Touring Kusadasi, Turkey
A tour of Kusadasi, Turkey treats you to many exotic delights! Kusadasi, (or Kuşadası in Turkish), is a vibrant port city on Turkey’s west coast. It’s a popular stop on cruise ship itineraries. It makes a great launching pad for exciting attractions in the region. These include the poignantly preserved ancient Roman metropolis of Ephesus, which I covered in another blog post here Tour Ephesus Turkey Treasures. Ephesus is a 12 mile trip. Sirince, which I cover in another blog post here Tour Sirince, Turkey, is about a 35 minute drive. If you’re not adverse to a road trip, the spectacular thermal pools of Pamukkale are just under 3 hours’ drive. I’ve marked Pamukkale a must for my next visit to Turkey!
Mayor Özer Kayali promoted the Tepe project, which involved painting over 400 homes on this hillside in a rainbow of beautiful shades. He strategically selected this location directly on the port of Kusadasi, because here cruise ships and other tour boats would get their first glimpse of this up-and-coming city. It’s a brilliant sight to behold. It’s on a high perch, visible from much of the downtown area. The Tepe neighborhood stands as both a colorful symbol of the colorful personalities of the Turkish people, and creative spirit of the city.
Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai
Öküz Mehmed Pasha, military commander in the Ottoman Empire, commissioned the Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai. It was built between 1615 and 1618 and is still standing strong. Today this former customs building for port commerce serves as a hotel. You will feel very safe and secure in this robust fort-like structure! It stands out like an exclamation point a couple of blocks from the port, and is the most noticeable structure in town.
Turkish Coffee Tasting
Turkish coffee is, admittedly, an acquired taste. It’s like an extra-strength espresso on steroids. So many Turks add sugar to the brew to tone down the bitter notes. When you order a Turkish coffee, you’ll be asked how you want your sugar. I asked a local what’s the most popular request for Turks, and he suggested “medium sugar.” I’m a firm believer in the old “when in Rome…” adage, so I always want to try the local specialties anywhere I go, and preferably in the most authentic form possible. With my “medium sugar” Turkish coffee I received a bowl of delicious candies and fresh water. I enjoy strong flavors, so I liked the coffee. There was a lot of residue at the bottom of the cup – I added some of the water to it so I could finish it off, which worked well!
Cafe Cats in Kusadasi
The cafe I visited was right on the port. I enjoyed beautiful views of the harbor, ships, Kusadasi Castle, and the Tepe neighborhood. I made a new friend – a local cat joined me, sitting on the bench right next to me. There’s a lot of cats out in public areas here, and they’re not afraid of tourists! Shopkeepers and restauranteurs feed them, because they keep the mice away. Do you want to learn more about Turkey’s cats? Check out the amazing film Kedi: click here.
Turkish Carpet Demonstrations
Many merchants in town will tell you no visit to Kusadasi is complete without a Turkish Carpet Demonstration. You can experience this visual stimulation all over town, and it will often come with a delicious pastry, Turkish coffee, and a licorice-flavored alcoholic drink Raki. The show was quite the spectacle, but no amount of Raki could have convinced me to spend the thousands of US dollars these merchants wanted for the carpets. They were extremely impressive though, so even though the demonstration was a “sales pitch,” I greatly enjoyed the artistry of their work nonetheless.
More to Tour in Kusadasi, Turkey!
There’s much more to tour in and around Kusadasi, Turkey! You can view my full video tour of Kusadasi, Turkey in my YouTube video here!:
And if you still have an appetite for Turkey, check out my other Turkey blog posts here!:
Finally, if you don’t want to miss out on Turkey’s fascinating cats, check out the amazing film Kedi! Click here for Kedi!
Thanks for reading! See you next week!
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