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Ayvalik, Turkey


On the shores of the Aegean Sea

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Hello, I am glad to greet you, I am Yael Yancelson and today we will discover a charming region in Turkey called Ayvalik, so breathe, close your eyes and let yourself be guided, let’s begin…

After a long journey, we arrive at Ayvalik, a charming Turkish fishing port bathed by the Aegean Sea and surrounded by olive trees and pine forests that have undoubtedly been able to adapt to the arrival of tourists without losing their identity.

We walk through its labyrinthine streets that fuse Greek and Cretan cultures; this town has approximately 37,000 people.

The truth is that I really wanted to visit this town because I saw it in a series that I don’t know if you know, it’s on Netflix, it’s called my other self and it’s a series that invites us to know what family constellations are, it’s an extremely interesting series, which strikes a chord with those of us who are familiar or not with the work that is done in a constellation with what we bring from the family’s emotional baggage, I highly recommend it and Ayvialik is the setting for the series and for that I decided to visit and grab our bags and travel with the imagination to this paradisiacal place,

What a delight the Mediterranean climate is, can you appreciate the heat and the delicious sea breeze??? and we will also enjoy the view that makes its transparent waters shine. This is an excellent starting point to discover the more than twenty islands that make up its archipelago.

Ayvalık, one of the prettiest towns in the North Aegean, is made up of vine-covered stone houses in soft pastel hues leading to a bustling harbor, where fishing boats mingle with excursion boats and yachts.

We cannot miss the huge and lively market of Nese Sokak, where we can enjoy an authentic vibe of local life and see all these beautiful handicrafts as typical as the famous Turkish eyes, the mini bells, and the necklaces of the ladybugs, look how many there are nice things to buy!!!

Many of the Ayvalik mosques are former Greek Orthodox churches, the locals of this region have told us that after the disappearance of the Greek population, the churches were converted into Islamic temples and are now one of the main points of interest for tourists. We arrive at the Feyzipasa neighborhood and enter the Saatli or Clock Mosque, the second largest in Ayvaliken, which was built in the second half of the 19th century and converted to the Muslim creed in 1928. Look at the construction and the interior and You will see how it preserves all the original details, except for the pictorial images. The clock tower, from which it takes its name, measures 24 meters, while the minaret reaches a length of 44 meters. Let’s walk on Alibey Street in the Hamdibey neighborhood, to reach the old town and we find the Çinarli, a formidable neoclassical building built in 1790 and transformed into a mosque in 1923. Look at its pink painted facade, with a minaret of about 40 meters high, and each one of the ornamental details catches my attention, what do you think?

We pass through the main square and see the Izindeyiz Atam monument which reflects the history of Ayvalik and the country in general. It was made in honor of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of modern Turkey. We are told that the monument was built in 1922 when the Turkish forces recaptured the city during the war of independence. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Allies during World War I, Atatürk led the Turkish National Movement which aimed to liberate the Turkish-speaking territories of the former Empire. To carry out his resistance movement against the occupying armies, he relied on the people, including women and children. After his victory, he was proclaimed president and agreed with the Greek government on the massive exchange of the Greek population of Turkey for the Turkish population of Greece. In Ayvalik, most of the new inhabitants came from Crete, Macedonia, and Mytilene.

Getting lost in the old town is the best way to appreciate all the charm of this small town on the shores of the Aegean Sea. And that’s how we pass through an old Ottoman bazaar, cobbled streets with Greek-style houses with neoclassical architecture and they call my attention to the works of stone and wood on its facades. How about we stop by one of the city’s markets, which are famous for their dairy products, the traditional Kepekli bread, and the great quality of their olive oil. I’m going to buy one to take home because it’s really delicious! ! near the ferries that leave for the island of Cunda, we can also buy the freshest product you can imagine at the fish market!

 What a beautiful sunset we see from Seytan Sofrasi, which translated into Spanish means “devil’s table”. Located about eight kilometers from the city center, on top of a hill, we see a spectacular intense blue sea. Legend has it that the devil came to this place in search of beauty similar to that of the paradise from which he had just been expelled. During his ascent he left a mark, in which today visitors throw coins to make wishes, so as tradition dictates, let’s throw a coin and make a wish, right?

If you feel like going to the beach, let’s go to the Ayvalik coast which is home to a good number of beaches where it is worth enjoying the excellent weather and crystal clear waters with two of the longest sandy beaches in the whole country, Altinova and Sarimsakli, the latter located just 5 kilometers from the center of the city of Cunda (also called Alibey) is the largest of all the islands of the Ayvalik archipelago. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge, although during the summer months it can also be reached by boat. In the north of the island, we find the Patriça nature reserve, a highly recommended excursion if you want to admire the rich vegetation and let yourself be carried away by the nostalgia of the Greek villages abandoned for decades and now covered in wildflowers. From Ayvalik it is also possible to visit the Greek island of Lesbos, the third largest in Greece. This place is known for its beauty and for being the land of Sappho, the ancient poet who wrote love poems between women. Lesbos and Ayvalik are connected by a ferry service which we are going to use now, is that ok with you?

And now we come to ancient Pergamon, also known as the “high citadel”, as it stands on a 335-meter hill. Here it is well worth visiting the acropolis and its treasures, such as the splendid theater, the most inclined in the world, or the temples of Trajan and Demeter and we will see the remains of the library that Antony looted as a gift to his beloved Cleopatra.

Do you like to dive and take underwater pictures? Kerbela is the ideal place to do it due to its great biodiversity, with red coral, anemones, moray eels, octopuses, and even seahorses, look how incredible!!!! I love the experience of diving and enjoying marine life, wow!

And with so much travel I think it’s a good time to eat something, right? Herbs are fundamental here, as well as vegetables and olive oil, the truth is that it is fairly healthy gastronomy. The sardine and the drink known as Raki are traditional in the region.

And I return to the theme of the series of my other self because it really moved me a lot, it made me understand many things about my own life, my own baggage, and what we carry with the past that is not necessarily ours, but ours. ancestors but that is part of our limiting beliefs and our belief system and what we come to work in this world and in it they refer to a book that I highly recommend, it is called This pain is not mine by Mark Wolynn which precisely talks about That, of identifying and resolving the cultural and family traumas or baggage that have been inherited, is very interesting and I recommend it to you again.

If you like to cook, I think it’s time to prepare our ingredients to go to the kitchen and make a typical toast or Ayvalik sandwich that is consumed almost daily for lunch, click on the button, or if you prefer keep traveling.

 I present the new section by Dr. Gonzalo Corvera, one of the most renowned Mexican doctors who performs cochlear implant surgery in children, adolescents and adults and with his specialty as a specialist in Otorhinolaryngology and Neuro-Otology, he cares for people who live with hearing disabilities, director of the Mexican Association for Hearing “Help us to hear” I am sure that you will learn extremely useful and interesting things about these topics.

I want to thank Fabiola Ruiz Bedolla, our Mexican Sign Language interpreter, and her entire team of collaborators, as well as a very special thanks to Mercedes Obregón, director of the Pedagogical Institute for Language Problems, IPPLIAP. Thank you for joining this project and all of you for making it possible!

And that is how we leave this beautiful and interesting region of the planet with the desire to return. We will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to discover, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you every Friday and I ask you if you like to share the content with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY If you want to know what the INCLUDE ME foundation does, in the labor and social integration of people with mental disabilities, go to www.incluyeme.org.

We make a difference. And as I always tell you when helping others, we mainly help ourselves. Until next week and thanks for traveling with me.

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