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article imagePhoto Essay: Izmir, Turkey Special

By Lonna Lisa Williams     Feb 26, 2013 in World
Izmir - Izmir is a city located in western Turkey, along the Aegean Sea. Close to Greek islands, it offers ferry rides, shopping, history, and beauty.
Turks say that women from Izmir are beautiful. Known for their green eyes and fair hair, they share a heritage with Greece which has islands on the Aegean Sea so close to islands in Turkey that a good swimmer would have no problem crossing international borders.
"Izmir is where the sea smells like women, and women smell like the sea," one of my Turkish students told me.
Not only women offer beauty in Izmir. Green hills surround the city which is located along a crescent bay. Ferries swiftly bring passengers to seaside villages or islands. Huge bazaars offer Turkish delights, monuments remember battles for Turkey's independence and their leader Atatürk, and universities beckon students from all over Turkey and the world.
From Izmir you can travel to nearby places like Efes (Ephesus), where the ancient Greek temple of Artemis still stands and where the Apostle Paul preached Christianity in the First Century. You can also visit the white terraces of Pamukkale near the old Roman baths and city of Hierapolis.
My first view of Izmir was the huge bus station that reminded me of an airport
My first view of Izmir was the huge bus station that reminded me of an airport
We caught another bus that took us to a seaside park where pigeons bathed in recent rain water
We caught another bus that took us to a seaside park where pigeons bathed in recent rain water
We followed the seaside walking path toward Izmir city center
We followed the seaside walking path toward Izmir city center
resisting the temptation to take a ride in a horsedrawn carriage
resisting the temptation to take a ride in a horsedrawn carriage
We walked closer to the city center
We walked closer to the city center
and saw a ferry at the distant dock
and saw a ferry at the distant dock
At Izmir city center  I saw this War of Independence memorial
At Izmir city center, I saw this War of Independence memorial
and a statue of Ataturk as a boy with his mother
and a statue of Ataturk as a boy with his mother
We went to the ferry dock
We went to the ferry dock
rode the ferry across surprisingly choppy Aegean water
rode the ferry across surprisingly choppy Aegean water
and drank freshly squeezed orange juice at the ferry canteen
and drank freshly squeezed orange juice at the ferry canteen
Izmir has a mix of old and new buildings
Izmir has a mix of old and new buildings
And a plaza with an old clock tower
And a plaza with an old clock tower
A mosque in Turkey
A mosque in Turkey
and a woman selling flowers
and a woman selling flowers
We took a long bus ride and saw an overview of Izmir
We took a long bus ride and saw an overview of Izmir
a giant carving of Ataturk s face in a cliffside
a giant carving of Ataturk's face in a cliffside
and  September 9  University
and "September 9" University
After all that exploring  we went back to our little Ottoman Hotel
After all that exploring, we went back to our little Ottoman Hotel
relaxed in the hotel restaurant
relaxed in the hotel restaurant
chatted with the hotel parrot
chatted with the hotel parrot
and remembered Izmir with its statues to Beautiful Women
and remembered Izmir with its statues to Beautiful Women
More about izmir, Turkey, aegean sea, Ataturk, Ferry
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