Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback: Ayvalik

Before we reached our destination, Bursa, our group was scheduled to pay a visit to Lesvos, Greece in order to research a series of flora found on the island.

In an unexpected turn of events, the ferry that was supposed to bring us to the island was running a couple days late. (This is a common occurrence when traveling from this area to the islands, if you are planning on a certain boat ride be sure to have cash handy in case this happens.)

So, we were left to stay and explore the beautiful city of Ayvalik for a span of two days.

It always amazes me how small some of the streets can be.
We took a small boat over to another portion of the city (it seemed much better than walking).
Stray cats could be found lounging literally everywhere around the city.

It never ceased to amaze me just how friendly everyone I encountered in Turkey was.  Honestly, people would go above and beyond just to help you find your way somewhere or to give you a sample of what they were cooking.

We stayed at a small bed and breakfast located just a block from the coast, and the hospitality of the owners was absolutely outstanding. He even went so far as to spend the day giving us a personal tour of Ayvalik while his wife cooked us dinner.

It was very clear when exploring that the small port town had a strong European influence (thanks to the close proximity to Greece), and as such a majority of the buildings were constructed to European architectural ideals. This in no way takes away from the setting, it simply adds an interesting flair in association with the recent outcropping of Turkish design.

Overall the city was absolutely gorgeous and will remain one of the highlights of my trip.

(I will mention that if you're traveling in the summer, expect it to be hot. When we were walking through a tour of the city it had to be at least 98 degrees, so be prepared and bring a hat or proper sun protection.)



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