Izmir. The slower alternative to Istanbul in Turkey.
When I think back of my week in Izmir I think of the colors of the sunset, the view on the mountains from the harbor, the wind, the sun and the boats, the slowness of the city. Ok and to be really honest first of all I think back to my greatest couchsurfers and friends Kamran and Abdullah.
After Istanbul I didn't expected another big city in Turkey as calm and slow as Izmir. The most peaceful moment we experienced on our first day in Izmir when we went up the mountain with a cable car. We had a view above the city, walked the park and watched other people having BBQ.
The next day Kamran went to the seaside with me. As soon we reached the water we rented bikes for the entire day and only payed 10TL for it.
Besides the sea water in Izmir is a big boulevard where people walking, sell ice cream, corn, simtsy, hang around and try themselves on skates and bikes.
In between this: Kamran and me riding speedy our bikes through the crowd. I felt happy and free.
Once we reached the city center we brought some drinks, sat on the stones at the water, watched the sun and all the people around us fishing, chatting, taking pictures. We sat there until a women came to sell roses and wanted to read our future out of our hands.
Behind us was the Clocktower and main sight of Izmir. When you follow the sea side boulevard you actually pass the main things in Izmir, like the shopping road, the little streets full of bars and restaurants. In any case: If you ever visit Izmir - lent yourself a bike and enjoy :)