Monday, 15 December 2014

Cittantica, Kusadasi & Sirince

We were on the way to Kusadasi when we stopped over at Cittantica - a newly-built sprawling site of... something. We didn't know what it was, but a string of coaches were stopping, so we had to stop too. What it actually turned out to be was a rather touristy shopping centre done up in the style of a Middle Eastern marketplace with lots of things to buy!

I must say we had a good time exploring the marketplace. It had all things that appeal to tourists in Turkey for sale. Mountains of beautifully boxed Turkish Delight and spices; hand-painted pottery bowls in all colours of the rainbow; hand-made soap; key chains; gorgeous blown-glass tableware; delicate table cloths; and so much more.

Not only that, we had arrived just in time for a show!

The elaborate show in Cittantica of dancing ladies and dueling men at a royal court

After the delights of Cittantica. We were off to Kusadasi, where we stopped for a local lunch of delicious Pide. We walked off lunch with a stroll by the sea. 

Cruise stopover in Kusadasi

I'd love to live on this hill overlooking the sea

Let's take a break with a view

A beacon in the night

After Kusadasi, we took a winding drive up into the hills to a little village called Sirince. It is famous for its fruit wine. Other attractions include an old school house-turned-museum; cobble-stoned streets and little shops selling hand-made items of all sorts. 

We stopped at a couple of wine shops and had a sip or two (or three) of this wine and that, finally settling on Apple, Strawberry and Melon.

And then, I met a 'boyfriend'. He runs a little shop selling hand-made glass pendants. He helped me make a deep burnt orange one and sold me another. It was quite fun making my own pendant! Alas, I had to say goodbye to him. 

The village and the area surrounding it is very picturesque. We enjoyed the view while having a cup of tea and a sit down.

Sacred pomegranates

Wine in all colours and flavours

Our friendly wine shop proprietor

Drink, and drink some more

Which do you like best? 

Have a smoke?

Hand-stitched dolls for sale. This one reminded me of a gollywog

More fruity wine to choose from

On the streets of Sirince

My 'boyfriend' of a few minutes

The artistic type. He taught me how to make my own glass pendant

Houses on a hill

Bostanli Market

Before I get into the swing of all things Christmas, I am going to post all my photos of Turkey. So here's the first lot.

Bostanli Market is the first market I've ever been to in Turkey. We started off with a slow and lazy ferry ride across the Bay of Izmir. It was a day of blue skies, sunshine and a feeling of good things to come.

We took what we later discovered was a long walk to Bostanli stopping to get directions along the way. Once we started seeing people with trolley bags full of fresh produce, we knew we were on the right track.

The market is amazing. I do not know if all markets in Turkey look like this, but this one is fabulous. I've never seen so much fresh produce under one roof before. From sleek, shiny aubergines to sweet smelling peaches, the produce on display was quite something to behold. The sight of all that gorgeousness made me want to have weekly access to it very badly!

View of Izmir from the ferry

Bostanli Market

Sweet figs galore, which I of course forgot to eat before leaving Izmir. Sigh.

A basket of walnuts

Huge heads of broccoli

Grapes in abundance

Picking out vegetables for the week

Perfumed peaches that took my breath away

Itty bitty colourful lady's fingers

Come buy my produce

Try the strawberries, they're lovely

Giant red peppers

Let's go nuts on nuts

Say cheese

The bread of life

Hot, fresh from the griddle Gozleme filled with spinach and white cheese