May 1, the International Workers’ Day, fell on a Monday this year which is why we went to İzmir for the long weekend. To get there we just had to catch the ferry from Chios to Çeşme which takes around 40 minutes and then take a bus to İzmir.
However, the first obstacle was crossing the border in Çeşme. We had to wait for more than one hour and when we finally arrived at the border control we found out that Austrians need a visa to enter the country. Thankfully we were able to solve the problem fast. In our own little mini bus we then went on to İzmir. There we spent some parts of the afternoon in the Kültürpark.
Later we went to a shopping center at the sea and engaged ourselves in a heated table soccer match. Of course, the Italians were much better at that. Sitting on stones next to the sea we watched the sun setting on the horizon. In the evening we went out to explore the night life of İzmir.
The next day started with a visit of the ancient city center Agora. Afterwards we decided to give the steep hills to the castle a try. In hindsight, walking up there by feet was not our brightest idea. However, the view made visiting this place worth it.
In the evening we went a little bit further outside the city center to Asansör, an old tower with an elevator inside that offered an amazing view of İzmir. So we also got to see the huge city in its full glory at night.
Our last day we spent walking leisurely through the city.
With temperatures around 27°C it felt like summer in İzmir and we were really tired every day after walking around the whole day. Especially great were the cheap prices for most things – clothes, electronics, food, you name it. However, communicating with the people was not that easy because speaking English is not really common for the Turkish.
All in all, it was an interesting insight in a very different culture and it was great to experience it along the other volunteers.
To see all the pictures go into our gallery!