Welcome to Margica's Notebook!!!

My aim for this blog is to share with the world my inspirations, stories, and thoughts behind my jewelry shop on Etsy, Margica.

Two Hands + One Creative Mind= Margica

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Turkish Delight

"Wake up it's time!" my father said and gently lifted me up from under my blanket.
"Oh! What?" but he couldn't speak no more because his powerful laugh filled the room, and for good reason--- I was all dressed up, with my boots on ready to go. Where? Well to see the most mysterious place on earth.
   The night before we arrived in Orsova, a small town in Romania where the Danube runs through. My dad promised me that we'll take the first boat early morning to Adakaleh, a small island that was soon to be swallowed by the river as the construction of the Iron Gate Dam will be completed. The Iron Gate is a gorge on the Danube river that forms the boundary between Romania and Serbia. Two power stations have been built here to supply electricity for both countries. This is the point where the river separates the Southern Carpathian Mountains from the foothills of the Balkan Mountains.
  I was nine years old and the rich history as well as the many legends of the Adakaleh mesmerized me. Needless to say that I couldn't sleep that night, and long before the birds woke up, I was up dressed and cuddled under the cover waiting for Dad's call. It was a cool August morning and heavy clouds announced a rainy day. We arrived early on the pier and the boat captain invited us to join him for tea and cookies.... mmm...mmm hazelnut cookies, my favorite. This day announced itself to be a special one, and it was indeed. My dad told me more about this place and it's history, about the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars, how the Austrians built a Vauban-type fort in the island of Adakaleh to defend it from the Turks, and he told me how the locals  survived. The population of roughly 1000 inhabitants lived from fishery, cultivating tobacco, and in modern times tourism.* Adakaleh had a Porto Franco status (free port) and also had a reputation of being a smuggler's nest. Can you imagine pirates on the Danube? Of course, this was long ago...
 The trip was most exciting, the Danube water embraced us with its magic and it transported us to a place where time stands still. Adakale means "Fortress Island" in Turkish. Adakaleh is the Romanian pronounciation. Pictoresque little white houses were sprinkled on the Island hill with 1000 narrow twisting alleys, many with steps of stone. In front of each door, women dressed in black sold what they produced: the most luscious preserves, green walnut, wild berries , and the one that stole my heart was the wild rose petals preserve. Also, everyone offered hot Turkish tea, sweet and aromatic, Turkish coffee made as it should be in the old way in an copper "ibric" simmering slowly in hot sand to make Caimac (foam), and of course a glass of ice cold water. The air was full of an eerie blend of sweet pungent smells of drying tobacco leaves, salty fish, and pink roses. Climbing the serpentine of stairs, holding my dad's powerful hand, trying hard not to skip anything while memorizing this world of 1001 nights to the last detail, I remember how my eyes gazed in awe. All at once I saw the most beautiful girl that I had ever seen. She was dressed in a traditional Turkish costume, white with colorful embroidery, and the beads around her neck had made her a princess in my eyes. She smiled and waved her hand inviting us to taste her rose sherbet, cookies, and handmade fruity Turkish delight that was arranged on fine glass plates. In that very moment, the clouds disappeared and the sun made the Danube to glisten in millions of sparkling, trembling waves bordered with the finest white foamy lace. Was she human? Was she a fairy? I will never know for sure...
  Yes, we visited the mosque that was built where a Franciscan monastery once stood. I remember the huge unicorn carpet, the Pascha's house, the Bazaar, and the pool bath in which everyone threw a coin to make a wish.

 Looking among my beads, trying to organize them as if I will ever be able to...(who am I kidding!)  I rediscovered some beautiful Indian lampwork glass beads that I had put aside long ago. Strangely enough, the beautiful Turkish girl had appeared smiling before my eyes with gorgeous beads around her neck---Yes, Yes, Yes I know what I have to do! Feverishly, I began to put together the necklace that you now have before your eyes, Turkish Delight. I must say, the chain symbolizes the Danube River, and the rest is history, as the beauty of the sunken Turkish enclave shall forever be a mythical symbol of peace---Adakaleh.


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