Return To Izmir – There’s Never Enough Time

The following blog post was written two days ago immediately after our return from Izmir. On the same day, Berkin Elvan – a 15 year old who was struck on the head by a police tear gas canister while out to buy bread during the Istanbul protests last June – passed away. His funeral was yesterday. Out of respect, we decided not to publish for those two days. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets for Berkin Elvan yesterday and the day before.

If you are travelling to Turkey soon, or are already here, although the British Embassy updated their travel advice, nothing has changed, common sense prevails, and the advice still reads as it did last year: ‘avoid protests and demonstrations’ – we’d agree with that advice whether you are coming to visit Fethiye, Izmir, Ankara, Istanbul or any other part of Turkey. Click here to read their full update. Visitors from other parts of the world should also check the latest advice from the authorities in their own countries.

Obviously, we have no idea what will happen in the future – but just to stress; we have always felt safe to live in Fethiye and travel anywhere in Turkey and, as long as that remains the case, we’ll continue to share our personal tales here as we have done for the last four years.

Anyway…here’s the blog post:

The Izmir Plan

  • Get the bus from Fethiye to Izmir, eat and drink lots of the things we’ve been dreaming about since our last visit. Midye dolma, söğüş, fincanda pişen Türk kahvesi.
  • Maybe visit a couple of different places we’ve not yet seen.
  • Go to the Karşıyaka-Fethiyespor football match.
  • Meet up with a couple of people we’ve met through Facebook – people we’ve wanted to meet for a long time – both of whom live in this neck of the woods.

The Izmir Reality

Well, you know how it is – and you know us; outrageously disorganised and never enough hours in a day to do what we thought we could do – and before we know it, we’re on the bus back to Fethiye.

Pasaport, Izmir, Turkey

Don’t breathe in

After being dropped off by the service bus in Basmane, we decided to take the scenic route along the sea to get to our apartment in Alsancak. Ahh, the joy of Turkey in winter. It appears the kordon is under renovation – the type of renovation that involves sandblasting the pavement and kerbs – and caking everything, including these two newly-arrived visitors, in a layer of white dust. Not good when you’re wearing black!

We could have chuntered and grumbled about this…but it seems we forgive Izmir many things. We’d had an early start, a longish bus journey from Fethiye and now we had to search out our digs while lugging our (newly dusty) rucksack and various gadgets. We have been known to get tetchy in these situations, but not this time. Izmir’s our happy city.

Gündoğdu Meydanı, Izmir, Turkey

Iconic Gündoğdu Meydanı

We ended up walking along at the same speed as a march – it was International Women’s Day so it was a long stream of vocal women making sure everyone was aware what day it was. Good for them! We’d already said something would be happening in Izmir; and we’re not remotely surprised that we managed to arrive right in the middle of it. We guess they were heading here, Gündoğdu Meydanı (photo above), and eventually, we managed to overtake them to go and find our temporary home. By the time we’d done all this, the day had become early evening…and so on…and the weekend ran away with us.

And so what did we manage to achieve on this weekend in Izmir? Obviously, that’s for upcoming blog posts (we only did a fraction of what we had planned) but we can tell you that our memories of the city from our visit in September 2012 still stand. Our thoughts have not deceived us – we cemented our love for Izmir last weekend – and we’ll definitely return again soon…even if it’s just to try to meet the people we intended to meet – but didn’t manage to meet – this time round! The best laid plans, eh…

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  1. Hi there. We spent a few days in Izmir in October last year. First in Alsancak and then Basmane. Both have things to recommend them. Good on the women for getting out there and marching. The kordon is so important in Izmir, I guess they have to keep on top of things :)That was quite a way to walk with your luggage!

    • Hi Jan, yeah we love Izmir. We always go wherever we can on foot and were looking forward to a walk along the sea again – love the breeze there – but it turned out to be a tad dusty. 🙂

  2. . . got it all to look forward to, then!

  3. Hope you at least got the beer.

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