Sunday, June 20, 2010

Izmir and the Aegean Sea

We flew into the Izmir airport and went directly to a hosted breakfast of local community leaders at the home of Osman Kanyis. We enjoyed conversation and dined on olives, honey and butter, turkish bagels, cheese and blackberries and many other wonderful foods.

As we drove to the town of Izmir, we traveled through the ancient part of the city winding up and up to the very top of the city…higher than two space needles….As you look at the photos you will see a panoramic view toward the Aegean Sea. The city borders the shoreline with a very very large shipping harbor!!! Our luncheon was sponsored by the Pita Restaurant owner. We had the very best Gyro’s ever!!

Our hotel, Otel Marla, right next to an Oto Park, was just a few steps from the Aegean bulkhead. We walked down there in the evening taking photos before we went to our host family, Suleyman Karadal, for another fantastic Turkish dinner. The view from their home of the Aegean was so peaceful and so very beautiful as the night descended and the city lights came on. The green beans and tomato sauce was especially enjoyed by Jeanette. There was an excellent discussion of Muslim traditions.

Around our hotel, there was a small army of dogs the size of wolfhounds and labs. They keep the streets clean and warn of approaching strangers. Citizens walk down the middle of the narrow streets enjoying the sights on both sides. The restaurants have continued to move out onto the sidewalks all the way to the street. Truth be told, there really was no sidewalk movement unless you went right into the tables of the patrons.

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