Foça

Foça, sometimes called Eski Foça to differentiate it from Yeni Foça, was a beautiful place.  We stayed in an adorable pension named Iyon Pansiyon, about a block from the water. The rooms were clean and comfortable, opening on to a large stone courtyard filled with green plants and fruit trees.  At night it was beautiful to sit in the serene courtyard and read with the lights hanging from the trees P1016506

Foça is still an actual fishing village, so while you walked along the wharf with the tourist shops and restaurants, along the water side there were fishermen cleaning and selling their catch, fixing their nets and preparing to go out.

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I was lucky to run into a couple of pazars. One was the typical pazar, the exception being a difference in some local produce and the amount and varieties of olives available.  Foça is on the Aegean and the area is known for its olive production.

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The other was a local organic pazar that was part of the “Slow Food” network. The products were locally produced with a minimum of interference and without the use of forcing or overproduction via hothouse.

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Above from left to right: walnuts, olive oil soap,sundried tomatoes                Second row: garlic and almonds

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First row: lettuce, Black Sea cabbage (Laz lahanasi) eggplants                                Second row: Arugula, parsley, mint, beans

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Foça used to be a Greek town, and so there are many beautiful old Greek stone (Rum) houses.

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Honestly, it was quiet and charming. There were shops and restaurants enough to make it fun and interesting, but quiet enough that you did not feel bombarded by tourism.  We asked one of the locals about living there, were there any negative aspects to life in Foça?  She thought hard and then told us she would need more time to think about it.  A few hours later she said the she still couldn’t think of one…It is definitely on our short list of places to live if we every move from Ankara!

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A 9 Day Bayram!

This year Kurban Bayrami started on a Monday (1/2 day) and ended on a Friday.  Since it connected to the weekends it made a 9 day HOLIDAY!   Bülent and I wanted to take advantage of this time and check out some places we haven’t been before.  Based on the weather we decided to do a northern Aegean road trip.  Our original plan was to leave right after work on Friday and drive straight through to Foça, a 9.5 hour drive.  However, even if we never stopped to use the bathroom  (Like that is possible with my bladder capacity! HA!) we wouldn’t get there until after 2 a.m.  So Friday afternoon we changed the plan. We decided to hit the road, but stop in Uşak, a city on the way, about 400 kilometers from Ankara. 

 

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It is an inner Anatolian city, but part of the Aegean region of Turkey.  Occasionally I find the smaller inner Anatolian cities pretty conservative.  However, Uşak was a really nice city.  Their central street was pedestrian access only with tons of bars and cafes.  It was pretty lively with a wide range of people, even though we arrived at 11 pm.  The next morning the streets were filled with families shopping and young people getting brunch and old men in their Aegean Style hats people watching. 

 

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The next day we hit the road to begin our Aegean tour.  On the trip we stopped by Izmir, Foça, Ayvalık, Alibey Island, Assos, Bozcaada and Bursa.  We had such an amazing time that I will be doing a blog post about each of our main stops.  What was really special was that even though we were busy for the whole trip we got back and felt relaxed and rested.