The backyard where we are housesitting near, Stamullen, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Stamullen, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Incredibly cheap groceries, and into the city of Izmir

We had learned that the big weekly market for this area took place on a Wednesday, and the location is only a five minute walk from where we are parked. So the first thing we did yesterday morning was to head over to the market to buy a weeks worth of fruits and vegetables.

Because we had been in Tukiye just over a year ago, we knew that the weekly market was the best place to buy fresh produce. Also the cheapest place. But we were still shocked by just how cheap it has become.

Not cheap for the Turkish people though. The Turkish lira has plunged 46% vs the Canadian dollar in the past year. And in fact it has dropped against all other currencies. This has caused huge inflation on any imported products, and to a lesser extent on Turkish produced products.

We feel badly for the Turkish people, but for anybody with euros or dollars to spend, fresh produce has become incredibly cheap.

The mushroom guy!

Ruth buying some mushrooms.
The price is 20 lira ($1.87 CAD) per kilo. 
$0.67 USD per lb.

Brussel sprouts. Half the price of the mushrooms.

Broccoli and tomatoes.

We walked out of there with two big bags of produce.

All of this cost 60 lira.
$5.65 CAD
$4.50 USD
€4.00 Euros
£3.25 GBP


When we bought the apples, I had handed the guy a 20 lira note, and he handed me back some change. I had a quick look at the change and started walking away thinking that the apples were more expensive than I thought they would have been. But he came running after me to give me the 10 lira note that I hadn't waited for!

Amazing. Yes, we will be eating lots of fruits and veggies over the next three months!

With that done, we set off walking to the ferry that would take us across the bay and into the central part of the city of Izmir.

These ferries are part of the city public transportation system, and when you have a transit card you can use it on all buses, subways, trams, and ferries. You can even use it to get a bicycle at one of those community bike stands. But we only wanted to pay for a roundtrip ferry ride. 

It turns out that you have to get a card, and so we had to go to the entrance to the car ferry to do that. The cards, loaded with enough cash to get us there and back cost 10 lira ($0.93 CAD, $0.73 USD) per person!

Then, when we tried to go through the automatic turnstile using the card, it wouldn't open for us. A guard came over to help us, and it turns out that our transit cards needed to be registered with the HES system, which is the Covid tracking system in Turkiye. We already had our HES numbers, but they needed to attach them to the transit cards along with our passport numbers. It took the guy ten minutes or so to get this done, and then they worked and we were onto the ferry.

Check out the two pelicans waiting for a treat from the fisherman.

This small mosque was built in 1748, and restored in 1919, and again in 1964.

The clock tower was built in 1901.

Downtown Ismir.

Wow, what a mural!


View from an old market building.

A wicker motorcycle.

We stopped and talked to this bird for a minute.
No, he didn't talk back!

We wandered the downtown pedestrian streets for a while. It kind of reminded us of the souk in Marrakech, but not quite a busy and not as many vendors hassling you. Except when we went through the tea area. Turkish people love their tea!

Every vendor tried to get us to sit down and have some tea.

Spices and dried peppers.

Scenery along the way.

We were getting hungry for some lunch. What I usually do in a strange city is check restaurant reviews on google maps. We always try for something local, and outside the tourist area, not that Ismir really seems to have one. 

I found one about a 15 minute walk away that had a 4.9 rating out of 5, with over 50 reviews. So we went there.

I am posting their info for future reference if we ever come back to downtown Izmir!

It's sort of a cafeteria style where they have everything behind glass and you just tell them what you want and then they bring you a plate. So everything is already cooked and there is no waiting for your food. But it's just a small family operation. There were three tables inside, and maybe four or five outside. We managed to get an inside table which was good because it was really too cold outside.

Some kind of spicy vegetable or lentil soup. 
Not sure, but it was good!


Bread, rice, some kind of beef stew type of dish, and spinach with yogurt.
It was delicious and there was almost too much food.

Corn cake and tea for dessert.

Including tip, it came to 130 lira ($12.00 CAD, $9.50 USD) for the both of us. We wouldn't need much for dinner in the evening!

With full stomachs, we did the hike up to Izmir castle. It is free to enter, but there really isn't much to see except for the thick castle walls, and the cistern. Oh, and of course the view which was the main reason we went up there.

Looking left.



Looking inland off the other side of the castle wasn't as nice, but still interesting.

Turkiye has a very modern highway system.

Atatürk Mask.
At first, we thought this was carved into the rock. But it was actually made of concrete!

At the top of castle hill is a huge water cistern.

It was made sometime in the 4th century.

Before we knew it, it was getting close to 4:00pm. We headed down from the castle taking some steep narrow roads. Definitely not the tourist area.

Dog having a nap.

Side street in Izmir,

Downtown was much busier at this hour.

We actually could have spent another day. There is more worth seeing, but we will save that for if we pass through this area another time, which is highly likely. 

Today, we head south another hour or so. We have now slowed down our driving a bit because south of Izmir the weather starts to warm up. In fact today it is supposed to be sunny and 10C (50F). Woohoo!

Great deal on this Men's Casual Jacket.

And in Canada...


  1. Thank you for taking us through the city!! I love tea! I believe English people love tea also. Love the pelicans waiting for a treat LOL

    1. We are glad that you enjoyed our short tour of İzmir, we definitely had a nice time wandering the streets there.

      If you love tea that you would certainly like it here and yes, English people love their tea as well but it is a different type of tea, I know because both my parents were English and they loved their tea!

  2. I may be embarrassing myself, but does anyone else double click on a picture, momentarily thinking they are on Instagram liking a picture? I did it twice - with the pelican and the octopus mural!! What a great city. So jealous of the prices at the market - just paid almost $2 for an 8 oz pkg of mushrooms yesterday and they didn't look half as good as yours. I eat a mushroom omelet most days and go through them quickly.

    1. I know I haven't made that mistake but then I also don't have a cell phone, my Instagram in on computer and it is totally different. Having said that if you clicked on the picture it should have made the picture full screen and then if you click on it again it zooms in and then you can move it around and see more detail. I don't blame you for doing it on those two photos though, they were both beautiful, especially that mural.

      We still can't get over how amazing the prices were on the fruits and veggies and how fresh they were. I am not sure of the weight of the mushrooms but I would have to say that they were around 8oz maybe a tiny bit more and we paid 5TL ($0.48 CAD, $0.37 USD) and yes, they nice firm and fresh. We eat a ton of veggies so we are going to save a lot of money over then next three months on our grocery expenses. :-)

  3. Wowza on the market veggie prices -- that's even way cheaper than Mexico. And the apples alone would have cost the $4.50 here in the US! I am envious for sure. Amazing mural, and the motorcycle of wicker! Such creativity.

    1. I know right! I think we said the same thing last year when we bought our fruits and veggies, that we thought it was even cheaper than Mexico. We are going to be eating lots of fruits and veggies over the next three months, even more than we normally eat which is already a lot. :-)

      I absolutely loved that mural, it was gorgeous and the wicker motorcycle was pretty cool too!

  4. Mexican supermarkets mushrooms are $2.50 USD per pound. Probably cheaper in an open market.

    1. Just goes to show you how much cheaper the produce is here in Türkiye and we have always thought the prices of the produce at the markets in Mexico were good! :-)


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