We've previously featured community member Melda Orcan for her stunning self-portraits on film. In this edition of Around the World in Analogue, she returns to tell us about her unforgettable vacation at the tight-knit Turkish town of Ayvalık.
The seaside town is known for being a key location for olive oil production during the Ottoman era, and much like any other town in Turkey Ayvalık is also home to historical landmarks and architecture. It's also famous for artisan workshops, crystal clear beaches and an excellent food culture boosted by fresh local ingredients and seafood from the Aegean sea.
Let's hear the rest from Melda!
Ayvalık is located in the Northern West part of Turkey and it was always on top of my list to visit there. We went there with a couple of friends and stayed in a very old wood house together.
I liked it there so much because it is a quiet place located on the Aegean coast of Turkey and it was not crowded at all, we met with the nicest locals and really enjoyed the local culture.
We even joined a local wedding during our stay. It was so fun! Crystal clear water, orange sunset views and old tiny stone houses were absolutely beautiful. And so many stray cats on the streets!
I will never forget right after spending the whole day at the seaside, going back to our wood house and watching the most beautiful stars, paired with a glass of wine with my friends. We repeated that every night and it was so peaceful.
I like the fact that Ayvalık is quiet and not filled with tourists, we were engaged with the locals very quickly and life there is so peaceful compared to Istanbul. People do not rush for anything since it is a small town and enjoy their own life. Everyday I was the most excited about the sunsets and they were spectacular.
You know, it is barely possible to catch a beautiful sunset in big cities. And the food there was so yummy, super organic and healthy. Dishes were mostly made with their local olive oil, as wherever you go all you see is thousands of olive trees in Ayvalık.
Every Thursday they have an outdoor bazaar where local people sell their handmade stuff. I bought myself a real pearl necklace and you can find so many unique pieces from there. I would also suggest people to eat stuffed squash blossoms as it is their local famous dish. It was so yummy!
There is a beautiful island called Cunda right in front of Ayvalık. We spent a couple of days there as the island is so big and has so many good restaurants which I loved. Highly recommended!
Finally, I would suggest film photographers go out with their cameras wherever they go in Ayvalık.
There is always something magical happening there and you will definitely regret it if you miss those kinds of moments. Especially the sunsets!
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