Back again…

I am back to the States after a long nine months of studies. It was fast, fun, loaded and was worth every minute of it. Now I am adjusting back to my life here, the quiet streets, people not elbowing each other while hopping on subway cars (not that there is a subway where I live!), the wide lanes on the roads and all those things that I forgot.

Istanbul has definitely a very prominent pulse, hustle&bustle. At the end of the day, you are tired because the city tires you like hell but also gives you beautiful presents throughout the day if you know how to see it  and stay positive.

But when it all becomes too much in Istanbul, you can take a trip down to Aegean coast. We managed to sneak in a two-day trip to Urla, a province of the city, Izmir. Aegean coast always takes my breath away, I love it more than the Mediterranean. We ate loads of seafood, enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinners by the sea, made friends with stray dogs and cats and I got to meet Esra from Irmik Hanım’ın Fransız Tatlıları blog in person and saw her then soon-to-be-opened shop and got excited with her.

One day, we would like to take a trip driving through little bays and coves of the coast and stopping at wherever our hearts desire. But for now, while I get adjusted and unpack, I leave you with my favorite highlights from Urla.


 A fish restaurant close to Balıklıova 




 A light and long lunch 


 Urla Marina (İskele) 








 Have breakfast and katmer at Ünal Kardeşler at İskele 




 Kadınlar Pazarı in the town center of Urla. A women cooperative which sells the items and food that their members make and prepare. Wonderful things were on display that day. 


 Sanat Sokağı where Esra opened her shop İrmik Hanım Patisserie 


 And dear Esra :) 



 Urla is also making a headway with its wineries. 



 Our friends for the weekend :). I loved them and I think they loved us too by showing up at every corner and following us those two days.  


If  you want good seafood with very good price, İskele Balık Evi is the place to go. Yes you wont have the view of marina and the sea but it is located right next to marina and how can you beat a price of almost 9 bucks for seabass, salad and a drink combo. 


 Katmer at Ünal Kardeşler. Don’t listen to the waiter when he tells you one plate won’t be enough for two. One plate is PLENTY for two!





  1. by Lell Trogdon
    11:07 am
    Jan 3, 2015

    Welcome home!! As always, beautiful pictures and even better stories!

  2. by irene
    1:37 pm
    Jan 3, 2015

    Hoşgeldiniz…..!!!! Love your pics….and I love Urla. We use to go there almost daily as our place is in Izmir so it was not too far. I love that Urla Marina, they have some fabulous fish restaurants there along with those pussy cats hanging around the cafes.. Also we frequented those cafes along the sea where you can go swimming. I always told my husband I don’t mind getting a house really is a beautiful place….and quite peaceful and not so busy like where we are in the centre of Izmir…but then I love just to walk down to Alsancak. Take care and Happy New year!!!!

  3. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    11:53 pm
    Jan 3, 2015

    Amazing photos from your homeland, Ilke.
    Happy New Year–hoping 2015 is filled with happiness and health!

  4. by John@Kitchen Riffs
    12:29 pm
    Jan 7, 2015

    Welcome back! Love the pictures, particularly all the kitty ones. ;-) Fun post — thanks. And Happy New Year!

  5. by Krysta Wyatt
    5:15 pm
    Jan 7, 2015

    Great pics, Ilke! That was a long trip! I thought you might stay forever :) Are you finished with your MBA or still to go? Happy New Year and hope you are well,

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