This past Saturday Vasilis and I took a day trip to Ayvalik, Turkey. We are actually closer to Turkey than we are to the rest of Greece. It was an hour and half boat ride on Saturday compared to the overnight 10-13 hours it normally takes to get to Thessaloniki.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, especially knowing that it is a Muslim country and I haven’t travelled this far east before. I think it was a great introduction visiting Ayvalik first. This Turkish coastal village is similar in many ways to our little island of Lesvos. Of course there are differences, but if you were to line up old men from each of our villages, I could not distinguish between them.
Upon arriving into the harbor, we were captivated by the beauty of the surrounding islands. Vasilis and I were waiting eagerly for the boat to park so we could embark on our adventure that awaited for us. We talked to a couple on the boat who were Canadian/Greek and a Dutch woman who were also visiting for the day. We ended up sharing a cab into the center. It was then that we realized that everything was half the price as in Greece!!! (Lucky us)
We walked and walked and walked. We visited the old Greek churches turned mosques, enjoyed some local coffee and sweets, and took lots of pictures. We found a restaurant by the harbor and enjoyed a meat platter with some yummy turkish bread. We did some shopping, Vasilis found a great pair of leather shoes for 1/3 of the cost here. I found some really awesome crosses at an antique shop, but when I went to go buy them they tried to sell them for me for 55 EUROS!!!!! He was completely crazy, I planned on paying at most like 5 euros!!! It bothered me the whole rest of the day, I mean the crosses could have been from the Byzantine era and I could have gone on that show where you bring on old junk and they give you a check for 10 million dollars. I am pretty sure that’s how that show works anyway 🙂
It was the perfect amount of time to spend in Ayvalik and the nearby island called Cunda. Vasilis and I both hope to go back and explore more of Turkey.
There is a Flikr slideshow on the right, you can click on it to go to Flickr and view my photostream in a larger slideshow!
Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think!