Istanbul?

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Wow. Just...wow.

Loved it. Somewhat concerned that where I live will now seem like the most ugly and prosaic place in the world, although with Istanbul I fear this could still happen even if you lived in Narnia.

Thanks again to everyone who posted tips about where to go.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Wow. Just...wow.

Loved it. Somewhat concerned that where I live will now seem like the most ugly and prosaic place in the world, although with Istanbul I fear this could still happen even if you lived in Narnia.

Thanks again to everyone who posted tips about where to go.

I loved it too - jealous that you were there for a whole week!

Sorry I couldn't manage to meet up - I dropped you a message on Facebook yesterday. i think it was
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Yeah sorry, I did see that - just writing a reply. Limited net access the whole time (girlfriend's iPhone, basically) so I've only got back online this afternoon.

We were there for 10 days in all but clearly we just barely scraped the surface of the place.
 
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craner

Beast of Burden
KUSADASI: TRAVELLER HINTS AND TIPS

Getting There

Fly to Adnan Menderes Airport in Izmir direct from Manchester or via Istanbul from Stansted. Pegasus and Easyjet do cheap flights. From the airport, get a taxi through dense, choking urban sprawl to Izmir bus station. From there, Pamukkale run a regular and reliable coach service to Kusadasi which only costs 10 TL and includes free tea, coffee, fruit juice, cake and ice cream served by young men wearing bow ties. You also whizz past the magnificent ancient ruins of Ephesus en route, which saves going back later.

Where to Stay

This is not difficult. There are hotels everywhere. You can almost walk right out of the bus station and straight into a hotel. They all have pools and bars and beds and balconies. Apart from that, does it really matter where you stay?

Cuisine

Kusadasi has a lot of established restaurants and cafes that serve authentic ethnic cuisine, such as the All Day English Breakfast and the All Day Irish Breakfast. Famed joints like the Oasis Café of Ladies Beach or the Star Beach Café of Long Beach are justly proud of their carefully sourced ingredients – including Heinz baked beans, Lyons tea and Flora margarine.

I can recommend an evening meal at Toros, Kusadasi’s oldest restaurant (est. 1894) attractively located on the harbor front overlooking fishing boats and water. I ordered a great big chicken schnitzel that had an intense radioactive orange glow and was delicious with four bottles of Efes lager. My companion ordered a Hawaiian pizza that had a base as thick as a cushion and was studded with pineapple chunks that looked like gem stones. You can also order spaghetti Bolognese, lasagna, and various different types of burger, all served with chips or rice, gherkins and meaty tomatoes. There was a poetic atmosphere here, as the warm late-summer breeze drifted in from the sea and stray harbor cats surrounded our table and stared at us with haunting, hollow, hungry eyes.

Booze

Everybody in Kusadasi drinks Efes lager (apart from Turkish people, who drink tea all day instead of working). It is like a watered-down, metallic-tasting Peroni and after a couple of days you can drink it without wincing. It is safer than water and FAR safer than the toxic Turkish wine which is even worse than its Bulgarian neighbor. Guinness is widely available on Bar Street which is, yes, a street lined with raucous Irish bars. However, nobody actually drinks Guinness on Bar Street because it is too expensive. Instead, the hordes arrive at 11pm, already hammered and ready to pole dance, pogo, fight and vomit. This is the time you should leave.

Tourists

Cruise ships arrive daily and deposit their cargo in the Scala Nuova shopping centre where cruisers go to buy clothes and drink coffee in clean, air-conditioned shops and cafes for a few hours before fucking off to Egypt or Italy. But there are loyal visitors who return to the resort for long periods every year, such as the German septuagenarians who perform Strength through Joy exercises along Ladies Beach or the splendid young Baltic girls pioneering the perfect natural all-over body tan. However, the main tribes belong to Essex and Ireland, an annual joint invasion force of tattooed, chain-smoking, sun-stroked, Ephesus-avoiding Karaoke reptiles with Efes lager running through their veins and bodies built out of All Day Breakfasts. They are penned into Bar Street between the hours of 11pm-4am; outside of these times you will find them stranded on plastic recliners or buying fake football shirts from street stalls.

Smooching

British girls have an easy time in Kusadasi, particularly along Ladies Beach which is packed with young Turkish studs lining up for the Turkey Shoot. For chaps it is more complex – not because the Turkish girls are more modest than their western counterparts, but because they aren’t, which confuses the issue. Treat kissing as a matter of marriage or death, or choose a different nationality. This leaves you with German women who are no longer the nubile MILFS of their younger years, and the splendid Baltic babes who cannot be prized from their militant tanning regimes and never come out at night.

Sites of Interest

Ephesus looked magnificent from the window of the coach but you can also get taxis and buses there from the resort and go and stand beneath the large ruined exterior of the library. This had an underground tunnel that led to a brothel, which was quite an innovation. Pigeon Island is an abandoned military fort with no pigeons on it, but splendid views across the Aegean. Various mosques are good for soothing hangovers. You can take a boat trip to the Greek island of Samos which is the large rock formation visible from Ladies Beach, although it is worth remembering that the Turks and Greeks are still tetchy about various bits of contested rubble along the Aegean coastline. Turkey seems to be having quarrels of varying importance and intensity along all of its borders and this is entirely the fault of the abutting nations rather than any Ottomans or Ataturk according to every Turk you speak to.

There are no sharks in the Aegean and no tidal range – consequently, no exciting shark dives or seaweed to cook or shells to collect. There are dusty house sparrows and pigeons of various shades. I heard tales of bears and vultures at a local nature reserve but then I also heard tales of Kurdish gorillas and Syrian vipers and saw none of these things. The only exciting wildlife I glimpsed was the Irish on Bar Street.

Conclusion

Go somewhere else – maybe Aleppo.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Great write-up. Efes is indeed utter piss but we found a fairly drinkable bottle of Turkish white - there's meant to be some pretty decent plonk made there these days, though you have to look for it.
 

comelately

Wild Horses
Back when I went to Istanbul you were allowed to take 3 litres of spirits in with you, I think it's one litre only now.

Not that the taste of Efes mattered so much with some of the hash I was able to score......
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Craner - that holiday sounds like a bit of a 'mare. I thought Efes was OK though, certainly better than Peroni which I feel does actually taste of piss. Human or animal, I can't be sure.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I think Efes is one of those warm-climate beers, much like Red Stripe, where much is forgiven if you're drinking it on a lovely hot sunny day. Preferably on a terrace overlooking the sea, with something pleasantly savoury to snack on.

On a side note, are there any 'hot' (i.e. Mediterranean or warmer) countries that consistently produce good beer? I can think of Cooper's (Aus), Nigerian Guinness, Dragon Stout and Modelo Dark. In fact there's a dark Efes which is far more interesting to drink than the standard piss yellow variety, but we only found a couple of places that sell it.

I guess the hotter it is, the less you care about how much it tastes of, the emphasis is just on having something cold and refreshing. Hence, um, Fosters. :slanted:
 

Benny B

Well-known member
I think Efes is one of those warm-climate beers, much like Red Stripe, where much is forgiven if you're drinking it on a lovely hot sunny day. Preferably on a terrace overlooking the sea, with something pleasantly savoury to snack on.

I guess the hotter it is, the less you care about how much it tastes of, the emphasis is just on having something cold and refreshing. Hence, um, Fosters. :slanted:

This is like Cruzcampo here in Sevilla, no real taste but its practically the only beer they serve in bars. I'm drinking it right now but its raining today so its gone back to tasting like piss again.

Mahou's quite a decent beer, from Madrid i think, but overall the beer in Spain seems pretty tasteless. A nice pint of bitter is one of the things i miss most about England.

I'm dying to go to Istanbul after reading this thread tbh
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Oh man, it's fucking amazing. We sort of have our foot in the door now since my girlfriend's ex-colleague's half-brother (bear with me) lives there, we met up with him while we were there, she'd never met or spoken to him before, turns out he's pretty sound. Lived there 12 years, married a Turkish woman and they've got a little girl. Lovely guy, said we could come and stay next time we wanted to come over. We met him in Taksim Square, just as we were looking around for him we found ourselves almost caught up in this massive crowd of really lairy-looking young guys all chanting stuff, I was lie fuuuck, is it Galatasaray fans? Phew, turns out it was just the militant Islamists. :) (I'm sure the fans are nothing like as bad as they used to be - the team got beaten by Man U a few nights later, the end of the world it was not.) Anyway, he's an old-skool lefty who gave us a run-down on the political scene in Turkey, and rather sadly commented that the kind of angry young people who'd have become Marxists a generation ago are now turning to Islamism.

He's got a decent tan, has dark hair and a full beard, so could easily pass for Turkish, but he told us that Turkish people he doesn't know tend to address him English. He said he once asked someone how they could tell he wasn't Turkish and got the reply "You walk around like you know where you're going". Or maybe it was "you look like you're trying to get somewhere". Quite funny anyway. My parents often remark on how fast I walk, but they've never lived in London.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
But yeah, don't got there for the beer. Equivalently, don't go to Burton-on-Trent for the lovely climate, stunning architecture, wonderful food...



(Disclaimer: I've never been to Burton-on-Trent, it might have amazing architecture for all I know. Can't comment on the food. I'm probably right about the climate though.)
 

Immryr

Well-known member
there is a good amount of top beer coming out of italy at the minute. it's not exactly super hot, but it's warmer than the north east of england.

oh america is hot too, in places!
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Not sure why I started reading this thread again but page 3 reminded me of a terrible trip to Kusadasi which I had almost erased from my memory :crylarf:
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I was there for Badger Gav's sister's wedding. She was marrying a guy from Izmir. I checked in, the sun was hot, I went straight to the hotel bar had a chilled Efes, lit a cigarette, and it was a miasma of booze, fags, food, weird Welsh relatives, sun, Luke warm water, etc from there.

It was great. Was just pissed and colonial

Droid and Third would've killed me.

Actually checked out Third's ancestral town on Google. Very hot territory!
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
I was there for Badger Gav's sister's wedding. She was marrying a guy from Izmir. I checked in, the sun was hot, I went straight to the hotel bar had a chilled Efes, lit a cigarette, and it was a miasma of booze, fags, food, weird Welsh relatives, sun, Luke warm water, etc from there.

It was great. Was just pissed and colonial
Did you refer to the city as "Stamboul" throughout?
 
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