Turkey
İkince Kültür

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    • Day 20

      Türkiye: 2 Weeks in Summary

      October 17, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

      Here I am with the summary footprint I promised for our two weeks in Turkey.

      Honestly, I didn’t do much of anything. From the get go, this trip was intended simply as “family time” … to add on to the brief visit we made to Turkey in the spring. Our goal was to enjoy time with our families and leave the exploring to another time.

      With my family all living in İzmir, it was easy for me to spend time with them. Mui had to go further afield for his family time … to Eskişehir … a province in Central Turkey. The dates for his trip were specifically selected so that he could join school buddies for a dinner reunion that he found out had been planned in Ankara … a short train ride from Eskişehir. The bonus of that little segue … his nephew, who lives in Samsun, a province in the Black Sea Region, drove down for a day while Mui was in Ankara. Thus, with a quick 4-day jaunt, Mui managed to kill several birds with one stone … so to speak.

      As is always the case when we’re in Turkey, there was a lot of food involved in our family get togethers. Breakfast … brunch … lunch … afternoon tea … dinner. Sometimes at home. Sometimes at a favorite eatery. Sometimes in the city. Sometimes in nearby districts. We even managed to squeeze in a dinner that has become a tradition with Mui’s cousin and her husband.

      I know, I know. This summary does not do justice to the delightful time we spent with family and friends during this whirlwind trip. But … at least I got a snippet posted. Hopefully, the included photos will make up for the dearth of words and you can see from our smiles what a great time we had.
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    • Day 3

      Got Where We Were Going

      September 5, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ ☁️ 73 °F

      Two days of travel from the USA to Türkiye via Canada ended this evening when we arrived at the apartment we use as our home base in İzmir.

      We took off from IST in the rain … and wind. Not sure that either was the reason for the 30-minute delay, however. It seemed like garden variety rain to me … but who knows what the radar may have been showing.

      The droplets that obscured our vision as we rolled down the tarmac could not withstand the take-off speed of the aircraft. Thus we got a clear view of the coast as the plane climbed up to altitude. Through cloud banks we went … to be greeted by puffy clouds and blue skies once the aircraft leveled off.

      A 45-minute flight … and we still got a full blown meal. I abstained, but Mui accepted the tray … laden with all kinds of goodies, including a salad topped with beef brochettes and grilled tuna as the main course. Oh, and a tres leches cake for dessert. Of course, the cockpit announced that we were beginning the descent into ADB almost at the same moment that the tray was set in front of Mui. No leisurely meal this one.

      A beautiful sunset accompanied our landing at ADB … the tarmac damp from recent rains, but the sky otherwise clear and dry.

      Another 30 minutes to walk to baggage claim and grab our bags. And then we were in a cab, rolling towards Alsancak … the neighborhood where the apartment is located … and where my family lives.

      After dropping off the bags and refreshing ourselves, we walked the 10 minutes it takes to get to the condo building where my mom and my sister & brother-in-law live. A happy reunion ensued … with the bonus of having my brother there as well.

      Now to get a good night’s rest. I think we deserve it after a trip that was nearly 5,500 air miles long.
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    • Day 70–78

      Izmir gar nicht egal

      September 24, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

      „Wahnsinnig wuselig und dabei höchst gechillt.“ So würde ich Izmir, das ehemalige Smyrna, beschreiben. Und jedem, der die Türkei kennenlernen möchte, empfehlen.

      Es sind ja überall in der Türkei die Spuren der Antike zu finden, in und um Izmir sind es besonders beeindruckende, die ganz einfach mit dem Zug von Izmir aus zu erreichen sind. Ephesus (da waren wir) und Bergamon (da waren wir nicht) und die alte Agora (das Herz der alten Stadt mit Markt) in der Stadt Smyrna selbst.

      Eine tolle Promenade am Meer, verwinkelte Gassen, ein sehr gutes und sehr einseitiges Atatürk Museum (wie einseitig wird uns erst richtig klar, als wir von Armenien aus zurückblicken), das beste Lahmacun (türkische Pizza), Linsensuppe, Kumru (Sucuk Sandwich) und Bomba (mit vieeeeel Schoki gefüllte Kekse) und soooo freundliche Menschen.

      Von dort aus machen wir ein Abstecher ans Mittelmeer in Alacati. Nachdem wir eine Unterkunft hier gebucht haben, empfiehlt mir das Internet, was man so in dem Örtchen am Strand so tun kann: Instagram Fotographie. Kein Witz. Und dafür eignet sich der pittoreske Ort auch wirklich.

      Mit dem Roller erkunden wir die Halbinsel, laufen durch Cesme, von wo man nach Griechenland (Chios) rübersehen kann…Europa so nah…liegen in der Sonne, baden im Meer und: Sehen Flamingos!🦩

      Cesme ist übrigens ein Städtchen, das den neuen Tourismus in der Türkei ganz gut repräsentiert: Besser schick und schön mit Yachten und prachtvoll edlen Hotels, als all-inclusive-Hotelburgen. Und ist damit allerdings längst nicht mehr allein…

      Was uns hier auffällt, ist, dass die Menschen über ihre Konkurrenten nicht gerne Auskunft geben…weder der geschlossene Fahrradverleih noch die Busgesellschaft. Am (mühselig) gefundenen Busbahnhof weiß der junge Mann nichts von dem Bus, den wir nehmen wollen. Ist ja auch nicht sein Unternehmen…der Bus kommt 5 Minuten später trotzdem und so fahren wir weiter nach Denizli…
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    • Day 3

      Our Travel Day Concludes in İzmir

      September 30, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

      Another uneventful flight — the final one of our inbound trip — brought us from IST to ADB.

      TK2336 departed IST on time for the 50-minute flight. As soon as the aircraft completed its climb to cruising altitude, we were served a hot meal … karnıyarık (eggplant with a ground beef filling) and rice … one of our favorite Turkish dishes. Dessert was a mango nougat mousse. All delicious, but considering we began descending for ADB almost as soon as we were level, we had to scarf down the food.

      Our flight landed on time and taxied up to a jetway, which made it easier to deplane at the domestic terminal and make our way to the international terminal to collect our luggage. It’s a ridiculous process since there’s never anyone at customs and everyone just walks out of baggage claim. Then again, it beats having to claim bags in İstanbul at the conclusion of an international flight and then turn them back in again for a domestic flight.

      At the taxi rank, we were immediately shown to the next cab that pulled up. This was probably one of our fastest times from airplane to ground transportation. Since it was 8:30p by this time, there was hardly any traffic. A half-hour later, we were unloading the bags in front of the apartment in Alsancak.

      We have checked in with my family, but the actual reunion will be tomorrow morning. We’ll see everyone for breakfast at my sister’s place tomorrow morning.

      In the meantime, some shuteye is in order. It’s after 10:30p. Time to go to bed!
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    • Day 6

      Practice for 9 September

      September 8, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 79 °F

      Caught the Türk Yıldızları (Turkish Stars) — the 6-man Turkish Air Force demonstration team — practicing again for tomorrow’s 101st anniversary of İzmir’s liberation from Greek forces on 9 September 2023 … and the culmination of the Turkish War of Independence.Read more

    • Day 24

      Breakfast on the Balcony

      September 26, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ ☁️ 68 °F

      When possible, Mui and I like to dine al fresco.

      The bistro table on the balcony of our home base in İzmir is much too small to comfortably dine on.

      We solved the problem by adding a coffee table and covering both with a table cloth. Voilà … we can now dine on the balcony whenever we are home.Read more

    • Day 49

      One Door Closes …

      October 21, 2023 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 61 °F

      In this case, the “door” is a trip.

      While we aren’t leaving Türkiye until tomorrow afternoon when Holland America’s Oosterdam departs İstanbul, the family trip has concluded.

      We’re off to ADB for the flight to IST … embarking Oosterdam this afternoon.Read more

    • Day 22

      Bags Are Packed ... Ready to Go

      March 19, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 39 °F

      Alrighty ... calling for a taxi to take us to the airport in İzmir. First ✈️ of the day at 8:00a.

      Taking advantage of our luggage allowance for business class tickets to take back all the wedding paraphernalia that we left behind last year.Read more

    • Day 20

      Turkey’s Kolonya Culture

      March 17, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 48 °F

      Limon Kolonyası. What is that, you ask? It’s cologne with a lemon fragrance, though there are other aromas as well ... lavender being another popular version ... as is lily. Every household in Turkey has a bottle of two on a shelf or in a cabinet ... always.

      Kolonya has a high alcohol content — as much as 80% — which gives it a refreshing quality. It’s quite popular to offer it to guests for that purpose. Or to be offered some when you go to a restaurant ... or into a shop ... or even when you travel by bus on a long distance trip. It’s very much a staple that is readily offered to people who go to visit a sick person ... whether in a hospital or at home. I can think of a lot of other circumstances where kolonya is used, but you get the idea. It is and always has been part of daily life in Turkey.

      Of course, due to its alcohol content, kolonya also has an anti-bacterial effect ... always a good thing ... even more so in this day and age of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a good tradition to continue for sure.

      Which explains the long lines at the outlet shop of one of the producers of this fragrant cologne. Mui encountered this long line when he went downtown to pick up a couple of bottles for mom and Aylin. Needless to say, with no social distancing in this queue, he opted to pass on the purchase. He’ll pick up some from a pharmacy instead.

      We’ve already picked up and packed in our bags a couple of bottles of a different brand that we prefer to bring back to the US ... as we do every year. Might pick up an extra bottle this year 😉
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    • Day 17

      Chores & Errands in İzmir

      March 14, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

      Despite the chaos around the world, all is well in our tiny corner of it. We’re doing everything we can to keep it that way ... washy, washy of hands is at the top of our prevention measures.

      After working on revising this year’s overseas jaunt, Mui went out to run errands. I spent the afternoon with mom and Aylin. After dinner with the family, we returned home. A load of laundry was in order ... need clean clothes to wear while we’re here. Another small load or two tomorrow should see us through to our departure.

      Tomorrow we’ll go out and have some fun. The weather promises to be delightful.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    İkince Kültür, Ikince Kultur, 2. Kültür

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