Turkey
Birinci Kültür

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    • Day 45

      Lunch @ Basta La Pasta

      October 17, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

      With Deniz leaving Türkiye tomorrow, the three siblings and Mui took mom to an Italian café for lunch.

      Basta la Pasta is small — maybe 6 or 7 tables. The menu is simple — a variety of fettuccine dishes and two or three other pastas, including lasagna.

      Delicious … and we all enjoyed the preparation of fettuccine in the Parmesan wheel.
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    • Day 5

      Free Transportation

      September 7, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 79 °F

      Par for the course, since arriving in İzmir Tuesday evening we have been spending most of our time with family ... at my mom's condo. When we are not there, we are settling into our home base a few blocks away and running errands all over the city.

      One of those errands took us downtown this morning to pick up an "İzmirim Card." This is a contactless smart card that can be used to pay fares for all means of public transport in the city, including buses, trams, metro, and ferries.

      I've had one of these cards for years. What made the one we picked up today special is that because I have reached that "magic age," I no longer have to pay to ride public transportation in İzmir. No need to top off the card or worry about whether there's enough money for a ride anymore. Just tap and go. 😁
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    • Day 2

      2. Day Izmir VIII

      August 8, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 30 °C

      Afterwards, we were finished, but we really wanted to see the Artemis Temple, which was one of the 7 wonders of the world in ancient times. Unfortunately, only one column of the temple still stands, which was quite disappointing. Somehow, we were relieved because we were finally going home. Selcuk has to be mentioned again, it is a beautiful little town with trees growing everywhere. We saw everything from oranges, lemons and pomegranates to grapes, and all this in the middle of the town on the main roads.

      When we arrived back in Alsancak/Izmir, we decided to eat on the promenade in a restaurant called Magro. The ambience was nice, the view of the sea excellent, the staff nice and the soup and salad were well done. Unfortunately, the steak and manti were not good. It's complaining at a high level, but in Turkey you can eat much better for less money. Our recommendation is to have a drink and a light meal there. Otherwise go somewhere else ;)
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    • Day 6

      Day 93/94: Food Poisoning from Hell

      April 13 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

      We try to stay honest with everyone when it comes to travel because it’s not always “beautiful” and “amazing”.

      Since Tunisia, we had been planning to visit a Hamam, which is a traditional public bathhouse in the Muslim world (similar to Korean/Japanese spas which are fully naked). We decided Turkey was the best location and wanted to pay for a nicer experience (sauna, steam room, wash, scrub, massage). As we ran to our hamam we grabbed some sandwiches. The experience was nice even though Mary got roasted for having shoulder, back, and leg issues.

      However, while walking back it went downhill very quickly. It started with fever and then the sweats appeared. Within an hour both of us were puking. Kieran tried to order food but neither of us could eat. The whole night was aches, pains, voms, and groans. It could have been the sandwiches or the tap water Kieran said was safe.

      Worse part is we had a 5 hour train the next day at 7am. The alarm sounded at 6am and we both got our shit together (mentally, physically, and digestively) and made that train. It was a miserable ride but we made it to Pamukkale and proceeded to sleep 5 hours. Woke up for a nice dinner (Kieran couldn’t finish) and went back home to recover for the next day. Pictures of our most miserable days this far.
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    • Day 21

      Last Day of Abbreviated Europe Trip

      March 18, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 46 °F

      Our departure day is nearly at hand ... much earlier than anticipated when we set out from Colorado on 27 February. Tomorrow morning we head to the airport to begin the long haul back.

      We’re sad, but the circumstances are what they are. Our goal now is to get home safe and sound. Reports from several friends who have entered the US from overseas in the past few days indicate no hassles or delays at the airports ... at least at the international terminals. 🤞🏻our experience follows suit.

      This morning Aylin hosted us for breakfast. Afterwards, Mui and I left to get haircuts at the barber at the US military facility here in İzmir ... one less thing to have to deal with when we get home.

      Since we had time before our appointment, we decided to take a circuitous route to get to the barber. The weather was nice and a bit of fresh air was in order ... felt really good after two bone-chillingly cold days. I’ve never seen Kordon, the waterfront promenade, this deserted ... except perhaps on census day. With all the bars, pubs, cafés, bistros, coffee houses, and similar establishments temporarily closed by government decree, only a few souls were out and about ... and most of those people were fishing on the boardwalk. The shops were mostly deserted ... some limiting the number of patrons who can enter at any one time to two or three.

      I’m now at mom’s ... Aylin and Murat joined us for afternoon tea. As did Mui ... after taking care of a few last minute errands. We’ll have dinner together as a family before Mui and I head back to the condo for an early night ... we’ll be off to the airport at 6:00a.
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    • Day 19

      International Textile Biennial: Scissors

      September 21, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

      What took Mom, Aylin, and me to Kültürpark was the International Textile Biennial, which is being hosted by the İzmir Municipality.

      The exhibits are on display at various venues around the city, two of which are at pavilions in Kültürpark … a short 5-minute walk from Mom’s apartment. We decided to check these out first to decide if we wanted to go further afield in the upcoming weeks to see some of the other exhibits.

      The theme of the Textile Biennial is “… Slow down, Focus on the Touch.” Meticulously handcrafted fabric art is intended to remind the audience of the power and meaning of textiles, and highlight sustainable and ethical practices. Quotes on the walls of the venues are designed to encourage this mindset.

      The first exhibit, housed in the former Pakistan Pavilion built in 1938 — during the heyday of the İzmir International Fair (mentioned in the previous footprint) — was a small one. Four glass cases displayed scissors from various time periods. Interesting … but what was to come would really capture our attention.
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    • Day 19

      İzmir Kültürpark

      September 21, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

      The IEF — İzmir Enternasyonal Fuarı — translates as the İzmir International Fair. Indeed, an international affair it was, with countries from around the world attending to showcase their products … big and small.

      In my youth, the fair used to be a month-long event that heralded the end of summer. Strolling the fairgrounds in the evenings; going on rides in the Luna Park; attending plays and concerts featuring A-list stars in the open air theaters; browsing the country and company pavilions and stalls for goods and sweet treats. These and more were all part of the fun. There was even a parachute jump for those who wished for a bit of daredevilry.

      In recent years, the annual fair has become a smaller affair. But the fairgrounds, which are generally referred to as Kültürpark (Culture Park), still see extensive use by the public as they did in the past. Some go there to walk or run the purpose-built path; others go for a stroll, a picnic, or just to meet friends; lovers rendezvous in quiet corners. On Wednesdays a farmer’s market is hosted near one of the entrances. Concerts and plays are still held periodically. Sometimes the country pavilions are pressed into service as exhibit space.

      It was the latter that took mom, Aylin, and me to Kültürpark today. I’ll post about the exhibits separately. In the meantime, here are a couple of quick shots from around the park.
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    • Trip to Ephesus

      October 21, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 52 °F

      Starting two nights at this hotel, so nice not to pack again. Here’s the schedule for today. ( interesting that we used to live in Smyrna, GA). Call to prayer boomed out of loudspeakers every day reduces the need for an alarm clock. :)

      DAY 6, Monday - Full Day in Izmir
      Enjoy a full day at leisure in Izmir. With over 3500 years of history, the port city known historically as Smyrna offers a variety of impressive archaeological sites, not to mention easy access to ancient Ephesus. Perhaps, relax in the city and sip Türk kahvesi, authentic Turkish coffee, at a café set along the scenic Pasaport Quay. Don't miss the optional tour to Ephesus, considered one of the greatest ancient cities of the world. Here, you'll visit the House of the Virgin Mary, Basilica of St. John, the library of Celsus, temple of Hadrian, the theater and the Odeon. After lunch at a local restaurant return to Izmir
      Optional: Full Day Ephesus & House of the Virgin Mary with Lunch Overnight: Izmir
      Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

      On the highway heading south , we learn that when they were constructing this Highway, they found a marble highway used by Alexander the Great.

      Heading to the House of the Virgin Mary this morning ( see map) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Vi…
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    • Air to US ✔︎

      September 12, 2019 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

      There are no westbound Transatlantic cruises from Europe to the US in June. Well, there might be on Cunard, but we're not interested in that cruise line. So, the only way to get back home after our European Quest cruise (R/T out of Southampton) is to fly back from the UK.

      We debated using miles to get award tickets on Delta or United. Then we remembered Sonia mentioning that Norwegian Air's premium cabin is pretty decent — especially for a long-haul low-cost airline. When our research unearthed a route from London Gatwick to Denver — non-stop no less — we were sold. Two bags each ... meal service ... extra legroom even if the seat doesn't lay flat ... pre-reserved seats (1A/C). Sounds good to us.
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    • Day 19

      All’s Well!

      March 16, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☁️ 48 °F

      Just checking in. Not a very exciting day ... which is not necessarily a bad thing these days. It’s a bitterly cold day with a strong wind making the chill worse than it should have been based on temperature alone.

      A few chores and errands ... some internet work ... some iPad Kindle reading ... a few more rows of knitting.

      Oh ... and we canceled a few car rental reservations and the B&B we had booked for our brief stay in England in May. All were pay-on-arrival ... so no financial impact to us from our change in plans. I’m going to work on canceling the more complicated arrangements after we get home.

      All’s well in our little corner of the world.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Birinci Kültür, Birinci Kultur, 1. Kültür

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