Selected Article 579
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In Ancient ... Greece: Around Smyrna
The once metropolis of Asia Minor Hellenism is today a giant, chaotic city. But the beauty is not hidden away. Ephesus, Pergamum and Phocaea are within an hour's road from Smyrna.
Certainly poses risks any attempt writing a text for Smyrna, even purely tourist, rough paths that lead to emotive or paved highways directly to the question or complaint. May be nearing a century of the Asia Minor catastrophe, but a large number of Greek population scenes that took place at the port of Smyrna in September 1922 images are deeply imprinted in his subconscious - even though he was not present in this segment of the population, but his ancestors. I'll keep this bit distanced from such passions - say that reading the Greek translation of a tourist text written by a German or Japanese visitor center. Anyway, the great interest of a trip today as the third largest city in Turkey (just three quarters road, incidentally, from the airport "Eleftherios Venizelos") is not the same Smyrna, but the position of the center of the coast of Asia Asia and the road network that allows access to a variety of important archaeological sites and tourist areas in less than an hour. Briefly: Smyrna ideals will find yourself on a weekend and will use it as the center for day trips around. In Ephesus, Pergamon, Cesme, Kusadasi ...
Not that she Smyrna is uninteresting. Just over a privileged position and its huge historical past, is no longer a city "damaged" gigantomeni almost violently. Of the 300,000 inhabitants in 1918 (which fell in half with the Asia Minor disaster), the city now exceeds three million population (almost 4 if one off a wider area). Turkish citizens inland searched a chance for a better life in this commercial center, carrying with them, however, and habits that are far from the urban environment that had been created there since the mid-19th century. The most decent part of the city today is Alsantzak just below the port of Izmir. It is the northernmost of the districts of the center and the most beautiful, clean and busy. The day will wander the shops of Mall on the night will turn to some of the streets, to drink your beer in one of the countless bars lurking there and as soon as the clock strikes midnight, transformed almost all small music scenes, with bands playing live, picking up all the city's youth.
Just south of Alsantzak, the natural continuation of the great promenade to the center of Izmir, is Korntonmpogiou. Here are preserved some great Greek and Levantine homes and located most restaurants and cafes, which due to the uninterrupted views of the sea and, of course, of hookah bustling day and night, since some of them translated into the Turkish equivalent of "bouzouki" or the "bouzouki joint", if you prefer, with live entertainment and plenty of belly-dancing.
The KONAKIA is the center of the city but at the same time limit the passage of the "European" Smyrna to oriental. The Clock Tower, the symbol of the city, is located here, next to the beach. There is nothing great, a marble tower height of 25 meters, built in 1901 to commemorate the 25 years since the Ottoman throne Ampntoulchamint B. But every great city needs a distinctive symbol and Smyrna, without some great modern architecture or preserved old buildings, had to choose between this or perhaps on the pillars of the Roman Forum, just beyond. Between the two sites, there is a Busy street that joins them and the bazaar Kemeralti. May be more poor than the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, but will definitely give an oriental color on your excursion.
A little further east is the area of the central train station, the Basma and Tsankagia, with hotels and several shops. And from there, chaos: the hills around the city with infinite labor condominiums and aura of misery. Whoever wants to avoid to walk all this and prefers to keep his forces for short trips outside Izmir and many archaeological sites can always gaze at Smyrna from above. Are two possibilities: Either the ice, Kantifekale today where Alexander the Great had based its New Smyrna when the campaign brought him here, and where today there is a castle. Whether at ... elevator was built in 1907, south of the center of Izmir, which connects the beach with the neighborhood Halil Rifat Pasha, a hill 50 meters high.
The ancient Asia Minor
The first, and closest, intended for small, archaeological tours starting Smyrna is the ancient city. Only 5.5 kilometers east of Alsantzak the Tepekoule as it is called today, was inhabited in 3000 BC Findings from the cultures of the Trojans and the Hittite betray the vast history of the area. But the tomb of Tantalus and Ionic columns from the mansion of the 7th BC century still stand at their height, the two most interesting archaeological sites.
Nothing to do, of course, have a beauty all with the unlikely Ephesus, located about 45 minutes by car to the south, on the road to Aydin. It may, of course, the appeal of which is a city with history from 6000 BC, but most of the surviving ancient buildings is the time of Lysimachus, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, who made it big and trans somewhere in 300 BC and the Roman period (for this, after all, are in better condition than the buildings of ancient Smyrna), when he came to have a population of 200,000 inhabitants and has the largest port in Asia . In Ephesus worth spending a whole day, perhaps combined with Tormpali, a town a little further north, where the Cathedral, another town of 300 BC and the famous beach in Kusadasi, the center of tourism in Asia Minor summer. And deserves to stay so, because it is such a great ancient city and so well preserved sights, you feel suddenly to the center of Market, 2500 years back in time ...
By itself or appeal could fill several pages etouto here the form, so it is advisable to try to summarize the most important sights: lTo theater capacity of 24,000 spectators at its height of, was built during the Hellenistic era and is the largest of ancient world. lOi storey cottages at the foot of the hill Boulmpoul is very well preserved luxury homes of the 1st century AD, the mosaics in almost perfect condition. LH library of Celsus, in 117 AD, with fully restored the façade, the market square and the marble road to the basin is the backbone of the city and the best evidence of the high level of civilization that had been in the Hellenistic and Roman years.
Phocaea, at the northern tip of the Gulf of Izmir, an hour's drive, not maintained, unfortunately, in such good condition its own ancient. However, the story, which begins in 700 BC, was not interrupted until today and the city is a beautiful combination of Aegean landscape, Genoese and Ottoman buildings, Byzantine and Hellenistic memories and, of course, the Mediterranean monk seal, she gave the name of an endangered mammal almost worshiped by the locals. Worth a detour to here the day you decide to make the trip to Pergamon, north of Smyrna. From Phocaea will need another hour to Pergamum. If you go straight from Smyrna, the route will not last more than half an hour.
Pergamos is another great, along with the appeal of the attraction region of Izmir. It was the large medical center of the ancient world, mainly because of Galen, the father of Pharmacy. A large chunk of the Acropolis of Pergamon is, of course, in Berlin. However, the sights that remain here are breathtaking: the Hellenistic theater of 10,000 spectators with almost vertical stands, the Temple of Trajan, the royal palaces, the temple of Dionysus and dozens of other buildings, covering an area of several kilometers, as the city in the years of the Hellenistic heyday was one of the greatest of the ancient world. Mostly though, you come up here to the great museum.
The last excursion to the ancient sites will be in the east, in Sardis, formerly the capital of Lydia, now called Salichli. Most are ancient Roman period, but there are many Persian, of 600 to 500 BC, the most important and most imposing of all the high school. If you come up here, and dare to experience horseback tours across the wooded river landscape Gkentiz Nehru, starting with the famous "Farm Attalus' in Salichli.
ORGANIZING THE YEAR
What else? From ancient logically with three daily trips like those suggested above, will sate. If "no exit" in terms of time, the solution is waking too early in the morning for Ephesus and Salichli returning after a trip as Cesme, famous tourist resort in the west of Izmir, which can winter be losing some of the pulse , but not the beauty (with 300 days of sunshine a year, you're really unlucky if you get bad weather so that you can not enjoy the famous ice cream with jam on the beach) and the next day Bergama and Phocaea, if anticipate.
Izmir Airport, however, is no more than half an hour from the area where they will probably stay or go there by taxi or by metro and suburban. So, with only one day off work, Smyrna will offer you a really full weekend. Landscapes, ancient sights, nightlife - even shopping for those who have the courage. And all this, I recall, 45 minutes away from Athens!
The Pegasus Airlines (T/801 20 00 102 / 210-32.44.452-3, www.flypgs.com) operates direct flights from Athens to Izmir, three times a week. Alternatively, you travel through Istanbul with Olympic Air, Aegean or Turkish Airlines (the latter starts on 27 May and direct flights between Thessaloniki and Istanbul).
Also in Cesme can, especially during the summer season, to arrive by boat from Chios and Kusadasi (and appeal) of cruise.
The Swissotel (Gaziosmanpasa Bulvari 1, T / +90 (232) 414 0000, www.swissotel.com) is the luxury that you allow yourself to a trip that otherwise would cost you dearly, since the tickets, the food, the drinks in Smyrna have values ... oriental. This is the most luxurious hotel in the city, on the waterfront at the end of Korntonmpogiou, and has a lovely spa (if you have no time for other programs, enjoy at least a hammam with massage), a decent restaurant Equinox rooftop with modern recipes on traditional dishes and the Sky Bar next door, with live jazz on Fridays and Saturdays, an oasis compared to tsiftetelia and Turkish emo rock that you find in most places of entertainment that the city offers.
Prices vary depending on the season. And it is indeed possible to book a double room (in May for example through booking.com) by 130 euros. There is of course the case in the same room, other dates and costing 300 euros.
The other two options in five star hotels (with 150 euros night, because such values have the luxury here, will hardly go to class below) is the Hilton (Gazi Osmanpasa Bulvari 7, T / + 90 (232) 497, www. hilton.com) and Movenpick (Cumhuriyet Blv. 138, T / +90 (232) 488 1414, www.moevenpick-hotels.com), both in the same area with the Swissotel. Their most important difference is that there are newly renovated as our first choice, but in no way lacking services.
Beyond that, really amazing hotels and great prices you'll find in Kusadasi and Cesme. But talking about the summer, when the priorities are others. If you want to browse the Greek Asia Minor in the winter, the best choice of accommodation is undoubtedly Smyrna.
Unlike Constantinople, Smyrna is a city that will delight the taste. Not that you can not find good Turkish food here, but the options are few. A good solution is Kosebasi (Cesme Cevreyolu, Limontepe Mevkii, T / +90 (232) 278 2806), which although is part restaurant chain (you'll find in Glyfada), but it is a guarantee of quality, especially for Adana kebab . A similar case is the Tike (Sehit Nevrez Bulv. 2, T / +90 (232) 441 7191), which can be found on the ground floor of Swissotel, with entrance from the side street. By the way, if you do not mind the somewhat cheesy environment, do not hesitate to eat bogioz, gkevrek (egg and cheese) and, of course, fish with Turkish raki at some of the restaurants in Korntonmpogiou, while the sun sets.
FOOD, COFFEE, ENTERTAINMENT
- Traditional Turkish cuisine and round a la Turkey (Doner) will try the restaurant Altin Kapi (1444 S. 14 / A Konak, T / +90 232 4222648), in the city center, considered one of the oldest kempaptzidika. It stands for good price - quality ratio.
- For European cuisine visit the restaurant La Sera (Atatürk Cad. 190 / A Alsancak, T / +90 232 4642595, www.lasera.com.tr), also central.
- For abstemious, salads at Miko (Kibrissehitleri can yucel sok 11.A, T / +90 232 4224235) and Alin's salad bar.
- Those who love music will find between Alsancak and Konak the Vab-i Ali (Sehit Fethi Bey Cad. 44, Borsa, T / +90 232 4891565) with traditional Turkish music with clarinet (fasil), no view but quite swimming and eating.
- To «pilgrimage" in Topcu (Akdeniz Mh., Vali KazIm Dirik Caddesi 5, T / +90 232 4846261), located just five minutes from the statue of Kemal Ataturk on the beach is a must. Here you can eat soups and roasts.
- For those who love fish and seafood, we recommend Su Restaurant in Kordon (Smyrna beach) and Deniz Rest (Atatürk Cad. 188 / B Alsancak, T / +90 232 4644499), where prices are more "steep".
- Equally good choice in Guzelbahce-to-Urla is the restaurant Kule (Siteler mah. Mithatpasa Cad. 2, Liman 242, T / +90 2346260).
- In Cafehane (Mithatpasa Cad. 172, T / +90 232 2346124), in the old seaside road to Urla, you get the quiet breakfast, read the newspaper and swim.
- Now, if you missed the Greek frappe and mastic, go to the cafeteria Sakiz Adasi, the "mastic" in Izmir seafront, near the Greek consulate. The Greek cafe won the Turks, who rank in the top 10 of the city and has become a haunt of the Greeks of Smyrna.
- Take from Smyrna without a drink Efes Pilsen beer overlooking the Aegean not mean. Along the beach you will find many cafe-bar serving plenty of beer (after all, Smyrna is the most European city in Turkey, where the prohibition of alcohol by Islam went so far in the small print). You can pinch varieties, watch football, and all the shops you find the seats a folded blanket to protect you from the sea breeze.
- ASANSÖR (Dario Moreno Sk. Karatash, T / +90 232 2612662, reservation required for weekends): Before leaving Smyrna, you should see the panoramic image. By car or taxi from the center of Smyrna arrive in 10 minutes to Karatas, where you can eat and drink coffee having at your feet the whole city! It is said that in the summer there is live music.
EXCURSION IN Kirkince
"If there is what we call paradise, then our village as Kirkince is a sample," he wrote in "Bloody Soil" Dido Sotiriou for her village. The erstwhile Greek village, who had taken the name Kirkince ("almost pretty") euphemistically, is situated 59 km from Izmir and living large glory days as domestic tourism attraction. The Sirince ("pleasant"), as it is called since 1926, offers a flashback in time, with its stone houses that hug the hill, elderly women who knit in the courtyards of their homes and the open market with traditional products - buy oil, wine, textiles and handmade items. The village is rightly known as one of the most beautiful in Turkey, while the Greek of color has not only lost, but manifesting itself at every opportunity. Many stores carry Greek, especially ancient Greek names, while Greek music heard everywhere. Drank traditional Greek (Turkish) coffee in the café's garden 'Artemis' the sounds of Haris Alexiou, which is also very dear to the region. The "Artemis" is located at the entrance of the village and is housed in the old Greek school and courtyard, which have been restored. Relative signs inform visitors, while inside there photo gallery with captions, unfortunately only in Turkish.
Categoty: Travel destinations
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Categoty: Travel destinations
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