Sunday, April 4, 2010

Izmir, Turkey

Our latest adventure has taken us to the land of Turkey. Our friend, Patrick, now lives in Izmir and invited us to visit him this spring break. He has waxed eloquently about the wonders of Turkey and the fabulous people and now we know why. It was absolutely stunning.
We started the day out with a trip to downtown, the bazaars as well as the Aegean Sea. We started off at the clock tower, located right near the bay in a downtown park that encompasses the bazaar, and the promenade along the sea. The tower was a gift to the Turkish ruler at the time (somewhere around 1900) from the German ruler. It is set in a nice park and is the local hang-out and meeting place. It's connected to a large park on one side that crosses the main road and then rambles along the water way (the Aegean Sea enters in this area into a port - even had a French Cruise ship in here). It's covered with awnings in places and you can see how the newly growing vines are being trained to cover some of the walkways - very nicely done. The other direction has a small mosque and the entrance into the bazaar.
The bazaars are extremely similar to the suqs found here in Doha. All of the small shops open out into the walkways and plaza areas, lots of eateries - most with outside seating, lots of people hawking their goods. It's amazing the things you can find. My favorite was the juice sellers - with fresh squeezed pomegranite juice for about $1.20. Amazingly delicious!
We joked around that our trip was a journey from one internet hotspot to the next. Here's one of our early Jeff and Patrick checked out where we were and how best to get to our next destination.

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