I have been somewhat of a holiday hipster for the last couple of years, avoiding the "tourist traps" of the Mediterranean, sticking to city breaks, fitting in as much as possible in the one trip. It's a rewarding experience to take in new cultures, visit museums etc. However, this summer, we decided to pack that in. A few months ago we called into Abbey Travel in Killarney and booked ourselves a package holiday to Kusadasi in Turkey. For the first time in forever, we left the entire thing in the hands of someone else, they booked our flights from Cork to Izmir, bus transfers, and a week at the Golden Day Wings hotel. We were met by a guide at the airport who saw us right to the reception desk.
It's such a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and feel the heat on your skin (something we just don't get in Ireland). It's invigorating, relieving almost. I feel as if my skin got to breathe for a change.
Kusadasi is a charming town, full of life, loads of places to eat out, shop and chill out with a drink. A word of warning though, it seems as if everyone is out to sell you something. Lots of restaurants have "grabbers" in the street who will do their utmost to convince you to dine with them, usually starting off with "where are you from?" and proceed to tell you how their place is great for your nationality, they use this same line in the markets on Wednesdays. Some places have started to take advantage of their pushy competitors by highlighting the fact that they won't hassle you, these are the places we tended to go to.
Of course, no trip to Kusadasi would be complete without a trip to the waterpark. We spent our penultimate day in Aqua Fantasy park being the big children we really are. There are so many things to see around there, the town of Selcuk was a bus ride away, where they have to house of the Virgin Mary. Ephesus, the ancient roman city was also nearby as well as pamukkale. I would definitely recommend a visit, it is well worth it.