the days in Turkey were so dense that I could not immediately describe every stage of this wonderful trip. I still "owe" you two days. At home in Vienna, a lot of work has been waiting - but now I'll deliver, because I think also these two tours were peppered with beautiful places and my Turkish friends have given me a few insider tips, which I do not want to withhold from you...
We say goodbye to the cute boutique hotel in Selcuk, but for sure I will be back and head northwest to Urla.
Urla is a municipality in the Turkish Aegean region, it is not far from Ismir. In Urla there are many artisans, really great ceramics, wooden toys, jewelry and clothing. In addition, very nice bars, and already at 11 o'clock's we feel like a rosé and a cigar and we dawdle into the day and chat in the shady courtyard of a nice café called İstifçi. Here, too: as soon as we unpack our cigars, there's already a cigar ashtray on the table. And after a while we even see a white rabbit holding court completely undisturbed between guests and dogs - what was in the wine, please?
We continue on to Çeşme, which, along with Bodrum, is apparently the "hottest" city by the sea for Turkish high society. And I must admit: it is very very very nice here. I would want to spend my vacations there, too. If you come here, you should try the speciality: "sakizli kurabiye", which are cookies made of a kind of tree resin and taste nice and crumbly.
Chino has again the super tip for the late lunch - a guesthouse with Turkish home cooking, the Yusuf Usta Ev Yemekleri in Alaçatı. I can hardly decide ...
Alaçatı is close to Izmir on the west coast of Turkey, which is known for its architecture, vineyards, windmills and sea. Alaçatı is one of the most traditional towns in Turkey, with stone houses, narrow streets, boutique hotels and restaurants with tables on the streets. There is a relaxed friendly atmosphere, one nice café follows the next, one interesting bar follows the next; surely here all hell breaks loose at night....
Here, too, we forget the time and get up in the evening to continue the journey - to
Bandırma, where we will spend the night as the last stage before Istanbul. The city, which was called Panormos in ancient times, is located between Izmir and Istanbul - on the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara. Translated from Latin (and Greek), Panormos means "good for landing", which is why many port cities of antiquity were called this way - today's Palermo, for example, also bore this name.
We also land well after a speedy ride with the former racing driver Chino.
The hotel, the Panderma Port was a former tobacco warehouse, is located directly at the port and is charming. Each room is decorated differently and has at least one antique piece with a story around it. The young owner, Seckin Avci, is both a passionate cigar smoker and antique collector. His wife runs the integrated café with the best desserts for miles around. Breakfast is also world class. There is still a bit of a hiccup in the general hotel organization, but I'm sure the dedicated couple will soon get to grips with that too.
Conclusion: if you want to make a stop between Izmir and Istanbul, you should do so in Bandırma and smoke a cigar with the young owner of the Panderma and taste the delicacies produced by his wife. You should not expect too much from the city itself, it is a very ordinary port city - but if you want to have peace from tourists and love special hotels, this is the right place.
See you soon and then from Istanbul!
Yeni, Zafer Cd. No: 64
Yeni, Zafer Cd. No: 42
Restaurant in Alcati:
Yusuf Usta Ev Yemekleri
Alaçatı, Atatürk Blv. NO:2
Hotel Panderma Port
Mehmet Akif, PAŞABAYIR MH.
Ersoy Cad No:13