15 entry Turkish Delight
We love the new additions to our stateroom….. Two beautiful carpets purchased in Izmir. I admire Penny and her courage and adventurous spirit. A man met us on the street and encouraged us to enter his souvenir shop. I was reluctant and Penny was stepping into the fun. I tagged along, holding back a bit. Further invited upstairs to see leather goods, handbags, clothing and more. I was not going up there! I waited by the door trying to assess an escape route.
The same guy invites us to visit his uncles carpet store. Down a few alleys … Argh… Alarm bells going off in my head and for no reason but fear. Inside we go, up up stairs to a musty room completely filled with carpets floor to ceiling as if a warehouse. Www.the carpet museum. Once there and more people also shopping there I was able to relax and get into the process. Penny was delightful to watch.
Once the purchasing decision was complete, we had to get to a bank machine. The salesman accompanied us with the two carpets rolled and wrapped in brown paper. He even gave Penny a functional black bag to carry the carpets, complimentary. We saw some very lovely silk carpets as well…such a selection.
We found a delightful lunch spot with free wifi and Penny had lunch as I worked on posting blogs and writing emails. We had been at an Internet cafe much earlier in the day but could not get in to most of our sites. No rush as we sat enjoying the weather and the sights. We even sat at a table and who walked up to us, from a neighboring table? You guessed it, the uncle and several of his male buddies.
I don’t quite get it, but noticed the over representation of males traveling together on the streets of Izmir. Men groups of 4 to 6 seems the norm. Traveling in age cohorts, finely dressed and quite handsome. We were being watched from many angles.
We found next door a store that sold Turkey made wine, and beer. We selected a few and started a leisurely walk to the ship. I pulled out my phone and noticed it was almost 10 minutes after 3. We have to be boarded on the ship by 4! We know we are miles from the ship as we had walked the distance earlier in the day. I kicked my walking speed in to high gear, as did Penny. By some miracle of time and space bending we arrived at the ship at 5 minutes to 4!!!
Thirsty and happy we are back in our room ready to leave Turkey. What a fun day and one we won’t soon forget. We made our collage of purchased items, business cards, two flags (when we tried to buy one flag, the store owner gave us each one for no purchase. We were thrilled. I think mine will go to my grandsons. In fact it will be fun to find flags from all my journeys for them!
My feet are a bit sore, and feeling a bit tired from the quick walk back, however the sun was shining high in the very blue cloudless sky with a strong breeze along the water. We had seen local Starbucks and the clock tower, thousands of pigeons in a city square being fed by locals. This is a very busy harbor town even on a Sunday.
I am glad we had this day. Tonight dining is elegant casual dress. We will try to stay up late dancing in to the night with our table mates. 3 couples who all enjoy dancing. Some the age of my parents even!