My friend Anna and I had the same day off because it was Labor day here, and things can get a bit messy here so we decided to get out of the city and visited another city nearby, Iznik. We took a bus to Yenikapi ferry station, took a smooth and modern ferry to Yalove (a little over one hour), then took a mini bus to Iznik, about another hour. Iznik is famous for its tiles, which are used in many places around Turkey. There isn’t a whole lot to do there, the 2 museums are pretty sparse, and the historical hamam was closed for restoration. There’s a lake which is fun to walk along and there are places to sit near it and drink something. It was a nice escape – a quiet little city/town with a few things to do but not too much so we also sat in our room, watched things, and ate junk food. If you live in Istanbul or have visited Istanbul repeated times it’s worth a visit, especially if you go weak in the knees with the designs on the tiles like we do, but I wouldn’t stay for more than 2 nights.

All of the public trashcans had different patterns on it – I took so many pictures of them!

Different places to sit along the lake, complete with trashcans…

View down a quiet street

A man selling simit, like a bagel but more slender, and a girl buying them, probably for Sunday brunch.

Turkish breakfast!

Not a quiet location for a nest.

Another trashcan with a mini Hagia Sophia in the background.

These were the niftiest things and I kind of regret not buying one but I know I wouldn’t use it. It’s to dangle your purse off of the table and the hook thing folds up to wrap around the circular part. The Turks have a superstition that if your purse touches the ground then you won’t earn a lot of money. Hardly any of my students put their bags on the floor, instead putting it behind them on their chair, or on their lap, or taking up another chair to pile all of their things on it. Of course a large part of it is cleanliness but I think there is something else subconscious to it.

There was an AWESOME place that sold only these skewers of meat and it was cooked over charcoal and it was so so good. The bread was delicious and it was also stuffed with onions, parsley, salt, and some red pepper. I’d go back just to eat there again.

A lot of the apartments used the traditional tiles.

I’m a little hesitant to show this picture because I’m afraid I’ll get a lot of emails/messages from people who want some of these things, and telling me to go back to Iznik to buy some!

No room in Turkey is complete without some lace or handsewn something hiding an object.

Anyway, it was a good trip and I’m happy I found a good travel partner! If you come to Istanbul and want to go to Iznik, I’m happy to give you advice about getting there and things to do and eat. Take care!


One response to “Iznik

  • shannon gordon

    Can’t wait to try the new eating spots – I can smell the charcoal cooked skewers, and the small neighborhood places look wonderful. YUM.

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