A Day in İzmir
As you may have noticed, it has been a while since my last post. This is partly related to the fact that I have had some visitors coming over to see me recently and I have been spending time with them and showing them around the city as well as exploring new places with them. Most of my visitors were surprised of how mild the weather is over here, warm and sunny, whereas it is still snowing in Germany.
Today, I will share some of our recent explorations. If you visit İzmir, I suggest you to start off in Konak, right next to the Clock Tower, which is the city’s landmark.
From there you can take a 15 minute walk to the Asansör (elevator) where you will get a nice view of the city. It is easy to reach and you can always ask people along the way. They will be happy to help you out. If you get hungry or thirsty, you can buy snacks almost everywhere. There are little stands, kiosks or simit (pastry rings which are actually called gevrek in İzmir) sellers on every corner. My friends said that “Turkey smells of food” and that it is hard to be hungry for long.
There is no entry fee to access the Asansör and you will be able to enjoy a view of the neighbourhood as well as the bay with its numerous ships and the mountains in the background. Apart from taking pictures, you may also have a tea or coffee in the café up there.
Afterwards, you can take the nearby stairs back down to the street and make your way towards the sea where you can walk back to Konak on the promenade bordering the bay. On your way, you may encounter men, women and children fishing, tea sellers on electric motor cycles shouting out “Ҫay, Nescafé, çay!” and other vendors offering candyfloss or sunflower seeds. Once you get back to the spot on the bay, near to the location of the Clock Tower, you have two options: You may either take the ferry to Karşıyaka or Bostanlı (ok, that would be a third option) or you can continue straight for a few more kilometers next to the seaside.
You are not sure which one to pick? No worries, I am taking the decision for you. We will continue along the promenade. The area we will be reaching soon is called Pasaport (meaning passport, as you may have figured out). There are many cafés and restaurants next to the shore and you can enjoy a tea / coffee / waffle or smoke nargile (waterpipe) while watching the sun set. In most Turkish cafés you can ask the waiter for a set of tavla (backgammon) so you may engage yourself in a match or two (or three…).
After having regained forces, you can proceed along the promenade (always go straight, you won’t get lost) and you will reach Kordon (meaning cord) which is the name of the promenade right after leaving Pasaport. You will come to a green area where depending on the weather conditions and day time, you may sit again and rest, people watch or just admire your surroundings. If you continue walking, you will soon find yourself in Alsancak, another of İzmir’s districts famous for its bars, cafés and nightlife.
You can end the day here in one of the numerous restaurants and look forward to yet another day in this beautiful city.