The closest we got to our “Greek beach vacation” just happened to be in Turkey. We opted to spend a few days in a lovely little resort town in Western Turkey called Cesme. Technically it is in Asia, but it seemed more European than Greece we experienced. Our hotel was right next to the beach. Cesme, at least the center, was tidy, clean and full of well behaved drivers.
Walking around, I fell in love with the urban texture of the place. All over you can see the patina of faded paint, the old ironwork, the old water fountains with Arabic writing where men still came and collected water. The castle was the main historical feature, followed by a Greek church that now serves as a community hall.
Ephesus is a well preserved ruin of a once grand city in Western Turkey. In Turkish, the city is called Efes, which is also the name of Turkey’s biggest brewery. It is truly amazing to walk among the ruins of a society that flourished thousands of years ago. Even if it’s 100 degrees fahrenheit. Seeing Efes makes me wonder what, if anything, will be left of our built environment in two or three thousand years.
Everybody loves cat photos, right?! Well in both Greece and Turkey there is no shortage of cute cats. I was quite impressed to see so many cute cats and kittens the last time I was in Istanbul, and this trip was no exception.
In some places it was pretty sad, especially in Greece. Many cats were in really bad physical shape, and there appeared to be no attempt to spay or neuter. Occasionally there’d be a cardboard box on a sidewalk with kittens crying for their mommy. Turkey seemed to have a bit more respect for their cats. We befriended the most adorable dog in Chios too, but no photos unfortunately.
There were also a few unexpected critters on our trip. For one, there were turtles tortoises enjoying the lawn Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. And the ancient Roman aqueduct in Selçuk (the modern town next to the ancient biblical city of Efes or Ephesus) doubled as stork nesting sites.
Preface: The whole family (my wife, daughter and I) have just returned from a three week journey from the far West of Europe to the far East and dipping our toes in the sands of the far Western corner of Asia. We started in Lisbon, Portugal made our way to Athens with a brief stopover in Geneva Switzerland along the way. Then we took an overnight ship from Piraeus (Athens’ port city) to Chios City in the North Aegean region. After a few days of a beach vacation in Chios we took the short ferry ride to Çeşme, a resort town in Turkey. After a few days we moved on to Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city after Istanbul and Ankara.
As my day job is photography, or at least that’s what I pretend it to be, it makes for a strange group of photos. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the family snapshots from the stock photos and personal projects. As I sell photos for stock, effectively I’m helping somebody else tell their story with my photos. I do a rotten job of telling the typical vacation story that most folks do. There are fun photos of my wife and daughter mixed in with pretty scenics, strategically photographed odd subjects I think might sell, and fun photos I enjoy taking because I love my craft of photography, like night photos and long daylight exposures. So I’d like to apologize in advance to you, whoever you may be. I expect a few visits from friends and family, an occasional referral from Google, Bing, or some other search engine, and (who knows!)
I’m breaking up these posts into bite sized snippets. Hopefully that way I’ll be able to post most of the photos and descriptions promptly. Editing and keywording thousands of photos is a daunting task. In the past I’ve never really managed to finish in time to share. We’ll see, but here, in no particular order, is my first installment.
Now on to this story: I’d been lugging around a tripod the whole trip, I might as well use it. So here are few photos taken in Izmir at night. This trip was a family trip after all, and I tried my best to behave. But there were a few times where I had a hard time not stopping to take a few longish exposures. Here are a few.