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.