Sunday 28 November 2010

Urban Jungle

This week we were two days in Izmir, for our biannual shopping marathon. Afterwards we always need several days to convalescen, so the whole week was silence in the blog front. We will make up with an extra long blog post :)

This beautiful tiled mosque is on the incoming road to the city, and usually is imposible to park in the neighbourhood, but this time we found a spot and made some pictures. Despite its ancient look the mosque is built in 1990 with the famous Kütahya tiles. I love mosques, they are an oasis of tranquility and cleanliness in the middle of the caotic cities.

The mihrab, oriented to Mecca.

As you know, you leave your shoes outside the mosque and go in barefoot. This is, specially after the big feasts, when many people get new shoes, a source of free shoes for the multitasking believer. The fenomen even has a name: camii kundura, Mosque shoes. To avoid this, this modern mosque has installed safes for the shoes.

Also the fasade is tiled.

Lovely floral carvings.

Continuing our way on the old cobbled streets.

In route to the bead shops you go through the food market. The display in the butcher's shop makes a vegetarian out of you on the spot.

Lovely cottage factory conserves.

The fish monger lovingly arranging his sardines.

Herbs, natural soaps and sponges here, no need for a doctor.

Having a delicious roasted sardine sandwich in the middle of the market, outside, in my T-shirt , end November. Pure joy :)

This cavernous very old passage houses the second hand building materials sellers.

This is a corner of the delighful little hotel we were staying in for the night. You can see a lovely wooden finial against the background of the multi storied carpark.

Having breakfast in the patio of the hotel. Perfect place, but for the stoney beds.

This is the outside of the hotel, the yellow building. It is lovely to find such places in a city of six million people. The area is called Kemeraltı, 'under the walls' and comprises the old jew and greek neighbourhoods. There are thousands of shops in Kemeraltı and I suppose that you could spend your whole life there without needing to go outside the area to meet your needs.

This time we found a bag making stuff wholesaler. It looked like they hadn't spend a dime in shop furnishings in the two last centuries or so, but they had every thing that you may possibly need to make any bag.

I love this kind of third world entourages. Don't be mislead, though, the most actual and modish fittings can be found here.

It is paradise for the buyer and a gold mine for the seller, despite its humble looks :)

Back on the lovely old streets. Where are the women?

These old wooden houses are protected, but the owners leave them mostly to rot in the hope that the government will allow a new building when they are beyond repair.

A mannequin, hulled in the caracteristical cotton hamam towels is the add for the 'Healing Luxury Hamam'

Street vendors and street cats. Again, where are the women?

A hand painted door and an artisan bakery side to side. So many artists out there!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing these photos! It's a fascinating journey for someone currently up here in the cold, snowy north. :)

    It's odd though, the lack of women...? Is there a reason for it?

  2. Such a wonderful trip you took me to, Esther and Estella. With this post I can almost smell Izmir.
    I was in Turkey once, I loved to be there, and I would love to see Izmir with my own eyes. Everything you showed us, makes me want to go there. Except for the displayed meat (yikes). But that is part of Izmir/Turkey too. Thanks for taking all the pictures and the comments going with them.
    Wonder what you all will be making with the new supplies!

  3. Morrgan, it must be the area, in other areas there are more women. The shops in that street were more men barbers and such like nothing interesting for women :)

  4. Thank you for taking us with you on your shopping trip Star, that bag wholesaler seems like a lucky find indeed! I am fascinated by the mosque tiles, so beautiful! I love your comment about the 'multitasking believers' :D

  5. Exciting!
    6 million in one city!
    Latvia has abt 2 million in the whole country! :)
    Thank you so very much for sharing!

  6. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing :) Gitmis kadar oldum :)

  7. W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L post!!!!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing! I so much enjoyed this trip with you! I especially LOVE the mosque, the blue tiles are just amazing!!! And the shopper's paradise... OMG, I'd die in a bazar :)!!! LOL!
    You must feel quite relaxed and cozy now in quiet Marmaris after the 6 million (!) metropolis!

    LOL Inger :DDDDD!!!!!!!

  8. This was a wonderful trip to take even if only through your photos! Wow, this city is bustling. So many stores and markets. How fantastic. And lovely cobble stoned roads to walk along. It looks like the weather was perfect as well!

  9. LOL Inger, there are some like that, but most not. a little further were there are fun shops it is crawling with women :)

  10. I enjoyed all these pictures !

  11. What a great walk we were able to take with you! Thank you for posting this!

  12. Thank you so much for taking us on a tour of Izmir! :D

  13. Wonderful post! Can I have more of these, pleeeeeeeeease? I love Turkey and the bakery products are so yummy there! The mosque pics are stunning and I could spend hours rummaging in that bag suppliers shop.
    I would love to by one of those falling apart wooden houses and do it up.

  14. Thanks for this virtual walk, I really enjoyed it!