Day 177-178 of 400: Izmir, Turkey

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We took a taxi from the port into the main area of Turkey.  There were vendors in all directions…food, scarves, metal brick-brack, Turkish coffee, hand-made wooden objects, carpets and more were at our every turn.  Things were quite cheap too which made shopping much more fun.  We were approached many times by pushy salesman wanting us to buy their “fake purses and fake brand clothing”.  This culture seems very upfront and confrontational…

We saw a wood burning oven and sat down for a snack.  They had long thin pita-like bread with minced meat, tomato, spices and hot peppers served with fresh lettuce and sliced tomatoes.  They were pretty good, although it was kind of strange not knowing exactly what we were putting in our mouths.

We walked through the many streets, shopping and enjoying the scene.  After several attempts at trying to get us to sit down for a coffee, we finally gave in to temptation.  The little coffee shops had small tables lined with locally made carpets as the tablecloths and seat covers.  We ordered two Turkish coffees which were served in small coffee cups with a bottle of water and plate of “Turkish Delights” – powdered sugar covered gummy candy…surprisingly good.  The coffee itself was extremely thick and black (the consistency of syrup) and already sweetened but no milk.  After drinking about 3/4 of the cup…the bottom was all coffee grounds.  It was different, not an everyday drink but still good.

As we continued walking around, we bought a couple little things including a hand-made backgammon board (with mother-of-pearl laid into the wood) before finding a lamb brain sandwich.  Now, I’m guessing that doesn’t sound exactly appetizing to many of you but being the adventurous eater that Giff is…we ordered one.  It not only had the brain sliced thinly into the pita but also the tongue and liver…all mixed together and topped with herbs, lettuce and onion.  Giff forced me to take a bite…it had that “gamey” taste and the brain was soft and mushy–I am all set with not tasting another lamb brain again.

After more meandering, listening to the prayer being sung over the loud-speaker and seeing some of their monuments, we went back to the cruise ship.  We ate dinner and of course gambled in the casino before bed.

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