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    • Day 51

      Happy Mom’s Day

      May 8, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

      We went to Sakız Restoran for a late lunch today … to celebrate Mother’s Day … and to enjoy a farewell dinner with the family since we leave tomorrow to return to the USA.

      As is always the case, the food was delicious … the service was excellent. For once, instead of filling our tummies with mezes (Turkish tapas) only, we ordered just enough small plates to share so that we could enjoy grilled sea bass as well.

      Now, our bags are packed … just one still open for last minute items. The cab has been ordered for 6:30a tomorrow morning. The alarm is set for o’dark hundred.

      And, oh yes, we took the COVID-19 test that is required to re-enter the USA. Since most of the labs are closed because it is Sunday, we used the proctored eMed antigen test kits from the comfort of the condo. We’re NEGATIVE!
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    • Day 38

      Venezia Alaçatı Otel

      May 23, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Das ist das Hotel in dem wir momentan wohnen. Wir haben zwei Zimmer, eines für mich und Aline und das andere für Urs und Susanne. Es gibt jeden Morgen von 9:00 Uhr bis 11:00 Frühstück. Das Frühstück ist soooo lecker 🤤, es gibt sehr viele verschiede Saucen, Brot 🥖 und sehr viele andere Sachen. Wir haben auch einen sehr coolen Pool, den ich schon ein paar mal benutzt habe. Es gibt noch sehr viele andere Sachen, um diese zu sehen, müssen Sie sich das beigelegte Video anschauen.

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    • Day 39

      Ausflüge nach Alaçatı

      May 24, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Gestern und heute haben wir uns die Umgebung angeschaut. Unser Hotel ist am Hafen. In die Stadt sind es etwa 9 km. Einmal pro Stunde fährt ein Minibus. Das Ticket kostet 15 Lira pro Person (ein Euro). Man bezahlt am Schluss der Fahrt, so weiss der Chauffeur wie viel zu bezahlen ist. Es scheint keine fixen Haltestellen zu geben, man steht einfach an die Strasse und winkt wenn man mitfahren möchte. Wenn man einmal in der Stadt Alaçatı ist kann man alle paar Minuten mit einem anderen Mini Bus an den grossen Strand oder nach Çešme fahren, von dort legt zweimal am Tag ein Schnellboot nach 🇬🇷 Griechenland zur Insel Chios ab. Wir waren auch in der Altstadt und in einer 3M Migros.Read more

    • Day 78

      Çeşme / Alaçati

      June 13, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Eine Mischung aus Erbrochenem, Kot und Schweiss macht sich im Nachtbus nach Izmir breit. Dazu bis weit nach Mitternacht ein Geschrei und Herumgeturne der beiden Kleinkinder die Reihe hinter uns, welche auch grösstenteils schuld sind am feinen Duft im Bus. Als wir dann endlich mal etwas die Augen schliessen können, ertönt kurz nach 5 Uhr ein Wecker eines Businsassen, der schläft jedoch munter weiter und merkt erst nach 10 Minuten, dass es sein Wecker ist. Eine alles andere als angenehme Nachtbusfahrt nach Izmir. Dementsprechend gerädert kommen wir um 7.00 Uhr in der 3. grössten Stadt des Landes an. Izmir lassen wir aber links liegen und nehmen direkt einen weiteren Bus auf die Çeşme Halbinsel. 3 Tage verbringen wir zuerst in der schmucken kleinen Hafenstadt Çesme, chillen am Pool und an den schönen Stränden der Halbinsel und gönnen uns etwas „Ferien vom Reisen“ 😉. Nach 3 Tagen ziehen wir die paar Kilometer weiter nach Alaçati, einem kleinen Ort mit zauberhaften Gässchen und vorwiegend einheimischen Touristen. Wir haben wieder mal Glück (wie fast immer) und finden ein super gemütliches Boutique Hotel mit 7 Gästezimmern zum Schnäppchenpreis. Vom zwar nur 8 qm grossen Zimmer (reicht uns aber völlig) laufen wir keine 3 Meter zum Pool und das leckere Frühstück wird jeden morgen auf der Terrasse zwischen Pool und Zimmer serviert. Auch vom Ort sind wir entzückt, nicht umsonst gilt der Ort als Hotspot der hiesigen Influencer. Dementsprechend sind aber auch die Preise höher als an anderen Orten. Der schöne Stadtstrand liegt eine kurze Dolmus-Fahrt (Minibusse) entfernt und ist besonders bei Windsurfern beliebt. An diesen Tagen ist der Wind am Strand jedoch so stark, dass ein angenehmes Sonnenbaden kaum möglich ist. Unsere leichten Reisebadetücher sind ideal zum Reisen da leicht und platzsparend, aber bei starkem Wind haben diese halt auch seine Nachteile 😉.Read more

    • Day 48

      The Agora of İzmir

      May 5, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

      This morning, Mui and I decided to check out the ruins of the ancient Agora of İzmir ... aka the Agora of Smyrna. The MüzeKart we purchased in İstanbul in mid-April covered the ₺40pp admission.

      The word agora comes from the Greek language. True to the meaning of the word, during antiquity, it was a place of trade and a place where political, religious, and cultural gatherings were held.

      The Agora of Izmir was originally built by the Greeks in the 4th century BC. Destroyed during an earthquake in 178 AD, it was reconstructed on the orders of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

      Excavation of the site started in 1933 and continues to this day. In 2020, the Agora ruins were inscribed on the Tentative World Heritage Site list as part of "The Historical Port City of Izmir."

      This was Mui's first time visiting the ruins. I'd been there a couple of times and noticed some new areas that have since been opened to visitors. While there, we also checked out the Ottoman Era cemetery with its interesting headstones.
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    • Day 48

      Konak Square

      May 5, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

      From the Agora, Mui and I headed into Kemeraltı, the shopping district, and grabbed some döner for lunch from Özev, the restaurant Murat took us to a few days ago.

      Then, we meandered to Konak Square to reach the waterfront for the stroll back to Alsancak.

      There are two iconic structures in the square.

      One is the Konak Mosque, which has a rather unique octagonal floor plan. The exterior of the windows are banded with tiles from Kütahya, a Turkish province that is famous for its tile works. The mosque, which dates back to 1748, has been restored several times ... most recently in 1964.

      The other structure in the square is the historic Clock Tower, which was inaugurated in 1901 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdul Hamid II's accession to the throne. The top was destroyed twice during earthquakes, most recently in 1974. The tower, considered the symbol of the city and the province, underwent restoration in 2019.
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    • Day 49

      Murals Around İzmir

      May 6, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

      Longtime readers all know of my love of murals. The medium doesn't matter ... paint, tile, mosaic. So, of course, when I came across a few as we wandered around the city yesterday and today, I had to photograph them.Read more

    • Day 49

      İzmir Tradition: Lokma Dökmek

      May 6, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

      Lokma is a pastry made with leavened dough. The dough is shaped either like a ball or a doughnut and deep fried. Then, it is soaked in simple syrup just long enough to coat the exterior. It is often garnished with cinnamon before serving.

      The name lokma literally translates as a bite or a morsel. When shaped like a ball, they are just that … a bite-sized sweet treat.

      It is possible to find a “lokmacı” (lokma maker) where one can enjoy this sweet treat. But that’s not how we came to be eating lokma today.

      You see, there is a tradition in Turkey called “lokma dökmek.” The literal translation is “dropping lokma” … from dropping bits of the dough into boiling hot oil to fry it. This is done by the family of a deceased person to honor his/her memory. Large quantities are made on the street, often in front of mosques, and the fresh, still-warm lokma is distributed to neighbors and passersby. It’s not uncommon for people to queue up to receive a plate and recite a prayer for the soul of the deceased after they eat the lokma. Though traditionally this is done forty days after someone has passed, it might also be done on the anniversary of the death of the deceased.

      The lokma that was “dropped” today was at the request of the young man who owns the neighborhood bakkal (mini market) … in honor of the anniversary of his mother’s death
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    • Day 50

      Urla: Food-Art-Food

      May 7, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 63 °F

      A beautiful spring day — a bit breezy; but with blue skies and sunshine to mitigate the chill.

      To make the most of it, we began our day early with a 40-minute drive to Urla, a town in the Province of İzmir.

      First up, a delicious breakfast at Léone, a patisserie and boulangerie in the town center. Delicious food … beautiful presentation … excellent service. So glad we arrived early as within minutes of being seated, there was not a single table left empty.

      Next, we drove the short distance to Arkas Sanat Urla, an art museum that was founded by the Arkas Family to feature their collection of art … paintings, sculptures, carpets, tapestries, and more … some from Turkey, others from abroad.

      What a wonderful museum … bright and airy … housed in a custom-built building on the family estate. No admission … which is flabbergasting, but is in line with the family’s “… passion for reaching art to large masses and contributing to Izmir’s cultural life, …”

      Then, we drove down to the Urla waterfront to check out what is billed as a maritime archaeology museum. Not much there … a couple of old boats … a scale model of a fishing village. There’s a lot of work to be done before I’d call this place a museum.

      Finally, we wrapped up with beverages and sweet treats at Fırın Vourla, a café/restaurant on the Urla waterfront. Despite the breeze, we found a secluded table on the terrace so that we could enjoy the beautiful day as we ate our treats.

      What a great way to spend one of only two days we have left with family on this short visit to Turkey,
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    • Day 9


      July 10, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Dieser Ort hat mich im Herzen ❤️ berührt. Ruhig , friedlich, eine hohe und feine Schwingung, oben auf dem Berg inmitten saftiger Wälder und feinster Luft .
      Laut Überlieferung hat Meryamana (Mutter Maria) hier ihre letzten Lebensjahre verbracht und ist hier auch gestorben.
      Ein sehr besonderer Ort😍
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    İzmir, Izmir

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