MSC Poesia cruise review and photos
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Impressions and images of Izmir

Izmir lovers and MSC POESIAWe'll admit that we'd never given much thought to Izmir,Turky until we visited that city during an MSC Eastern Mediterranean cruise last October. Most of the tourist information that we read dismissed Izmir as a "modern city" and suggested that, for travelers, it was mostly a jumping-off point for day tours to the ancient ruins of Ephesus.

In reality, Izmir turned out to be an extremely pleasant city with well-restored ruins (the Agora of Smyrna), a lively bazaar, an attractive downtown square, and--best of all--a waterfront promenade that ran several kilometers along the Bay of Izmir between the downtown business area and the port.

We've put together a 59-page Izmir, Turkey photo gallery to go with our MSC Poesia cruise review. Here's a sampler to whet your appetite:

Izmir harbor with ferries
ABOVE: Izmir's harbor is an incredibly busy place, with passenger ferries constantly steaming to and fro between the city center and outlying suburbs on the Bay of Izmir.

Agora in Izmir
ABOVE: We walked to the Agora, which was the marketplace of ancient Smyrna. Excavations are still underway, but many of the ruins have been dug up and restored.

Izmir cats and dumpster
ABOVE: A few blocks from the Agora, two cats were enjoying dinner from a dumpster while a dapper elderly gent emptied his garbage.

Sleeping dog in Izmir 

ABOVE: Izmir's dogs appeared to be less ambitious than the city's cats: We saw dogs sunning themselves all over town.

Izmir waterfront shooting gallery
ABOVE: Izmir's dogs may be lazy, but the city's human citizens show an entrepreneurial spirit. We saw this impromptu shooting gallery on the Alsancak promenade, where a local man was earning money with balloons and a BB gun.

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