Blogs from Izmir, Aegean, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir November 1st 2015

Tourist visas in Turkey are good for 90 days which would normally seem like a long time unless you rent an apartment in a spot that you love and then those 90 days just whizz on by. By the time we left Canakkale; the Dardanelle wind had taken on a wintry bite and early morning walks required thick jackets and woolen caps. In Turkey, a visitor doesn't just 'move on' when they feel like it. At least not a courteous visitor. Our last week in Canakkale was filled with goodbye dinners and farewell breakfasts and tear-soaked, boat rocking, Grizzly-bear clinches that none of us wanted to be the first to end lest our ardor be questioned. This autumn we supplemented last year's list of Turkish friends with yet another long roster of tongue-twisting names and I'm ... read more
rosie kj mike seashore karaburun
hasan kj cold karaburun
kj mike the king and host

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir June 6th 2015

We only sailed 69 nautical miles last night, at an average speed of seven knots, to reach Izmir in Turkey. This is the port offering a day trip to Ephesus for those passengers wanting to see the wonderful Roman ruins at Ephesus. Since we have already visited Ephesus not just once, but twice, we were happy to have a relaxing day just mooching around Izmir. After breakfast we disembarked and walked all the way along the waterfront into the historic centre of Izmir. It was quite a hike as the cruise ships share the cargo terminal that is a long way out of town. It is a lovely and flat 'green' walk along the waterfront with well-maintained lawn and gardens the whole way. And when I say well-maintained I mean it - we saw a guy ... read more
Konak Mosque
Izmir Clock Tower
Konak Square

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir » Konak April 9th 2015

Arriving to Ataturk airport, we handed over our passports and our flight confirmation email to the man behind the counter. “There is a problem.” Words you really don’t want to hear at an airport. “You are at the wrong airport.” Hearts sink. Here nice and early but not nearly enough time to get to another airport. “Go to the main ticket agent down the hall.” Our tickets were not refundable but flights are still leaving in 30 mins, 2 hours, 3 hours, etc. from now to Izmir. Feeling embarrassed about our error, we re-booked our flight to leave from Ataturk and we were on our way a couple hours later. We took the metro from Izmir Airport to a station that had part of our hotel name in it. We couldn’t narrow down the walking directions ... read more
Boo, wrong airport
Izmir clock tower
Konak square

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir October 10th 2014

An amazing gondola ride to Pergamum...similar to getting to the top of Aspen Mountain! It must have been a tortuous walk or cart ride. A bit of haze makes it impossible to see the Aegean but we know it's there. Asclepieum was serene and afforded a lovely view of the acropolis. Izmir seems huge and the hotel, very hi-tech. modern Turkey, Pergamum is now Bergama so I've included a photo of rugs from that region, the home of Galen!... read more
Day 7 Oct 10 Pergamum (22)
Day 7 Oct 10 Pergamum (7)
Day 7 Oct 10 Pergamum (15)

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir September 25th 2014

Total miles travelled: 1,747 nautical miles So far I have been stating the distance we have travelled since the beginning of the cruise. The distance is in nautical miles. I may have already explained this previously but for those of you who aren't aware, a nautical mile is calculated to account for the curvature of the earth. 1 nautical mile is equal to 1 minute of 1 degree of the earth's circumference. Therefore 1 degree is equal to 60 nautical miles. A nautical mile is slightly less than a linear mile at about 0.9. Our journey on to Izmir in Turkey took us through the Greek Islands of the Aegean Sea. We sailed within 2km of Kefalonia and then an hour later, the island of Zakynthos came in to view about 3km of our starboard side. ... read more
Roisin standing on the Marble street in Ephesus
Statue of goddess Nike
The Celsius Library, Ephesus

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir September 3rd 2014

On the bus to Fethiye September 3, 2014 There is no doubt that Ephesus is absolutely stunning. The Turks with support from an Institute in Vienna and US money have been able to reconstruct some spectacular 2000 year old buildings. We could get there via a pleasant 30 minute back country walk from our hostel. With the help an audio guide and guidebook we spent a happy four and half hours touring the ruins. It was an interesting comparison to Teos, a much smaller city with much less excavation and reconstruction. At one point we saw ourselves about to be engulf by a tidal wave of cruise ship groups (nearby Kusadesi is the fourth most popular stop for cruise ships in the Mediterranean). We did just what you do in the sea: we ducked down in ... read more
Ladies at Tire selling their garden produce
Traditional weaving at Tire
Drizzling with olive oil and water soap before pressing the felt

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir August 30th 2014

Welcome back to the chronicles of Eric, the Turkish Traveler! If you’ve been following my blog so far then you know that my life here has been pretty upbeat for the most part as I slowly venture through this foreign land. Well, I’m glad to report that my upward spiral continues as I now attempt to describe my newest adventure that has turned out to be both an awesome personal experience and an excellent career path for me in this city that the Turks call Beautiful Izmir! New Beginnings: Joining the EU No, not the European Union – Ege University baby! Since my last post I’ve been fortunate enough to become a member of Ege (Egg-Gay) University’s (EU) diverse and talented teaching staff and I simply couldn’t be happier! I absolutel... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir » Konak July 12th 2014

The old Turk reeled in a flailing, silver-gray fish from the clear-blue Aegean water. Three cats waited behind him patiently. The rising sun tracing feline heads in wispy golden-hued halos. Unfortunately for kitty this fisherman had other plans. He stowed his fresh-caught lunch in a Styrofoam cooler strapped to his bike. No worries. There were dozens of women fanning out along the sea-side promenade, filling water bowls and distributing food amongst Izmir's furry denizens. We pulled out of Canakkale on an early morning. The night before we had shared a last meal with Hatice and Neuraz on the waterfront. We will miss them greatly. They showed us every kindness they could, assuring that our time in Turkey was as pleasant as possible. It worked, as Canakkale is now permanently etched into our 'Gotta Go Back There' ... read more
Western Turkey
Hasan Checks The Menu
Matt and Joy

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir May 21st 2014

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir August 24th 2013

Welcome back to the chronicles of Eric, the Turkish Traveler! This little story is about our new home that we recently purchased in sunny Izmir. Come fly with me as I take you on a digital tour of our new bird’s nest, perched atop what the locals here call, “The Twin Towers of Izmir.” A Change of Scenery Well, it’s been just a little over one year now that we've been living in Izmir (can you believe it?) and we were definitely ready to move out of our old place and find a fresh change of scenery. Our old apartment building was exactly that – old! It felt and looked like it was built during the Ottoman Empire. The building was wedged in the middle of four other buildings of equal height – one on each ... read more

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