Seein' the Aegean
September 28 - October 6, 2014 /
Izmir & Area, Turkey
Early this month, we enjoyed a visit to Izmir, Turkey's third largest city. We stayed in Alsancak ("Al-sahn-jack") a vibrant part of town with a very hipstering pedestrian street -- imagine Spark Street in Ottawa with real people instead of zombies.
Izmir, we were told, has always rowed it's own boat due in part to its Greek heritage (née Smyrna -- it's in Revelations, people!) and a large European presence, including the influential Levantine community that has been doing business in Izmir since the 1700's.
And through some Ottawa connections, we had the pleasure of meeting Brian, the cousin of the father of the minister of the godfather of our daughter, Zoe, who had us over for coffee at the family house in Boranova, Izmir. Their family's home is one of 30 Levantine homes in the neighbourhood, and is complete with an English garden that the kids enjoyed playing in.
Brian also drove us down to see the seaside town of Çesme, where we enjoyed a memorable cuppa Earl Grey on the back deck of his boat. He even directed us to his favourite saltwater hot spring near the harbour, and treated us to a great meal on the way back to town. Many thanks! In Çesme, we also took a tour of the Ottoman castle.
While we were based in Izmir, we also visited the site of Ancient Ephesus (It's in Revelations, people, and in uh, the Letter to the Ephesians, and Acts too), and paid a visit to the ancient town of Smyrna's Agora and road the bus down from that city's old Ottoman castle, the Kadifekale.
Here are a few, okay a bunch, of snapshots from that week of the trip. Cheers!