You know there is something to be said for ambiance. For character. For atmosphere.
Take the hotel we recently stayed in for example...
We stayed here. In this rock.
This is Brian standing in the doorway to our room. Small, quaint, and full of character.
The bed and "kitchenette".
The couch/extra bed...
And every room had a telephone in it. I never did see anyplace to plug this telephone in, but thankfully I hadn't planned on making any calls. This, my friends, is character! OH, and the bathroom in our room held a sink, toilet, and shower all in the same small place...no curtain separating the shower from the rest of the room. If one wanted one could sit on the toilet and shower at the same time. It was small, but it had character...ambiance if you will.
And here I am standing on the side of the rock by the windows to our room. I look like an amazon woman despite only being 5'2". This doesn't show character or ambiance. It was one of three pictures of me so I thought I would throw it in.
This is Engin Hanim, the proprietor of the Tekelli House. She was a character. Actually...she was quite nice. When we arrived she invited us to have tea with her and her husband on the terrace. We did, and I managed to not make a total fool of myself despite the drug induced state I was in from the migraine medicine I had take about an hour before.
The view from the terrace.
After having tea Brian and I decided to head into town for coffee. Brian told me about this place he knew of that had great coffee drinks. We parked the car in a parking lot and started walking.
To get to that great coffee place we had to walk by this place. Of course I immediately wanted to have coffee here instead. I mean look at those beanbag chairs! And there were hookahs on every table. Not that we were going to partake, but they looked nice. Gave the place character. AND this place had several kinds of coffee drinks as well as milkshakes and smoothies on their menu. I was sold! Brian agreed that we could try this new place instead. The raspberry vanilla French Press Brian ordered looked and tasted like dirty water. He let it brew longer than necessary, but it still never got dark enough to be considered anything other than dirty coffee water. I ordered a smoothie after being assured that the smoothie was way thicker than a milkshake. I have had Turkish milkshakes and while they taste great they are basically a glass of cold chocolate milk. There is nothing thick and ice creamy about them. My smoothie came, and once again I enjoyed a tall glass of chocolate milk. I will never learn.
Ok...so the drinks were disappointing, but the beanbag chairs were comfy. At least mine was. Brian never did get comfortable in his. He tried two different beanbag chairs and then rearranged the beans in them several times before finally giving up and deciding that I had the only comfy chair in the place. Ahhh...
After that we did a little shopping. I had forgotten my jacket so I bought a wrap to use after it got dark and in the underground city we were planning to visit the next day. After shopping and walking around we decided it was time for dinner. Once again Brian knew of a place that had good food, and this time it had character as well. It was dark, and we had to take our shoes off to enter. Guests sit on cushions on the floor and eat their meal on a large copper/silver tray.
Score one for Brian. We both noticed how unflattering this picture of us sitting on the floor is, but I had to show you the atmosphere.
We ordered a combo appetizer plate that was yummy! Hummus, eggplant and potato stir fry, salsa, squash fritters, mushroom salad, and stuffed eggplant. Speaking of stuffed that is exactly how I felt after eating the appetizers.
Then my food came. I ordered Falafel. I had never had it before, and it was yummy! My waiter was a little skeptical of me liking it when I lifted the top of the tortilla to see what it looked like. Then when I could barely eat any of it because I had pigged out on the appetizer and because I was sitting on the floor which totally limited how much I could force into my stomach (this would be a great diet technique!) he commented that I must not have liked it. Brian tried to explain that I was just full, but I don't think he ever believed me. Oh well. If he only knew how much I love good food.
And finally I offer you this fine example of mood setting. There are no camels in Turkey, except for the few that are found around the touristy areas. Why? Because they create ambiance, character, atmosphere if you will. And it works. It totally works!