Sunday, May 5, 2013

Moving into Summer

I had a weekend that makes me understand why everyone loves Izmir. Longer days, warmer temperatures, gentle lapping waves, fresh fish, farmers markets, lively bazaars, hot cappuccinos and fresh fruit tarts, cold beers and crisp white wines, pink sunrises and orange sunsets were all part of the last 48 hours.

This was one of those weekends where I want to bottle up the fun and save it for a rainy day. I started with an afternoon bike ride to the 5:15 ferry. I was met on the opposite shore by an acquaintance with a car who threw my bike in the back and drove us to Urla where we met up with several more friends for dinner on the bay. (This was an international crowd: German, Turkish and me) Later we sipped wine at a friend's villa on the beach until the waves lulled us to sleep. I woke to birds chirping and an ocean that was so still it was hard to tell where water ended and sky began. A slow, peaceful walk into town yielded a new, Parisian style cafe where I sipped delicious coffee at a table perfectly situated for watching the early morning fishermen in their gently-bobbing blue, red and white wooden boats.

On the walk home I stopped in at a bakery and loaded up on warm bread, rolls and Turkish bagels to share with my host and the other guests. After a slow, lazy breakfast the hot sun prodded us to head to the market in Alacati where we took in the sights and smells of fresh produce: bulbs of garlic, mounds of ripe strawberries, fresh farmer's cheese, grilling donars... Winding down further cobblestone streets led us to boutique, artsy shops filled with dresses, leather shoes and handbags, and bright colored accessories. Stepping out of the sun and into one lovely shop yielded a beautiful-perfect-for-an-upcoming-event dress.

After meeting another group of Turkish friends for coffee and pastries, we headed to the white sand, aquamarine beach of Cesme for a swim and a nap. As the sun began to set, the winds picked up telling us it was time to head back to my friend's villa. We arrived into her town of Urla just before the dinner crowd and were lucky enough to sit at a table where we could enjoy food, people watching, and live music without actually being part of the wedding and business grand opening for which the crowds had gathered.

After another great night's sleep of not being wakened from the 5:00 am prayer call (yippee), I headed home about 6:30 am on my bike into the pinkish-blue sunrise. I was about 30 minutes early for the ferry, just enough time to enjoy a coffee at the marina before heading back to my apartment. It's now 11:00 am on Sunday morning. I've had enough time to start my laundry and get ready for a required Sunday afternoon appearance at school where we will be leading English games and activities for the 2000 or so students and family who are expected to attend. Even though temperatures are expected to reach 86 degrees and the high humidity is making my fingers stick to the keyboard, I think I'm in the "right frame of mind" for noise and crowds after having been blessed with such a beautiful weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds absolutely wonderful! I would love a weekend like this!