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you ever travel from Izmir to Çesme on the new motorway,
after about 70 kilometers, you will see an exit "Alaçati"
do not hesitate to get of the motorway at that exit, it will
be an amazing visit to one of the oldest towns along the Aegean
coast of Turkey.
If you were sailing up along
the Aegean coast, although you will not see a mark on your
map for Alaçati, but you will notice the windsurfers
in a beautiful bay. Do not hesitate to enter the bay, a newly
built marina (although not yet complete) will welcome you.
A two kilometer drive from the marina to Alaçati town
would be the start of a discovery tour.
The tour would be amazing,
but it very much depends on what you consider an "Amazing
tour". If you consider spending some time at you summer
house, or laying lazily on the beach to absorb the sunlight,
or eating and drinking until early hours in the morning and
listening to incredibly loud disco sound, or going to movies,
theatre even a concert, Alaçati is not for you.
your understanding of an "amazing visit" is to swim
and do all kinds of water sports, or just relax strolling
around in the old vineyards, or walk around on the shining
cobble stones and discover a surprise around every corner
of an old town, or talk to the locals, or even sit in an old
coffee house to read your favorite book or daily paper, then
Alaçati is definitely for you.
When you drive to Alaçati,
you will notice a beautiful pine-tree tunnelled road, which
will lead you to an old amphi-theatre above which the hill
is dotted with old windmills. There you will have to turn
right to enter Alaçati town. You will notice the flow
of people mostly going in one direction towards the little
coffee-houses, shops, barber-shops, restaurants, mosque, right
to the heart of Alaçati. You just follow the crowd,
it will take you there. Following the crowd, or just going
to left or right, which ever way you go, don't bother about
getting lost. Don't even bother to try to to read the colourful
rusty street signs to find your way, you will never get lost.
Anyway even the locals do not know the name of their streets,
if you ask them, they will turn around and ask their neighbors
"hey do you know what our street is called". Doesn't
matter whether it is "Cemaliye" "Mektep"
or "Musavvail" street, nobody cares.
Once you turn left, you will notice
a shop with "Antik (Antique) Shop" sign and a shaded
entrance, if you walk towards the entrance or enter the shop,
someone will turn the lights on for your convenience. Once
the lights are on, then you will find yourself looking at
the old "coal powered ironing machines", old watches
hanging at the end of a chain, old pipes or even 100 year
old dresses covered with dust. If you have time and the knowledge
about antiques, you will definitely find something to savour.
Even if you do not buy anything, make sure that you will remember
the location of the "Antique Shop" as it is also
the place to find out whether there are old houses for sale.
It is very likely that once you stroll through Alaçati,
you will want to buy an old house there like so many others.
Restoration work on old Rum(Greek speaking Romans) houses
have become the trend in Alacati.
Well, get back on the street
and keep walking down, you will notice the smell of your grandmother's
cookies. The smell will simply lead you to small "patisseries".
too much, just get some cookies either salty or sweet, to
keep your mouth busy during your stroll. But a little warning,
further down the street, you will notice a brown "Agrilia
Café Boutique" sign. An old animal food depot
has been turned into a really beautiful Café-Boutique.
A Turkish coffee or Cappuccino, on the side a toast or a slice
of apple pie would definitely refresh your body. Beautifuly
embroidered white table cloth hanging all the way down to
the floor, will draw your attention. But don't stop there,
just look around, you will notice the antique mirrors, doors,
shelves, cupboards various glassworks, candle holders and
old dresses used as sofa covers.
After enjoying your visit
to Agrilia Café keep strolling to the left, until you
come to the houses with door numbers 116 and 118, spend some
time there to enjoy the restoration work done on these two
houses. Alacati has number of these old "Rum" houses
waiting for new owners so that restoration work can take place.
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