Thursday, May 31, 2018

Turkey - Day 1 Izmir

We have booked a hotel just outside Selcuk, Turkey which is very near the ruins of Ephesus. The village is called Kusadasi.  We hear doves, dogs and lots of tractors driving by.  It is a very small resort.  It has a pool, a restaurant, lots of tables and places to hang out, and the rooms open up to a central area.  Unfortunately for us there is a lot of light at night.  Our host and hostess are a very recent couple - formerly business partners.  She does the guiding he does the driving.  He owns the property.   We drove to Izmir to a central square near the market.

I was surprised to see so many young people washing to purify themselves in the fountains.

This is a more secular region of Turkey.  I noticed the kids taking a group photo - only a few of the girls had an type of head scarves.

Lots of wedding stores - dresses not only for the brides but for others in the wedding party.

Market scenes.

Our first food stop.  Breakfast pastries.  All were just salty except for the one on the far right. Slightly Swede with thinnie flavor.

 Next stop was more sweets.  Too sweet for us - phi lo dough with nuts and honey.

 Lots of shops like this.  It is outfits for boys to celebrate their brisk.  They are circumcised at a very young age - but the celebration takes place several years later.  I asked out female guide what the female equivalent was - nothing.  This is still a very male dominated area.

Next stop - two styles of muscles.  These had rice and flavorings inside.  The other ones were fried with a yogurt sauce. 

Mike was searching for a handmade leather belt.

A interesting desert.  Milk based custard that is broiled in a large round pan.  The tradition is that the last piece is eaten out of the pan.  We saw someone who had ordered a piece receive the whole pan to eat that last piece.. She seemed quite proud.

Next stop was for braised intestines.  That lass enclosure above out heads shows a couple of skewers.  I did not taste it  Mike said it was OK.  After they cut it off the skewer they pan fry the strips to make them crispy.  Still did not entice me.
 Our host apparently is vegetarian - so he did not try it either.  She and Michael did eat it.

The two ladies at the table behind us reminded me of my grandmother Fast.  She used to wear a scarf like the lady on the right.

Our last stop was to a marzipan place.  His is the only shop like this.  He exports all over Europe.  He also decorate the boxes with ribbons and flowers using glue gun.  An unusual talent for a man.

He inherited the recipe from his father-in-law.  An he seems so happy with his life choices.  This is not one of my favorites, but you have to admire his enthusiasm.

He showed me the tiny kitchen behind the small shop.  And showed me all the fresh almond.

By that time we were pretty tired - it has been another hot day.  So we went back to the resort.  Here are a few pictures of what we enjoyed.

Dinner is served inside this restaurant.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Last of Greece - Thessaloniki May 29

We have not had much time here - and Thessaloniki is a very interesting city.  Our apartment is very close to a lot of historical sites.  Yesterday, our first day here we spent with a guide who was determined to show us everything that Thessaloniki had to offer.  As a result we are very tired and achy today.  We got a very late start.  Our first stop was the Rotunda of Galerius. 

As we approached it, we saw this bakery across the way.  I really want to know, why is their bread angry!

The Rotunda entrance and scenes inside.

Outside in the back they had laid out a lot of items they found around the site.  This seems to be a site the feral cats enjoy.

Next we went to the closest church to us.  I believe it is called the Ypapanti Church.  It is not famous enough to be put on the tourist maps. 

A look back as we head off towards the water front.

We decide to stop for a snack.  This is a bakery/coffee place.  So we pick these out - we heard when we were in Kalamata that Thessaloniki was famous for these pastries.  They are cream filled filo dough.  When we picked them out they were just the filo part - and we thought they already had cream in them.  They looked pretty small so we got two each.  We were aghast to receive the pastries as they were served.  Now it is way too much!


On to the White Tower.  This tower is famous for bloody reasons.  In 1826 Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II massacred rebellious janissaries here.  They wee an elite troop of forcibly Islamicised Christian boys.  After the Greeks recaptured the area, the tower was whitewashed to try to remove the bloody past - and the name has stuck.

There was not much to see along the waterfront.  No marina, no sailboats drifting past.  Just these tourist boats which make a small loop around the small bay.  The working harbor is way behind the boat in the picture - at the end of the long string of hotels and eateries that hug the coast.
The next area we went to was Aristotelous Square.  We had seen it yesterday, but had not been all the way to the water.

We headed down the waterfront a little further.  Then deciding we were hungry checked trip advisor for a good restaurant nearby.  It sent us to this location - exactly where our guide yesterday had told us not to eat!  The food was not bad.  Our waitress had told us that the fish was served with no sides.  So we ordered a salad and potatoes.  Both dishes were huge - and our fish/octopus came with sides.  Again way too much food.

We headed toward the markets we had seen yesterday - now open.

Walked past this same scene - the sides of the building and balconies were covered with this plant - most be something like Boston Ivy.

We both are still tired and our legs really ache beyond uncomfortable - so we headed back to the apartment for an early day.  Still have to pack for an early morning flight to Turkey.