Spending the night in Izmir

Trip Start Nov 09, 2006
Trip End Nov 22, 2006

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our first night in İzmir, we participated in the 'kebap dinner' offered as an optional part of the tour package, it turned out to be some of the best food we had the whole trip. Yummy bread, spicy salad, cheese-stuffed mushrooms, lahmacun (pronounced 'la-MA-joon,' like a cross between a pancake and a mini-pizza), kebap and gyro meat, and a rice pudding dessert.

Only six of us from the tour went, accompanied by our tour guide, Metin. This was one of Nathan's most successful attempts to use the small amount of Turkish he learned for the trip. Nathan was first to order drinks, and he ordered "kırmızı şarap ve rakı": red wine for Amy and raki for himself. The waiter's eyebrows went up as he grinned and nodded. Our guide was also quite surprised and jokingly called Nathan 'an American spy.'

Unfortunately, we were so absorbed in the experience and in the sharing of travel stories among our group that we only got one picture, down the row of restaurants where we ate. Our restaurant, Altın Kapı (Gold Door), isn't visible in the picture.

The second night there, Nathan went out for dinner on his own as Amy enjoyed a massage in the hotel. It wasn't a classic Turkish bath, more like a nice salon. However, after she changed into the towel she was given, her assistant noted, "problem" as she walked away. (The tugging at the back probably didn't give it away.) He brought her a much larger towel. As she walked toward her first shower, several Turkish men were taken by surprise and from the hand gestures and their tone of voice, she guessed they were wondering if it was ok for women to be there at that hour. Her assistant insisted that it was fine. After the shower came the sauna....hot, hot, hot. And, it had a tv in it! After ten minutes, she was taken to her masseuse who used a series of karate chops, shiatsu and deep tissue to make her feel like a wet noodle. Back to the sauna. Oh, and those Turkish guys in the beginning, they were in the sauna ... they diligently covered up and everyone enjoyed a little Turkish television. Last shower and then to the room to write postcards....it was awesome!
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