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