Museums and Sticky Icecream
Gaziantep Travel Blog› entry 22 of 29 › view all entries
Today we were heading to the Gaziantep museum. After tackling some domestic chores like washing we set off about 10:30am getting there at 11am. The entry was 3 liras; entrance fees in Eastern Turkey are so much cheaper than Western Turkey. The Gaziantep museum is a archaeology museum which was home to a collection of many mosaics unearthed from Zeugma. The mosaics were amazing and in such good condition, some bits that were missing were stolen by treasure hunters over the last century. Most of the mosaics told stories around the Greek and Roman god’s some statues were also in the museum as well as a collection of other archaeological finds around the area. While we were in there we bumped into Christine and Ryan who told us a film was playing upstairs and they were waiting for it to restart. About 15 minutes later we heard it start so we went upstairs to watch it. The film showed the site of Zeugama and how the archaeologists unearthed the treasures. The site wasn’t open for tourism yet but it did mention that it would in the future. At 12:00 when the movie had finished we were told that the museum was closing for lunch and would re-open again at 1pm! How odd that a museum actually closes for a lunchbreak maybe they should consider their staff coverage. We had an hour to kill so we strolled back towards the hotel with Ryan and Christine; we said our goodbyes to them as they were heading to Urfa in the evening. At 1pm we went back to the museum and finished off what we didn’t see so we spent another hour in there. By the time we came out we were very hungry so we set out to find the lahmachun cafe which eventually we did find, the staff recognised us from the day before! We had heard about the chewy ice-cream from Kahramanmaras not too far north from Gaziantep. Zehra said she saw a shop that sold it so we went on the hunt for it. We stopped at one shop that looked like it had ice cream and when we asked they said they had the chewy ice-cream so in we went! A long with the ice-cream we also ordered a kunefe which is a round angel hair pastry containing soft stretchy cheese. The pastry is first cooked to soften the cheese then syrup is poured over the top. As we waited for the kunefe to cook we watched in awe as the ice-cream was taken out the fridge, unlike ice cream I’ve seen in a tub this was in a sausage shape and wrapped in plastic. It had to be cut with a knife as it was more solid than normal ice-cream. The waiter brought over our ice-cream and kunufe to share.
We polished off our sweets then walked ourselves to the culinary museum. The museum was in a lovely old house and introduced some wonderful displays of Gaziantep cuisine. Various dishes were on display and descriptions of the various spices, vegetables and meats that were used in the dishes. We sat and watched a documentary that showed you how to make the dishes; we spent some time in this museum as we enjoyed it so much. It was getting late in the afternoon so we headed back to the copper bazaar to do some last minute shopping. On the way we stopped and bought some pistachio nuts which here are sold by their quality. We bought a few grams of the medium quality one so we were guaranteed at least each shell had a nut inside! We had been given a tip from a member of staff at the museum that we should visit the cave cafe in the coppersmiths Bazaar. As we walked through the Bazaar we turned down an alley that we didn’t go down the day before and in doing so we found the cave cafe. We walked into the open courtyard which was centred by a seating area with cushions low tables with hubbly bubbly pipes seated on them. Private cushioned rooms were facing inwards towards the courtyard as well as a shop selling Hookahs and another shop selling carpets which looked like Aladdin’s cave. We chatted with the very nice shop keeper who wasn’t pushy in the least, he told us he designed the seated area outside, the whole area was colourful and decorated with carpets and tribal hangings I loved it. He pointed in the direction of the actual cave which you had to walk down some stairs, the cave was a cafe decorated with brightly cushioned chairs and carpets on the walls. It was so nice, we had a bit of explore then went upstairs and had tea on the cushions in the courtyard. For dinner we headed to a restaurant called Cinarli recommended in lonely planet but when we got there it had closed down so we went to another one Cavusoglu. I had the kebab and Zehra ordered the stuffed meatballs which were really nice, the other thing she had was the yogurt drink called Ayran which here you drink out of a bowl with a spoon like soup in Western Turkey you drink it out of a cup!