Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
Nomadic women from Ayvacık
These colourful women were seen at the weekly market of Ayvacık which takes place on Fridays, a day after the weekly market in the similar sounding town of Ayvalık. These women were dressed differently from those we saw in Ayvalık and tended to have slightly darker skins. Their colours reminded me a bit of the hill tribes in notheren Vietnam. Anyway, as said before, Turkey always tends to surprise in one way or another and normally in a very pleasant way.
We took a car out for the day, driving north up past the dreary towns of Burhaniye and Edremit (where there was a nasty smog in the air) and across west to Kucukkuyu, over the hills and inot the pleasant market town of Ayvacık, where, luckily enough we came across the weekly market! Then it was down through sheep and goat country to Behramkale, the former ancient Greek Assos, which was also a place we had visited and stayed at on our journey 21 years ago, about which Fred has slightly better memories than he had of Ayvalık.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Return to Ayvalık - Fred can't remember it after 21 years
Return to Ayvalık - Fred can't remember it after 21 years, a photo by CharlesFred on Flickr.
Oh well... he has plenty of other happy memories from the last 28 years. He could remember Cannakale much better than I could. Funny how memories play tricks on one.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Turkeys in Turkey for Christmas
Always good to see turkeys in Turkey (although here they are called Hindis, as if they were Indians), and never better to see them than on Christmas Day. Just a pity that they do not seem to be on the menu...
Tire is in the province of Izmir and can be reached by a direct train from Basmane station in Izmir, the journey passing through lovely countryside and taking about 100 minutes.
There is a weekly market in Tire which is held on every Tuesday and it is reputed to be one of the biggest such markets in Turkey. It reminded us a lot of a similar market held in the Black Sea town of Inebolu which we visited in 2009.
Tire is also renowned for its handicraft, particularly felt making and also saddlemaking. It is a very pretty town on a hill, rising from the plain below. It has an array fo old buildings such as hans, caravansarays, mosques, hammans and bedestens. Not all of thenm are in such a good state fo repair, which makes a visit there all the more charming. Highly recommended.
Fresh olives from Tire
Monday, December 24, 2012
Fred at the Agora in Izmir
We have decided to return to Turkey again for Christmas this year and decided to try the west coast, centring on Izmir, Turkey's third largest city. We had visited the city once before, back in 1991, on our first visit when we changed buses on our journey from Ayvalik to Kusadasi, a visit which lasted maybe half an hour!
We had not done an awful lot of research on Izmir before arriving but we were aware of its history as a Greek city called Smyrna and also the disgraceful behaviour of the Greeks when trying to invade Turkish territory after the First World War when they committed nasty atrocities to the Muslim population. This episode of history left Izmir going up iun flames, a stort retold in the very excellent book Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres.
Anyway, we arrived in Izmir on Sunday evening, having had the chance to watch another Louis, this time Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, win the 2012 edition of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered by my favourite professional, Flavia Cacace.
Monday morning was bright and sunny and almost warm and a great day to start our Izmir adventure, as we found the bazar area of Kemeralti and then the rions of the old Roman Agora, which provided the backdrop for this photo of Fred.
Multi-colour above the Agora in Izmir
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Secret pool in desert oasis
I have been to this secret oasis in the mountains a couple of times in the past year or two, where sweet cold fresh water runs along these channels/falaj to water the fruit trees and crops. However, this time, they have widened the channel to create this magnificant pool among the date palms with views down the valley. Totally magical.