Aydin Turkey
Up More Aydin Photos Istanbul 2013

Postcards from:

 

Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Istanbul Turkey
Cappadocia Turkey
Urfa Turkey

  UrfaPhotos
Mardin Turkey
 MardinPhotos

Erbil Iraq
  Erbil photos
Fethiye Turkey
  Fethiye photos

Aydin Turkey
  Aydin photos

Istanbul Turkey

After Kurdistan trip
Las Vegas, Nevada USA

 

 


Aydin - This is the Pamukkale bus I boarded in Fethiye to Aydin which had on board WiFi. I made some use of the Internet connection as we traveled, but only with the Galaxy Note.


Aydin - Cell phone recharging USB connector reminds me the Pamukkale bus from Fethiye to Aydin also had on board WiFi. I made some use of the Internet connection as we traveled, but only with the Galaxy Note. Trying to use the laptop proved cumbersome.

 
Aydin - During my ride around the Bus No.5 route we ventured far out into the suburbs and I recalled the friendly driver who refused a return fare.


Aydin - During my ride around the Bus No.5 route we ventured far out into the suburbs where I noticed massive solar water heater clusters on top of all buildings.


Aydin - During my ride around the Bus No.5 route we ventured far out into the suburbs where I spotted numerous apartment buildings like these.


Aydin - During my ride around the Bus No.5 route we ventured far out into the suburbs where huge blocks of apartment building are being developed.


Aydin - Part of the historical monument facing north in the middle of the main Aydin traffic circle as seen at night.


Aydin - Close-up of a kneeling figure in the historical monument facing south in the middle of the main Aydin traffic circle on Mugla Blvd.


Aydin - Part of the historical monument facing south in the middle of the main Aydin traffic circle as seen during daylight hours.


Aydin - The 3 star Otel Ozla is located on the principle shopping street not far from the bus station. At 60TL or $34 it is a reasonable value, but included a breakfast buffet fit for a pauper.


Aydin - Fig tree sculpture in center of a traffic circle near the hotel.


Aydin - Plaque at the north base of the fig tree monument in center of a traffic circle to the west of the Aydin Park Otel.


Aydin - Fig tree sculpture in center of a traffic circle near the hotel.


Aydin - A view from another angle of the fig tree monument.


Aydin - A view from yet another angle of the fig tree monument.


Aydin - Here is that fig tree monument again. Hey, it symbolizes the city of Aydin!.


Aydin - A portion of the historical monument facing north in the middle of the main Aydin traffic circle.


Aydin - A sculpture in a plaza near the northern end of the main shopping boulevard.


Aydin - Sculpture on display at the Forum Aydin. Close-up of figure number one.


Aydin - Sculpture on display at the entrance to the Forum Aydin. This is figure number one.


Aydin - The open central plaza at the Forum Aydin. Looking across the water works.


Aydin - The open central plaza at the Forum Aydin. Two ladies discuss their purchases.


Aydin - Towering sign marks the Forum Aydin parking lot.


Aydin - Olives and figs. What can be more Turkish?


Aydin - Bundles of resinous kindling for sale at the Sunday Farmers Market.


Aydin - Anyone can cut an orange at the equator to show it's color and freshness. It takes an innovator to spiral cut one like this to display its virtues!


Aydin - Pile of strangely wrinkled oranges on display at the Sunday Farmers Market near my hotel. Based on gestures responding to my quizzical expressions, they must be delicious to taste, though ugly to behold.


Aydin - Another stand selling dry figs along with chestnuts, a common combination this time of year.


Aydin - This colorful arrangement of vegetables caught my attention, though many other displays showed the natural color of Mother Nature.


Aydin - When I stopped to admire this fellow's figs he pulled one from the pile and offered it as a sample... which I politely declined. Sadly, many healthy farmers like this guy are still killing themselves by smoking.


Aydin - A mom and pop operation at the Sunday Farmers Market... not sure what they are selling in that blue tub.


Aydin - The day is done for this Kurdish farm lady and now she can wander the market buying the things she needs to take home.


Aydin - The Sunday Farmers Market is a noisy place. This lady in the upper right corner sings her alert, drawing attention to her offerings.


Aydin - For these ladies catching up on the weeks happenings is more important that buying fresh tomatoes for tonight's stew.


Aydin - This photograph is a reminder to mention all the rain which has been falling this week. Even today, Sunday during the morning hours sellers at the Farmers Market needed to be prepared for the occasional downpour.


Aydin - Most of the shopping is done by the ladies, but here a gentleman has been given the job of buying tonight's dinner.


Aydin - Sign in the window of a bakery I passed everyday offering fresh simits for about 18 cents each; cheap and delicious. (Those are not simits in the case!)


Aydin - For some shoppers buying and selling is serious business and requires careful inspection of the product before buying.


Aydin - Buyers and sellers dicker over quality and prices in this scene repeated a thousand times every Sunday on market day.


Aydin - This photograph is a reminder to mention all the rain which has been falling this week. Even today, Sunday during the morning hours sellers at the Farmers Market needed to be prepared for the occasional downpour.


Aydin - My attempts at candid photos are not always unnoticed. Here a lady watches my every suspicious move.

13 January 2013
 

Greetings from Aydin Turkey,


Hello from the dried figs capital of the world, Aydin.  There truly are a lot of figs offered for sale in this town, but the thing which impressed me most is the Sunday Farmer's Market stretching several blocks north and south and then an equal number east and west! This is the largest open air market I've seen in Europe. Of course nothing can compare with the truly huge market I saw in far western China during my 2004 visit there. The Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar is incomparable.

Farmers markets are so colorful a photographer can spend endless hours considering, framing, shooting and discussing what he is doing with everyone curious about his activities and equipment. I say discussing advisedly because little conversation as such actually takes place. I speak mainly English and they speak mostly Turkish, but that doesn't stop us from exchanging ideas! On more than one occasion following a long exasperated speech in Turkish I'll raise my hand like a policeman stopping traffic and then point my index finger to the sky and then with the other hand point at that raised finger and announce: "Turkish!, English!, Kurdish!" Most people with a little patience eventually get the idea and switch to gestures instead of trying to make the "dumb foreigner" understand their urgent speeches delivered with ever increasing intensity. I always enjoy the unexpected encounters in situations like an outdoors market. People devise the most remarkable and varied ways to make a living. In a large market like the one here in Aydin on Sundays the possibilities are endless.

Leaving at 13:15 I arrived in the town of Aydin (pronounced: "EYE din") four hours north of Fethiye, chosen mostly because it is famous for figs! I love dried figs (Kuru Incir in Turkish.) and figured the world capital for the fruit would be a good place to get my fill. Ironically, neither of the two hotels I've tried have offered them as a part of their breakfast selection! But, the gift shops, grocery stores and snack shops around the bus station overflow with the local producers' harvest. In fact, practically any shop I enter is likely to have figs for sale: "Want a bag of figs with that new suit?" You get the idea; fancy figs are everywhere. Of course, this is winter and the trees have all gone dormant, so there are no fresh figs.

Halva at breakfast is common, however. I've always thought of it as a confection, but it adds a pleasant perk to more bland breakfast items. While I'm on the subject of food, chewy ice cream made with a Turkish Delight recipe is a surprising variation from what I'm used to. Most ice-cream just melts in your mouth from the heat of your body, but Turkish ice-cream must be chewed like soft Gummy Bears. The recipe produces an incredibly rich creamy experience unlike anything I've experienced before. As I frequently look for something familiar when a quick energy boost is needed, one of the American fast food joints easily meets the requirements and the people working there usually are happy to see an American. However, the Mac Donald's staff I encountered in the store next to the Aydin traffic circle near the hotel did not speak English and were short tempered with those of us who did.

But, again I jump ahead of my story which begins back in Fethiye where several bus companies offered service north toward Istanbul. Like bazaar barkers, the bus company touts good naturedly try to persuade would be passengers their company offered the best value. As my first visit to the bus station only required information on schedules and fares, I cooperated with the company touts and listened to their animated pitches. Good thing too, because I learned one company in addition to being competitive on all other accounts, also offered WiFi and USB phone battery charging capabilities and big comfy executive style, three across lounge seats clearly superior to the other company offerings. The Pamukkale buses are newer and more feature rich than their competitors in this part of Turkey, so I booked my two seats... and got a discount for the second "bag seat" without making a fuss. As I took photos of the bus I'd be using, the very friendly ticket agent jumped in front of the camera and insisted I also take his picture... and tell his boss how helpful he had been. Kenan Koyar, the Pamukkale English speaking bus agent in Fethiye walked me onto one of the buses and demonstrated the on board WiFi. He made such a good case for his company; I chose his service to Aydin.

Overhead baggage racks usually are pitifully small on long haul buses, but not on the newer vehicles operated by Pamukkale. After I boarded with my two seat tickets I discovered long stretches of the baggage racks had enough space for a normal airline carry-on bag, not enough for everyone, but at least for a half dozen bags.

The bus arrived in Aydin at dusk, leaving very little daylight for my first night hotel search. Fortunately, the bus terminal is located about a block from the main shopping boulevard running through the central part of the city. After a half hour scouting the area I discovered the modest, but very conveniently located 60TL (about $34) Hotel Ozlu and decided to compromise on the quality issue for this first night. Surprisingly tired after only four hours of sitting on the bus, I limited my post check-in hike to a half hour. The next morning after a meager Turkish breakfast served by the hotel, I started my search in earnest and found the Aydin Park Otel not more than a half block from the bus station where I'd arrived the night before. At 90TL or $50 it is an exceptional value with friendly staff, a substantial breakfast buffet with real brewed coffee, modern furnishings, high tech bathroom gadgetry and very conveniently located near the main bus station. I spent a total of seven days in this comfortable, excellent value hotel and would recommend it to almost anyone arriving or leaving on a bus.

During my first day away from the room someone tripped three intrusion detection traps I'd set up on my shaving kit case during the several hours period when the room was being serviced. In other words, someone rifled my toiletries bag... looking for what? Money, drugs, what? Am I sure? Absolutely! Someone rifling my belongings is always a red flag security might be lax in a hotel.

I started paying more attention to security after noting the in-room safety box locked open with an unknown code. On reporting the problem to the receptionist, she called a male colleague responsible for hotel guest security who reminded her of the master unlock code for all hotel room safes and she just wrote it down for me, instructing me how to use it. My first thought was the master code only worked until the guest entered his own secret code, so I tried it after I'd set mine... and the safe opened! That means anyone with the master code can unlock any guest's safe. Of course, you must have that master code, but if so easily given to me, others in the hotel likely have it as well. The hotel is in need of a serious security review and prospective guests might want to take these observations into account before choosing to stay in this hotel.

During breakfast I kept hearing a strange whistling noise, sometime sounding like the siren of an emergency vehicle. When asked, one of the staff nodded knowingly and replied: "I do." which meant nothing to me. As it turns out, there is a "pet" parrot living in a cage down in the lobby bar area one floor below the dining room balcony with an open space connecting the two floors. His friends call him "Eye Dew".

During my last afternoon in the hotel I found the hotel Internet terminal located in the lobby bar area and hunkered down for some serious work. After I'd been working for about an hour with the screeching and whistling providing an irritating serenade, that bird some how managed to get out of its cage and flew over to where I was busy at the keyboard. Perching on the edge of the terminal desk, he started pecking away at first the mouse and then the keyboard, slowly coming closer to my fingers!  For all the world it looked to me like it wanted attention. The bird's beak looks like it could do some serious damage to tender human skin. They have a reputation for cracking hard nuts with them! So I called the barman on duty who worked for twenty minutes off and on trying to coax the creature back into its cage... without success. Finally exasperated, he moved the cage to an entirely different part of the hotel and the parrot followed.

I took many city bus rides around town and one thing became obvious: the city landscaping department likes orange trees. Orange trees full of fruit line most of the streets in Aydin. When I asked residents: "Who cares for the trees and harvests the fruit?" a common answer emerged: "Whoever lives closest to the tree!"

The hotel's Internet server blocked my Istanbul 2012 page and substituted a warning banner for its contents. While in the hotel I couldn't escape the cached warning flag, but users elsewhere had no problem including those in other Aydin locations away from the hotel. In the process of trying to eliminate the problem, I messed up the site's navigation and had a difficult, lengthy time getting it put back together.

City buses run all over the city anywhere people need to go. I took the number 5 bus that went from a big high rise housing development with apartment buildings in the north of the city to a similar remote development south-west of the city out in the rural areas. Every building had huge clusters of solar water heaters on the roof and so many satellite antennas they looked like communications towers.

The traffic circle at the southern end of the main downtown shopping street is the location of a massive, photogenic four sided monument honoring important events in the city's history. Passing it on any of my walks without snapping yet another photo proved impossible. I had the same problem with the fig tree sculpture.

Some other oddities noticed in this part of Turkey are the lack of barking dogs downtown, just like in Fethiye. Also, ambulance drivers must compete with other drivers who think the sirens mean they are supposed to go faster, not get out of the way. As far as I know, this part of the country is not subject to flooding, but I saw above ground tombs in a cemetery like those common in New Orleans.

I am ready to head north into Eastern Europe, so will start making plans to leave Turkey. My next stop will be a return trip to Istanbul where Iíll discover transportation possibilities into Bulgaria and beyond. I made it into Iraq and managed to wrap some interesting parts of Turkey around it. Thatís all for now. 

 

Peace,

Fred L Bellomy

Prescript: Aydin Turkey 31 January 2013

I see the last thing leaving my netbook came from Fethiye Turkey way back on 18 January. Several messages from alert friends suggest others might be curious about my whereabouts as well.

Since Fethiye over night buses and trains have shuffled me first north to Aydin, the fig capital of the world and then back to Istanbul for a five night planning session for Eastern European country hopping before busing up to Sofia Bulgaria across the border and finally catching a train north to Belgrade Serbia where fate finally dealt me a pleasurable blow.

I'll not say more now and spoil the surprises as several new postcards full of photographs hover in the wings awaiting completion. I will say this part of the world is freezing cold and that on two occasions my meager few layers of clothing failed measurably to adequately insulate this tender soul. At one point this reality required the assistance of several able bodied young men who lovingly aided a feeble old man into a warm shelter during a protracted outdoors border crossing... how embarrassing! The experience did convince me to go shopping for more appropriate outer garments in Sofia, however.

As this is a prescript to the several postcards now being crafted I'll keep it short. F


 

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/cia12/turkey_sm_2012.gif
Map of Turkey: click on map for scalable version.


Aydin - Displays of fancy packaged figs as well al huge bags of figs may be seen all over town in areas frequented by tourist.


Aydin - One of a series of combination planters and resting benches along the divided highway near the main bus station. The innovative design caught my attention.


Aydin - Sculpture of fig tree erected in the middle of a traffic circle near the Aydin Park Hotel where I stayed.


Aydin - The lottery is big business in Turkey and ticket sellers are found in every block. The balloon seller added a little color to this image.


Aydin - This is the Old-Man-Woman illusion I studied for a long time at the City art gallery hosting an exhibit of student and faculty paintings. From a distance I saw a cartoon representation of two really old characters. As I drew nearer I detected details in the eyes suggesting memories each old one might be having as interpreted by a viewer. Finally, right on top of the work I saw the facial details actually were  smaller portraits of people and icons suggesting memories of the other in youth... a remarkable piece of imagination!


Aydin - Here in the fig capital of the world I finally get to try one of these famous morsels. Yum.


Aydin - As I circle the sculpture I snap photos of the fig tree monument in center of a traffic circle.


Aydin - This shot is a reminder to mention the extensive use of orange trees in the city landscaping. There must be thousands of trees around the town. I'm wondering how they harvest the fruit; the trees are loaded right now with ripe fruit.


Aydin - The open central plaza at the Forum Aydin as seen from the second floor balcony.


Aydin - The open central plaza at the Forum Aydin. Mostly stylishly dressed shoppers here.


Aydin - This city seal is used on many public facilities line the iron fence along a walkway next to a busy highway.


Aydin - Interesting array of limbs on a tree probably trained to grow this way while still young.  It reminded me of odd shaped tree trunks in a small town in Egypt back in 2001.


Aydin - Part of the huge Sunday Farmers Market across the highway from the Aydin Park Otel. There must have been 12 to 15 blocks of fresh produce sellers in the several block area.


Aydin - One of the two boys who encouraged me to take their pictures while I was making a video of the scene around their produce stand. Putting the Galaxy video away I pulled out my little Philips "spy" camera which peaked his curiosity: got'cha!


Aydin - Part of the huge Sunday Farmers Market across the highway from the Aydin Park Otel where I stayed. Here some ordinary cabbages and cauliflower are being displayed.


Aydin - Another shot of the odd pile of what turned out to be a hybrid variety of cauliflower. The farmer pulled some of the flowers apart so I could see it's similarity to regular cauliflower structure.


Aydin - A lot of people offered grape leafs like these for cooking at the Sunday Farmers Market. You wouldn't think they would be that hard to prepare.


Aydin - Another stand had these grape leafs for sale. They do look different from the others I saw.


Aydin - These mushrooms must be very special as they seemed to be quite expensive, though I didn't personally witness anyone buying them at the Sunday Farmers Market.


Aydin - For the most part sellers appear to be ordinary people trying to make a little extra money from the surplus of vegetables they have grown for their own table. There sure were a lot of bright orange carrots everywhere.


Aydin - This clever bee keeper discovered round combs of raw honey are more popular that chunks broken from the normal larger frames. As I inquired by gestures how he did it, he pulled a couple empty wicker hoops out and showed me how they fit nicely into the rectangular frames propped up in the back.


Aydin - Chestnuts and figs, a combination seen all over the Sunday Farmers Market.


Aydin - My attempts at candid photos are not always unnoticed. Another lady walking the crowded isles catches me in the act as well.


Aydin - At the bus station (otogar) this Kurdish woman approached me pleading for... something... I presume financial help. I declined and then watched as she worked the entire waiting area for a half hour, occasionally convincing someone to part with a few coins. Suddenly, she abruptly boarded one of the departing buses and disappeared.

  

End

 

 

 

 


Aydin - Entrance to the excellent value 90TL Aydin Park Otel where I stayed most of the time while in this city famous for figs.


Aydin - Shower stall in the Aydin Park Hotel. With all the high tech gadgetry I felt like being in some sort of space capsule... or maybe a Woody Allan "Orgasmatron?" (Without the functionality!)


Aydin - This is the hotel pet, "I due" who escaped and harassed me as I worked in the lobby at the computer terminal. Behaving like an ignored toddler, it first jabbered away in Turkish, of course. When I failed to play it attacked the computer mouse and keyboard with its sharp beak. Fearing my fingers might be next I called the hotel barman and retreated.


Aydin - Parting view of the Aydin Park Otel just before I boarded the bus for Istanbul at 18:30.


Aydin - A sculpture in a plaza near the northern end of the main shopping boulevard.


Aydin - Another display of fancy packaged figs as well al huge bags of figs on display in a shop at the main bus station.


Aydin - More fancy packaged figs as well al huge bags of figs on sale in a shop near the bus station (otogar).


Aydin - During my ride around the Bus No.11 we stopped at the northern terminus where this handsome mosque is located.


Aydin - Fig trees are deciduous so this is what they look like in the winter... and why there are no fresh figs right now in Aydin.


Aydin - For a contrast, this is the mosque standing next to the main otogar not far from my hotel, the Aydin Park Otel. I consider it unremarkable, but the muezzin still makes as much noise as those in the beautiful structures.


Aydin - Gypsies camping out next to the bus rout no. 11 terminus. This little kid is preoccupied with a new born puppy while his mother urges him to make contact with the wealthy foreigner.


Aydin - City art gallery hosting an exhibit of student and faculty paintings where I discovered the Old-Man-Lady illusion, so unique I studied it for a long time.


Aydin - Author examining a fig in the fig capital of the world. Hmm... this one seems to have an inedible stem.


Aydin - This is the main traffic circle on the highway coming from the south. The small van, called
a Dolmish, just entering the traffic circle is used like a shared taxi with most rides costing two lira, about a dollar.


Aydin - One of the numerous city buses connecting all popular parts of the city. I rode many of them as I discovered features of this charming city.


Aydin - Another shot of the main traffic circle on the highway coming from the south not far from the Aydin Park Otel where I stayed.


Aydin - Foreign fig inspector at work on specimen number F39. Passes. Yum.


Aydin - Here is that fig tester at work on another sample.


Aydin - Hmm... this one is not perfect, but I hate to waste perfectly nourishing food; think of all those starving Americans.


Aydin - Sculpture on display at the Forum Aydin. Close-up of figure number two.


Aydin - Sculpture on display at the entrance to the Forum Aydin. This is figure number two.


Aydin - Sculpture on display at the entrance to the Forum Aydin. Here, both figures together.


Aydin - I hope to heaven this one doesn't have any live wasps in it. Love those crunchy seeds, though.


Aydin - O.K. Let's see how good this one is.


Aydin - Oh, my gosh. there seems to be a bug in my fig. I mean something other than all the naturally resident wasp carcasses.


Aydin - One of the overpasses across the highway that runs past the Aydin Park Otel where I stayed. Notice the orange trees here as along most streets in the city.


Aydin - Another portion of the historical monument in the middle of the main Aydin traffic circle as seen during the daylight.


Aydin - Interesting array of limbs on another tree probably trained to grow this way while still young. 


Aydin - Part of the huge Sunday Farmers Market across the highway from the Aydin Park Otel. There must have been 12 to 15 blocks of fresh produce sellers in the several block area.


Aydin - This odd pile of what turned out to be a hybrid variety of cauliflower peaked my interest and the farmer pulled some of the flowers apart so I could see it's similarity to regular cauliflower.


Aydin - Part of the huge Sunday Farmers Market across the highway from the Aydin Park Otel. There must have been 12 to 15 blocks of fresh produce sellers in the several block area.


Aydin - A couple of stylishly dressed ladies shop the huge Sunday Farmers Market. Most shoppers appear to be more modestly dressed.


Aydin - Big bags of bulk figs on sale in a shop not far from the bus station.


Aydin - While shooting a video of the atmosphere in the Sunday Market these two boys began shouting at me and gesturing for me to take their pictures, which I did. After finishing the video shoot I pulled out my little Philips camera and got this shot... which made them even more curious.


Aydin - One example of dozens of displays of figs being offered for sale in the Sunday Farmers Market. I learned this market is held somewhere in different parts of the city everyday. Dry figs in Turkish is kuru incir... should you be curious.


Aydin - Like farmers markets everywhere in the world, shopping for peas is a good time to catch up on the neighborhood gossip or share tips on who has the best olives today.


Aydin - Chestnuts and figs seem to go together like horse and carriage around the Sunday Farmers Market. That glass contains resinous kindling for starting fires, something I discovered after gesturing eating one of the sticks to the amusement of the kid selling a bunch of them.


Aydin - This clever bee keeper discovered round combs of raw honey are more popular that chunks broken from the normal larger rectangular frames. As I inquired by gestures how he did it, he pulled a couple empty wicker hoops out and showed me how they fit nicely into the regular frames. Smart guy.


Aydin - For many of the people with stands at the Farmers Market it is a day of socializing as much as anything.


Aydin - The Sunday Farmers Market is a noisy place. This lady loudly calls attention to her huge pile of fresh peppers... in Turkish, of course so I presume that is why she has raised her voice.


Aydin - Markings on each of the new Pamukkale buses designating it as having WiFi.

Reference photo: author
 August 2002
 

Next Postcard