Continuation from here ...
Located 90km south of Izmir, Kusadasi is popular with tourists as it's very near to the historical sites such as the Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary and Isabey Mosque.
But it is also a beautiful town on its own, with numerous beach resorts overlooking the Aegean Sea. Various Mediterranean cruises dock at the harbour, so the town is always happening.
We started the day by visiting all those historical places but I'll write about them in a separate entry. For this entry, I shall write about Kusadasi. Because I want my map to be in order. :p
Turkish carpets or rugs are famous around the world; they are known to have high qualities and valuable. Believe it or not, you can sell your handmade silk carpet and make profit over it. So my sister was very eager when we went to a carpet store as she was kinda interested to buy one.
We were attended by their manager and firstly brought to see the carpet weaving demonstration.
Most of the carpet weavers in Turkey are women. I was amazed seeing their hard work. Imagine that big carpet in your living room, one woman weaved it on her own and one very big carpet can take years to complete! These women are not paid an hourly wage, but rather for the completed carpet. There are many criteria used to determine the amount she will receive such as the intricacy of the design, quality of the materials used, and if it is a carpet, the number of knots per square centimetre.
We were then ushered to a big room full or carpets, and they told us all the tales of the Turkish carpet and what makes them so great. They also shared stories on how during the older days, a girl had a greater chance of marrying if she was a skilled weaver and would offer carpets as part of her dowry to her future husband.
While at it, of course they will try to sell the carpets to you too. Standard la kan? :p
But at the end of the day, it was a very educational visit. I had a chance to see a lady actually making a rug right before my eyes, how silk is made from silk cocoons, how the wool is dyed with natural products and most importantly, I now know how to differentiate a handmade carpet and a machine made carpet. My sister got her carpet and everybody's happy.
After our tour finished, we asked the driver to drop us at the harbour to enjoy the sunset.
Beautiful, isn't it? We continued walking around the nearby bazaar and the shopping street. Oh yeah, another thing you should buy when visiting Kusadasi is their leather.
Turkey is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of leather goods and I was told that Kusadasi is the best place to buy it. Walking into each Kusadasi leather store is like walking into a leather heaven.
You can get leather in all colours from classic browns and blacks to all the colours of the rainbow, from conservative styles to the more fashion-forward ones. Let’s not mention the variety of different skins: from nubuck to suede, from napa to the so-called ‘silk-leather’. The price? You can get them from as low as USD50. Very good deal I suppose.
Finally, what's a visit to Turkey without buying the Turkish Delight?
Made from starch and sugar, they come in various flavours and packaging, making it a popular souvenir from Turkey.