For a lot of people, Turkey means Istanbul. Of course Istanbul is one of the top destination to travel in Turkey but it is not the only one. In such a big country like Turkey, there has to be a lot of places which are lesser known but by no means less worthy. One such city is Izmir which is the third largest city of Turkey.
Izmir located on the south-west part of Turkey is close to many popular places yet very few people choose to stay in city itself. I made Izmir as a base for initial few days of my trip and took day trips from there. I didn’t spend a lot of time in city itself but I did get to witness some part of it.
Though Izmir is a big city, it’s not easy to find English-speaking people. On many occasions, I had to rely on sign language or understanding from few broken words. But that makes the experience memorable. The first person Arif whom I met at Izmir airport accompanied me on the metro train. The connectivity from airport was very good and I could reach Basemane area of city directly by Metro.
Basemane is not considered a safe area but after reading a lot on different forums, it looked ok to stay there if we are alert. I discussed with my hotel owner Edward and he informed me that it is true that main roads are safe but I should avoid going into streets as there are chances of getting mugged. Your hotel staff is good advisor on locality in a new country.
I loved the street where my hotel was located as it was very close to bus companies offices, supermarket and roadside open air restaurants. First day I just stuck to area near my hotel, but on second day Edward told me to walk towards sea which he according to him is a good place to spend evening.
Road To Sea
Mysterious Izmir Streets On The Way
An Evening In Izmir
As I walked for 15-20 minutes further, finally I could see the sea. It turned out to be a great discovery as the whole area was beautiful. More importantly there were very few tourists but lot of locals and I could see life of people of Izmir there. It was a usual evening in Izmir and I started with my favorite activity – A long walk besides the see and watching the things happening around.
A Perfect Evening
I walked for around an hour. There were lot of people doing fishing. There were stalls for selling corns and tea which reminded me of India again. I walked across the many restaurants that are set up just besides sea. Finally I stopped at one of the restaurant for dinner. I ordered a pizza and waiter just curiously asked me from where I am. I got the expected response and he was very happy to know that I am from Hindistan :).
Walk Along the Sea
Sunset at 8:30 PM
I watched the sun setting down gradually with sip of tea. It was time to say goodbye to the sea and thus an end to a perfect evening. While coming back, I could see the shops were closed, traffic had reduced and people were enjoying evening with their friends/family. Izmir had won my heart in just one evening.