Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two days in Izmir, Turkey

Izmir was the first city after Istanbul that I visited in Turkey. And it was lovely.

After Istanbul it seemed very, very quiet. The weather was better. I did not see one traffic jam. Not a one. In fact, the waterfront (Konak) has almost no cars and buses out there and you can sit down on a bench amidst the palms and take in the amazing view and the quietness.

And then an old fisherman buys you tea just because he feels like it. Of course that’s mostly because the tea seller has no change, but it still is pleasant. And then you get two bus rides for free because two bus drivers also have no change. My, it surely is a nice place.

Izmir is a city where life is slow and no one is in a rush. Some areas are a bit like Sultanahmet in Istanbul, minus the screaming vendors, rip-offs, tourists and mosques… Well, I guess it’s nothing like Sultanahmet at all, is it? It is soothing and uplifting.

Izmir is a city where veggie vendors drive around their veggie trucks and housewives buy their salad ingredients from kitchen windows.

Izmir is a city where 3 housewives from two buildings across one other discuss the latest gossip from their windows (it’s a quite a sight!).

Unlike in Istanbul, people cycle here… and not just at night. Barely anyone wears a headscarf, even relatively far away from the central area. People are friendlier.

There aren’t many landmarks overall in Izmir, nevertheless it is fun spending some time there. I especially enjoyed some of its smaller and quieter streets upwards from Konak.


Maria said...

I love all that splashy red...

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