The Ultimate Destination Wedding = Most Epic Wedding of 2011!
When my sister got engaged last December, my first question was “Does that mean we’re all going to Turkey for the wedding?!” When they finally confirmed that we were indeed flying out to Turkey, I got excited. Even more so when my brother-in-law emailed us our itinerary which included traditional bridal Turkish bath, Henna night, and a side trip to Ephesus with the entire wedding party!
We arrived a week early, and explored the lovely city of Izmir. Izmir is an hour by plane from Istanbul and sits along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. We stayed in the Karsiyaka side most of the time, but crossed the sea by ferry to explore Alsancak and Konak too.
I love the laidback vibe of Izmir. I think any city beside the sea (or a body of ocean) moves at less hectic pace (oh no, wait–I take it back. Manila Bay doesn’t elicit the same feeling haha) leaves you with a calmer and happier state of mind.
Getting around the city was easy since their transportation system is organized, efficient, and friendly–there were mini buses, ferries, and cabs ready to take you wherever you need to go. You just have to struggle a bit because not a lot of people speak English here so gestures and addresses on hand are must-haves. Since this is not a very touristy place, you’ll feel less paranoid about being scammed into tourist traps and the locals are actually surprised and happy to see foreigners around town. Yep, take it from the only Asians who were in town that week.
The only problem I encountered here was the weather, simply because I didn’t pack enough clothes for a sunny trip. My suitcase was filled with fall/winter stuff thinking that summer was about to go away but I was wrong! Good thing shopping in Izmir was also FUN (hello Mango outlet!).
Next up: the hamam!