One of my friends spent about a year in Izmir. I often hear a lot of praises from him about Izmir and from time to time he seemed to miss the city. So now my new destination is Izmir, Turkey.
Izmir is quite close to Istanbul by plane. The flight took only 45 minutes from Istanbul and I was really impressed by the big and modern airport of Izmir.
I took the train from the airport as the last stop of the train was right across my hotel in Alsancak. If you choose the train too don’t worry about the city pass (Izmirim Kart) that is required for the train. You can easily buy one from the train station at the airport. You can also get a taxi but it might be a bit expensive as the downtown is like 30 minutes’ drive (depending on the traffic) away. Another option is taking the private bus from the airport to central locations. The busses leave in every half an hour or so but still it seems to be very practical when the reasonable ticket price and comfy ride is considered.
I knew Izmir was famous with its seafront which is known as “Kordon” and because of that I booked a hotel as near to Kordon as possible. There were a few hotels right on Kordon or very close but their prices were a bit high. On the other hand the one that I booked was only about 10 minutes’ walk to seafront and had a much better rate.
So after I checked in to the hotel I decided to walk around. I walked to the seafront and once I arrived I was amazed with the atmosphere. Right before the seafront there was a big wide open area covered with grass. There were people sitting on the grass from all ages. Some were having a small picnic, others playing guitar, some having their drinks, some just chatting with each other, some walking their dogs, some jogging, some having a pleasant walk and some of them just sitting on the benches and watch the sun go down and meet the beautiful sea of Izmir. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. I felt so joyful in this beautiful, green and vibrant area.
After my excitement calmed down a bit I noticed that there were many cafes, bars and restaurants on the other side of the green area and decided to have a drink in one of those. As I had my drink watching the lights of a town across the bay, I remembered what my friend said “Kordon is a lovely place” and definitely, he was right.
Next morning it was time for the city tour. The guide was on time and we were a group of only 4 people. We started with the historic elevator of the city which was almost 100 years old. We took the free lift up to terrace and we there it was, a gorgeous view of Izmir Bay and Izmir City. After having “çay” (tea in Turkish) and enjoying the panorama we went back to the bus.