almost felt like I was the only one on the islands. That was and is still one of the most beautiful views that I have ever seen. During this first introduction with this tiny cabin, I remember thinking that a cabin may be a home to a fisherman or a lone writer. When...

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Norway by Train: From North to South
5 months ago Norway

Norway, just like its people, is a very tall and slim country. You will always have the company of amazing nature regardless of the mode of transportation that you use to travel within Norway. You will get to see the snowy peaks if you are traveling by air. If you are on a train, you can at anytime spot people fishing over the ice through a hole digged in the ice. A bus trip will take you through amazing tree dominated landscapes. If you ask my personal favorite though – after a 17 hours...

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Henningsvaer: Venice of Lofoten Islands? Even Nicer.
5 months ago Henningsvær

Even though the title suggests otherwise, do not get me wrong. I truly love Venice of Italy. You will discover that Venice has this whole other mysterious face once you find those spots away from the crowds. Our topic is however different and concerns the stylish and small fishing town of Henningsvaer located in Lofoten Islands in Norway. I started off with Venice as Heningsvaer is commonly referred to as the Venice of Lofoten Islands despite my objection. I think that this nickname...

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One of the Northernmost Cities of Norway: Tromso
5 months ago Tromsø

Tromso, one of the northernmost cities in Norway, is an ideal location to experience the feeling of a winter town even if you do not get to see the Northern Lights. The first thing I can underline about this town, which is a mere two hours plane ride away from Oslo, is how cozy the entire town feels. You can get your ticket for a low coast but decent carrier - Norwegian Airlines for as low as Euro 50-60 one way and travel up to Tromso by witnessing amazing aerial views all the way through....

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Flam
5 months ago Flåm

When I think of Norway, I mostly think of rural areas as opposed to the urban ones. It however does not mean that Norwegian cities are not attractive. Even the largest city of Norway – Oslo – is not like your usual big cities, which can easily get quite tiring. While they may not be my primary source of inspiration in Norway, the western town of Norway – Bergen, is also considered to be one of the top destinations within Norway. Bergen is indeed a beautiful city despite its quite frequent...

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Lofoten Islands: Reine v. Hamnoy
5 months ago Reine

If you ask the most photographed place in Lofoten Islands, many people will answer saying “Reine”. Regardless of the season, the bridge overlooking Reine is always full of photographers especially during sunset and sunrise hours. Even though I am also quite interested in photography, the size and the variety of the equipment used by these photographers always make me feel a little bit intimated and makes me question if I am not doing enough. It is weird that whenever I think of Reine, one of...

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Moscow, Cafe Pushkin
5 months ago Cafe Pushkin

Cafe Pushkin is from one of those places, which makes you feel like having traveled through time the moment you walk in. The atmosphere is so impressive that it makes you forget – at least for a little while – the main purpose of your visit, which is to feed yourself. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to take my first look at the menu. I somehow feel a little shamed for my over-excited look. This place makes you feel like in the novels of Dostoyevsky not only with its decor but also with the...

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Moscow, Gum Shopping Mall
5 months ago Gum

Do you feel disappointed that I am writing about a shopping mall? Do not be too quick to judge. What if I tell you that this shopping mall was opened in 1893 and has an amazingly beautiful architecture? If it is not enough to overcome your disappointment, I will then tell you that this shopping mall is located right in the middle of one of the most famous squares in the World – the Red Square. Gum Shopping Mall that I visited twice during my trip to Moscow is without any doubt the most...

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Moscow, Above the Water & Under the Ground
5 months ago Moscow

I am at first not too interested in the idea of a river boat tour. My next stop is St. Petersburg during the White Nights. The city referred to as Venice of Russia will sure offer me plenty of opportunities for a river tour. I somehow manage to convince myself and get on one of the boats lined up in front of Hotel Ukraina – which is among one of the famous Seven Sisters of Moscow. I immediately get the sense that it was actually a good idea. The boat is quite big and has sufficient room for...

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St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum
5 months ago State Hermitage Museum

There is no need to be shy about it – Hermitage Museum is at least as important for the fine art museum scene in the World as Louvre Museum located in Paris. Hermitage will impress you not only with its rich art collection but also with its grandeur since it was original built as a palace. The museum is home to works from Rembrand, Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh and El Greko among many others. The original basis of the collection is the purchase made by Russian empress Great Catherina (whose...

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St. Petersburg, White Nights
5 months ago Saint Petersburg

I for a long time wondered why the phenomenon of white nights was this closely linked to St. Petersburg. There are so many other locations in the World, which are positioned further north and experience the white nights for even longer terms. As an example – it never gets dark in Svalbard (where I also had a chance to visit) during the summer season – I am talking about 24 hours of daylight! Why was then St. Petersburg perceived almost as the only city where you could experience the White...

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St. Petersburg, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Following an amazingly scenic train trip between Moscow and St. Petersburg, I quickly leave the train station for my hotel. By the way – of you take the high-speed train, you can travel between St. Petersburg and Moscow in 3.5 hours. The alternative and cheaper option is the standard train, which takes around 7 hours. Luckily, St. Petersburg – with some of its similar features – still makes me feel like in Moscow, which I loved a lot. There is almost a copy of St. Basil Church located in Red...

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St. Petersburg – Singer Building and Kazan Cathedral
5 months ago Singer

I get confused at first and think that the famous Singer may have actually been a Russian brand after all. I then find out that the famous sewing brand Singer is as German as it gets but also had a landmark office space in St. Petersburg, Russia. The building located right on the fanciest and most popular street of St. Petersburg - Nevsky Street - is also right across one of the most impressing architectural structures in the city – Kazan Cathedral. Even though the management of Singer had...

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Bondi Beach, Sydney
5 months ago Bondi Beach

While on the road to Bondi Beach, my visual expectations are mostly based on the combination of the movies the Point Break and the Perfect Mothers, which both include many Australian beach scenes along with some surfing action. The movie Tree of Life by Terrence Malick also makes it into this combination as soon as I lay my eyes on Bondi Beach. The beach hosts thousands of people who look like in a dream sequence due to the reflection of the sun. Even though I am not a beach buff, Bondi makes...

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Australia, Great Ocean Road
5 months ago Great Ocean Road

I have always had a great desire to visit the Great Ocean Road. I am however a little worried today. The Great Ocean Road, which starts in about an hour from Melbourne is the Worlds largest war memorial built by the survivors of the World War I in honor of the Australian soldiers who lost their lives during the war. As you may know, the main battleground for he Australian soldiers in the World War I was Galipoli in Turkey. I hope that I am not drawn into unpleasant discussions during our...

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White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney
5 months ago White Rabbit

The White Rabbit Gallery, which is entirely devoted to modern Chinese art, includes works from the private collection of one of the richest women of Australia – Judith Neilson. The name White Rabbit raises my curiosity. The kind gallery worker explains that Neilson wanted to make a reference to the famous white rabbit of the Alice in Wonderland, which triggers the whole story. She also notes that the first Chinese artwork bought by Neilson is a white rabbit. The White Rabbit Gallery in...

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Manly Island, Sydney
5 months ago Darling Harbour

I, as a person living in the only big city in the World spread to two continents and divided by a bosphorus, have the bad habit of belittling the amazement showed in the cities with harbors. I take it hard to believe that each city by water should be necessary beautiful. I keep the same wrong attitude for the Darling Harbor during my trip to Sydney. It takes me just five seconds to change my opinion when our plane reaches Sydney air zone. The Darling Harbor is an amazing place with its famous...

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Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Art Gallery of New South Wales, which is about an hour of walk from my hotel in Newtown is a precious art space with the richness of its permanent and temporary exhibitions, two different eating areas including a fine dining restaurant and for me more importantly, with its Yiribana Gallery completely devoted to the aboriginal art. During my May 2017 visit to the gallery, which does not charge an entrance fee except for certain special exhibits, hosts two temporary exhibits – “Adman: Warhol...

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Streets of Melbourne
5 months ago Melbourne

It takes me a one look at Melbourne to fall in love – the mid-sized (in World standards) Australian city, which is usually sided by Sydney despite its continuous efforts to steal the scene with its coffee culture and street art. Right during the first hours of my visit – Melbourne gives me the feeling of being a fine mixture of Vancouer and San Francisco with its beautiful nature, street art and the hills. My first stop is Holsier Lane, an area famous with its street art. The trendy...

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New Zealand, Lake Tekapo
5 months ago Lake Tekapo

Tekapo, which is home to one of the most famous views of the South Island of New Zealand is a tiny little town. It however attracts a lot of attention thanks to the photogenic the Good Shepard Church and the lupine flowers blooming in November. Our bus departing from Christchurch, a city, which has been unfortunately home to many earthquakes, arrives in Tekapo in about 4 hours. Even though we have a dark weather since the beginning of the trip and the forecast shows rain for the entire day,...

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New Zealand, Mt. Cook
5 months ago Mount Cook

The only bad part about nature trips is your dependence on the weather conditions. Luckily, the weather treats me very nicely during this trip to New Zealand – Mt. Cook greets me with weather even nice than what was available this past summer. I am able to immerse myself in the beautiful views of Mt. Cook for two days in a row thanks to the weather conditions; Mt. Cook is quite known to disguise itself from the visitors due to poor weather conditions. Mt. Cook National Park is home to many...

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New Zealand, Milford Sound
5 months ago Milford Sound

It is often said that what Sydney Opera House means for Australia, the same applies to Milford Sound (which is in fact a fjord) and New Zealand. The most famous landmark of the country. I am familiar with the fjords thanks to numerous visits to Norway. I am therefore more excited about the Milford Road starting at Te Anau and ending at the Milford Sound. This 120 km road takes my breath away right at the start. A line of fog also accompanies us during the entire trip and looks as a belt on...

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New Zealand, Wanaka
5 months ago Wanaka

I get confused when my bus departing from Queenstown arrives at Wanaka. The weather is sunny but quite cold. I check my phone and yes – it is 5 degrees Celcius. Then what is the matter with those kids standing on the float located right in the middle of the lake and making preparations to jump in the water? This odd scene (given the weather conditions) attracts many viewers - the boys are quite popular now. I wait for about ten minutes for the boys to jump in the water taken the beautiful...

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Stockholm, an introduction
5 months ago Stockholm

I recommend that you use the metro to get to the center of Stockholm once you land in its stylish airport Arlanda. You can get to town in twenty minutes and save some bucks, which you will sure need later! You should always have a warm jacket with you. This northern city is, as highly expected, very cold in winter but it can surprise you even in summer. Stockholm is unfortunately an expensive city like its other Scandinavian counterparts. During one of my visits, I chose to stay at a suburban...

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Stockholm Syndrome
5 months ago Nobis Hotel

Stockholm, the most beautiful Scandinavian capital in my view, was first known to me with the Stockholm syndrome but not with its exceptional understanding of design and architecture. I however had no idea what gave rise to the concept of Stockholm syndrome, which can in summary be defined as the feeling of dependence and affection nurtured by the hostages towards their capturer. During my first winter trip to Stockholm, I settle in the centrally located Nobis Hotel which is also home a...

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Fotografiska Museum
5 months ago Fotografiska

For me Stockholm has everything that a decent city needs to offer. In addition to its historic feeling, it is also home to many cafes and restaurants that lead the relevant Worldwide trends. Additionally, it also hosts one of the best photography museums in Europe – Fotografiska Museum. Fotografiska is among my two favorite photography museums in Europe – the other one being la Maison Europeene de la Photographie located in Paris. Even if the quality of the exhibits hosted in Fotografiska is...

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Stockholm: Nobel Museum
5 months ago Nobel Museum

My first visit to Stockholm was during autumn on September day. It was shortly after the Nobel literature prize of Orhan Pamuk, who is still among my favorite Turkish authors. I remember dropping off my luggage at my hotel which was right outside Stockholm and almost running to see the Nobel Museum. It may be that I felt some sort of ownership towards the museum since a Turkish person has been awarded with one of the prizes! Even though it is occasionally criticized especially for its choices...

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Southern France, an introduction
5 months ago French Riviera

If we set aside the French towns bordering Spain, when I say Southern France, I refer to the Mediterranean coast side Côte d’Azur and the inner region Provence. Even though each region deserves at least a week on its own, it is also possible to visit the highlights of both regions in a week if you plan your itinerary carefully. You do not even need to have a car for that. Almost all parts of both regions are accessible by train except for the mountain villages of Provence. You can even start...

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Aix-en-Provence: the city of Cézanne
5 months ago Aix-en-Provence

I hold such great degree of prejudice against cities and this prejudice almost cost me to miss my - now - one of the favorite cities in the World – Aix-en-Provence. During my trip to Southern France focused on the mountain villages, my bus that took off from Marseille and passed through Aix-en-Provence. I remember falling immediately in love with the city and could barely control myself to not get off the bus and change my entire plans. I that day managed to stay in the bus and travel up to...

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Villages of Provence: From Marquis de Sade to Albert Camus

When you hear the mountain villages of Provence, what comes to your mind first? The movie “A Good Year” featuring Russel Crowe and Marion Cotillard? Maybe Villebelin where the famous author Albert Camus lost his life during a car accident? Or some of you may think of the chateau of Marquis de Sade, who is associated with the concept of sadism, located in Lacoste. I hope I did not hurt your pretty image of Provence with these last two anecdotes. Our road trip, which starts at Aix-en-Provence,...

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Arles: The City of Van Gogh and Photography
5 months ago Arles

You are probably familiar with the famous Dutch painter Van Gogh`s infamous story of cutting off his ear. Did you however know that the event took place in the city of Arles in Southern France? Van Gogh decides to leave the busy Paris behind and head down to Southern France, which he finds to be more colorful compared to Paris. The Southern town of Arles becomes his first stop during his move. It sadly in some way also becomes Van Gogh`s final stop. His first nervous breakdown leading him to...

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From Menton to Nice
5 months ago Nice

During many years, I feel slightly irritated whenever I hear a reference to Cote d`Azur. Cote d`Azur feels like such a distant place only shown in movies and which can only be visited by Hollywood stars. Years pass by and I at some point gather my courage and finally decide to visit Cote d`Azur. During my research, I happily find out that my earlier prejudice about Cote d`Azur is not fully founded when I discover many alternative destinations which are more budget friendly. I set my Cote...

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The Old City of Popes – Avignon
5 months ago Avignon

“Sur le Pont d’Avignon, on y danse, on y danse tous en rond” – even if you do not speak French, you may have still heard of this French kids song concerning the Bridge of Avignon. This bridge, which was built during the 12the century, constituted one of the important phases along the pilgrimage road between Italy and France during the Middle Age. The bridge which is supposed to cross over the Rhone River is today only half alive giving rise to very interesting views. Even though this half...

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Paris, Maison Européenne de la Photographie

Even though it is no longer as much of a favorite district for me in Paris as it used to be, the Europan House of Photography is a place which still makes me visit Marais each time that I am in Paris. This wonderful photography home is originally called Maison Européenne de la Photographie and is sure a heaven for photography lovers both with its historical building and more importantly with its amazing permanent and temporary photography collections. Be careful though, the museum is closed...

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Moscow – Seven Sisters
4 months ago Moscow

Can you take a guess what “Seven Sisters” is? Members of the Russian imperial family? One of the famous wide avenues of Moscow? Seven Sisters are in fact the name given to the seven skyscrapers dominating the Moscow skyline. Even the locals don’t know the story behind the name. When I say skyscrapers - do not confuse the Seven Sisters with classical skyscrapers that you can see in Dubai or Singapore. Seven Sisters reflect a much gentler architectural style and appear to be taller than they...

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