The town of Kusadasi from my hotel balcony
I decided that I needed a little break from the bright lights of Istanbul so I booked a flight to Izmir, about an hour (flying) away from this fascinating city that is eerily starting to feel like home. My destination was about an hour by car from Izmir, a little town called Kusadasi (KOOSH- ah- DAH-see).
As I’ve written before, the journey can be nearly as fun as the destination. For this trip I decided that I would not rely on a taxi to get to the airport, but use public transportation instead. This involved three forms of mass transit. First I took the funicular down the hill to the street car stop. Once on the street car I rode that darn thing for 45 minutes, then got off and changed to the subway that took me to the airport. This all worked without a hitch and I was proud of myself for doing it in this way.
I made it all the way to Kusadasi without incident. A driver was waiting for me near the baggage area. He had a sign with my name. Life is good on the road when everything works as you planned.
I loved this little town! I could have spent longer there. It’s small enough to not intimidate, but large enough to have some character. I was there during the off season as it is really a beach resort. However a few tourists are starting to trickle in so it didn’t feel deserted at all. I rather liked it just the way it was.
Ahmet showing me around
My friend Joan has a friend in Kusadasi that is a driver, Ahmet. I called him and he was available to schlep me around to where ever I wanted to go. He is a gentleman, a treat to be around, has great command of English, and I enjoyed his company. We had a couple of good laughs.
After several days of a cold rain in Istanbul, the weather in Kusadasi was gloriously sunny and around 70 degrees. Just what I needed.
Life on the sidewalk in Kusadasi
A perfect Kusadasi sunset
A Kusadasi "street"
Cruise ships arriving in Kusadasi (taken from my hotel room this morning)
The village of Sirence
Sirence (CHEER-in-see, or something like that, I could never get it quite right), is a very charming little village in a remote hilltop location. What I found interesting was that it was heavily populated by people of Greek origin until the end of WWI. At the end of that war, the Greeks that lived there were sent packing and the Turks that lived in Greece moved into the village. It is remarkably well preserved and the way of life here is simple. I found it very, very charming and I found myself wishing that I had more time to spend just strolling around there.
A Sirence streetscape
The road to Sirence
Local Sirence products for sale. The white blocks are soap made from olive oil.
A Sirence street corner.
More local Sirence products