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Salamanca Hiking Routes: Candelario

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Candelario is one of my favourite, a lovely town near Salamanca. It is declared as "Conjunto Historico" just like La Alberca and thanks to its beauty, it is on the list of the most beautiful towns in Spain [1] We went to Candelario on a rainy Saturday to walk around it. It was my third time in the town. I knew the centre of the town, with its decorated houses, interesting doors, narrow streets, surprising and endless fountains waiting for you on every corner but I did not have chance to enjoy what its nature offers. Salamanca and its surroundings have arid and steppe vegetation but after an hour of travel to Candelario, Bejar, green becomes the most dominant colour.  There are many hiking routes to enjoy this nature [2] and I think tourism office of Candelario has done a good job with this web page, it is well prepared, easy to understand and very detailed. You can see there are eleven different routes.  Due to limited time and weather conditions, we took the shortest route,

Kolay Bilgisayar (Computadora Fácil)

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Como desarrollador de software, le debo mucho al tiempo que pasé en el cibercafé de los hermanos de mi mejor amigo, Mehmet Ali. Como tantas personas de mi generación, yo también, he pasado bastante tiempo en cibercafés. Era un importante lugar de encuentro de los niños del barrio, un buen lugar para socializar y conectarse a internet, al mundo. Podías escuchar sonidos de juegos como Need for Speed, Red Alert, Age of Empires y, lo más importante, Counter-Strike o Half-Life.  El nombre del lugar era Kolay Bilgisayar, que significa Computadora Fácil. Creo que sería algo así como Informática Fácil en español. La palabra "Kolay" significa fácil en turco, que también es el apellido de mi amigo. Ese lugar fue el lugar donde aprendí a reparar computadoras, desarrollar aplicaciones con ASP y PHP. Mi primera aplicación fue una aplicación de registro de clientes escrita en QBasic. Recuerdo su pantalla azul y negra con un menú de lista. Solíamos desarrollar varias páginas web con ASP uti

Kökler Yolu (Camino de las Raíces), La Alberca

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  Üzerinde tek tük yırtıcı kuşların uçuştuğu harmanı yeni bitmiş buğday tarlalarını, silindirik ve küp saman balyalarını, serinlemeleri ve içmeleri için yapılmış göletlerin etrafına dağılmış güneşlenen, otlanan, oldukça sakin ve mutlu görünen sarı ve siyah inekleri, kilometrede bir iniş ve çıkış olan ama ufka kadar sonunu görebildiğiniz bir yolu takip ederek geçiyoruz.   Yolun sonuna doğru bütün kuraklık ve bozkır bir anda uzun meşe ağaçlarının selamlamasıyla kaybolup gidiyor ve artık camlardan sarı yerine yeşil renkler doluşuyor. Peña de Francia dağının eteklerinde art arda gelen virajları geçerken, bir ferah orman kokusu ile La Alberca'ya ulaşıyoruz.   La Alberca, İspanya'nın ilk 'Conjunto Historico' yani korumaya alınmış tarihi bölge ilan edilmiş kasabası (köy de diyebiliriz, pueblo kelimesi ikisi için de kullanlıyor). Bu kasabayı ve civarındaki diğer güzellileri başka bir yazıda paylaşacağım. Bu yazıda, La Alberca'dan başlayan ve yine orada biten, doğa ve

Aveiro, Portugal on a weekend

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Aveiro is the closest coastal city to Salamanca, that's why during whole quarantine time, we have been planning to visit it. Nilu is leaving for her hometown for five weeks, so before her leave, we decided to go to Aveiro last weekend to enjoy the city and the beautiful beaches it has.  In this post, I will try to share what we were able to see and experience on a weekend, so don't expect detailed guide of Aveiro but if you plan to travel for a weekend, what I will share might be helpful.  The travel took around 4 hours. We headed to Costa Nova just after arriving in the city. Costa Nova [1] is the name of the beach which is situated on the Aveiro Lagoon [4] . Until now, I did not what lagoon means, and according to Wikipedia, it means "a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by...", which makes sense because ocean water reaches to the city centre by this lagoon, similar to a river. In Spanish, "rio" means river, and apparently, Aveiro

Camino de Hierro (La Fregeneda) - II

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After months of confinement due to the pandemic, I had the first travel with my travelling companion Eric to walk the other part of Camino de Hierro (iron road) of La Fregeneda. You can read the previous part of the route in this post .  Let me give very short information about the route, as I mentioned the route is called "Iron Road", it is also known as Ruta de los túneles (Route of tunnels). It is located on the border of Spain - Portugal, in the Las Arribes natural park [1]. It was built in 1887, a great work of civil engineering consisting of 20 tunnels and 13 bridges. You can notice in the video below, it has a tunnel with a 1593 meters of length. It was used to travel between Oporto and Salamanca. Sadly, in 1984 it was closed on the grounds of lack of profitability. Since 2000, it has been declared as "Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC)" meaning something like Property of Cultural Interest [2] Previously, we had walked from Spanish village - La Fregeneda, to Port

Sierra de Gredos - The day lockdown started

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We were outside of coverage area during hiking on Sierra de Gredos. After a few seconds from we had started to get down from the peak, we had network connection and at that moment my friend Eric, nervously, told me that a lockdown has started due to the pandemic. It was time to get back home as soon as possible. The visit to Sierra de Gredos was the last day we were able to freely walk around. Since then we are in lockdown. In this post, I was planning to share both how hiking in Sierra de Gredos was like and my experiences of being in lockdown during this pandemic. But it has been 48 days already in lockdown and there are so many things to talk/write about, so I will leave it for another post.  Let´s start with Sierra de Gredos. I have been there twice, I had not been on the lake the first time. This time, we have walked until the lake, which was half icy. It took an hour and a half to get there from Salamanca, the views along roads are nice. You can get to the start point by

San Isidro - León: A beginner's guide to snowboarding

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It has been two years since people here had stepped on the snow for the last time, It was one of the rarest moments since it does not snow much in this region. Last week, it was time to get out of under this dry, grey and unstable sky. Fortunately, San Isidro has become the destination. After almost four hours of travel, I was walking on the snow which seemed iced due to cold nights and days without snow. Next day was the day to get started with skiing. I have never tried it before except sliding on the plastic bags and small chairs when we were children. I used the slide down on all the small hills there were around my neighbourhood for long hours. I have so many memories from childhood and many of them are when it was winter. Later we went to rent the equipment, there are several local shop you can rent the equipment. I had no idea that each of them is very important on their own, learned that after two days. I decided to go with snowboarding, always interested in both skateboardin

La Fregeneda-Barca D’Alba

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My friend Eric had already walked on this route a few times, and asked me to choose among there routes that he knew and we could do, he said one is 5 km, the other is around 10 and 20 km. Since I was going to travel on the following day, I picked the shortest one and at the end of the day, my legs were trying to declare their dependency, see the Google Fit summary of the day below. We must have a huge difference in defining distance with Eric. Did it worth? Of course. Beautiful nature and the view around the route, the tunnels and the bridges, a lot of prickly pears (higo chumbo in Spanish, we have eaten some and took some with us), changing countries with a few steps and some nostalgy seeing all that infrastructure once used to be at the service for many passengers. Once you are at the Barca D’Alba station, you could see the remaining of the station, the waiting and VIP saloons, cantinas, customs office and a big building for repairing the cars. In a second, it makes you visualize

Santa Teresa Barajı

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Suya yakın park edilmiş arabanın yanında kovalar, sandalye, su şişeleri ve yaşlı bir çift. İkisinin de ayakları suda. Adamın elinde bir olta, balık bekliyor. Kadın suyun karşı tarafına, betonların koca nehri zapt ettiği yere bakıyor. Arkamızda, az yukarda, bodur zeytin ve meşe ağaçlarının arasında birkaç yaşlı daha, masa kurmuşlar sohbet ediyorlar. Sağ tarafta, ergenlik çağında bir çift, elbiselerini çıkarmadan, su seviyesi dizlerine gelecek kadar kıyıdan uzaklaşmış, oynaşıyor, eğleniyorlar. Koyun ilerisinde bir kız, beyaz köpeğinin suda oynayışını seyrediyor, köpek zıplıyor, yüzüyor, kıyıya geliyor hızla ağaçlara koşuyor sonra tekrar suya giriyor. Karşıda yalnız bir adam, bir metreye yakın uzaktan kumandalı botunu, yıllarca hayalini kurup ama bir türlü olamadığı kaptanmış gibi suyun üstünde gezdiriyor. Karşı kıyıya gönderiyor, insanların yanından geçiriyor, sonra bir anda toparlanıp gidiyor. Az sonra Astrid’in bir öğrencisi geliyor, hiç belli olmasa da altmış yaşına yaklaşmış. Üç beş

Dojo

Bir efendi var. On beş yılın tecrübesini yüzünden, sesinden ve duruşundan anladığınız gibi, gözlerinden de okuyabilirsiniz. Filmlerdeki yaşlı hocaların bilgeliği var ama yaşlı değil. Detayları kaçırmıyor. İsmimi benden iyi telafi ediyor. Sonra bir Alejandro var, bir saatin yarısından fazlasında gözleri kapalı, sanki dua ediyor sürekli -iyi konsantre olmak için galiba- efendinin uzun yıllar sağ kolu olmuş. Şimdi bazen derslere giriyor. Bir kahramanın sadık yardımcısı gibi, Rubin gibi. Öğrenmeyi, öğretmeyi seviyor, efendiye layık olmaya çalışıyor, mükemmel bir sağ kol bence. Gözlerime bakıyor sürekli, "elimdem bir şey gelse hemen yaparım, yeter ki söyle" mahcubiyetiyle. Sonra bir Carlos var, tipik Meksikalı ama değil. En yaşlımız, ağır abi yani, her şekilde, konuşması, davranışları, gülüşü. Gür bıyıkları var. Efendi ona, o da efendiye saygı duyuyor. Sonra Luz var. Işık demek. Bir kız. Beyazların içinde çok saf duruyor. Çocuk gibi. Dışarıda başka biri oluyor. Kolombiyalı, yarı t