Travelling southbound (Wed. 7/18)

We still had half a day left in Istanbul before our flight down to Izmir, so we woke up, breakfasted, finished getting our bags together, and headed off. We went to Beyoglu, the modern part that we were going to go to last night but didn’t. It’s full of stores and restaurants and such, and less so of old museums and monuments. It feels like any modern European city, in a fun way. We walked down the main street and had fun looking at all the store windows. They have a whole section of stores with musical instruments which was fun. My dad played with some guitary thing which made cool noises.

The street ends up down near an old tower, which was originally built in the 500s (but has been renovated many times since then) and you can go to the top and see all of Istanbul. I can’t get over how enormous the city is. It’s so dense, too, and the buildings don’t spread out until much farther in the distance. After we got down from the tower we headed back to the Old City and got on a shuttle to the airport. We nommed baklava while we waited for our 6pm flight to Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey. I fell asleep upon contact with the airplane seat and awoke to find a lil picnic box with a sandwich and chocolate mousse in front of me. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is. All that napping made me hungry so it was much appreciated.

Once we landed, we went and got our rental car, and headed to Alacati, the town we’re staying in. We’re not technically going to Izmir, it’s about an hour away. Finding the hotel once we got to the town was a serious challenge. Little streets that randomly ended, misleading back doors, and not being able to speak Turkish were among the obstacles. But eventually we did find it! and were greeted warmly by the owners and welcomed in. They gave us glasses of lemonade which at first made me want to cry because my bladder was at terminal velocity (not correct but the equivalent for bladder terms) but once I found a bathroom I was able to fall in love with the lemonade because it was tasty and I was thirsty. The hotel is so cute. Jenny says it’s like Turkish Jane Austen. I think it’s like Anthropologie and the Pottery Barn catalog getting married and producing offspring. And the town is ridiculous, it’s narrow streets FILLED with people and lined with boutiques and street vendors and little cafes and bars. We got dinner number two by sharing some mezes at a cafe that had pretty plates. They didn’t have an English menu but the waiter translated it all for us and it was very yummy. Most people here are Turkish people vacationing, so there is very little English around. It’s making it quite interesting.

OH and as of last night my retainer is clean and wearable. Mothers are useful and lovely, especially when equipped with listerine.

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