Çeşme (Chesh’may) was a blast of sun after a week of cloud and rain. We aimed for Çeşme on a third-hand say-so. From Bergama you pretty well have to go through Izmir, a city of two million, which puts you on impossibly busy city streets linking with a superhighway to a narrow peninsula with resorty developments everywhere you turn.

We took in the yacht-friendly waterfront development while looking for a place. Settled on a nice room a block in from the water at the Antik Ridvan Otel for 85 lira, just over $40. We stayed two nights. The room came with a little balcony.

0466 Cesme otel

That’s it on the second floor left. A school was nearby; we heard the students singing the national anthem at 8:30 sharp. Saw a threesome of stragglers stop dead at the corner below and stand at attention mouthing the  words.

Nearby, on a busy street, was the base of the old castle …

0473 castle

This 18th-century inscription on a fountain up the hill behind …

0467 fountain plaque 0468 fountain 0469 inscription

Quite easy to get lost in the concerto of hills and bays around Çeşme. Across the peninsula was a sunny suburb with a boatworks and many tony estates. We drove and walked around looking for the hot springs in the sea, a bit of local knowledge we picked up from a shopkeeper; the search was interesting in itself.

0470 doors 0471 Okeanus 0472 boat

We identified a good restaurant on Çeşme‘s tourist walk from Lonely Planet Turkey — Imren Locantasi, open since 1960, with a Greek-style open kitchen in front and a bamboo-covered atrium in back. We had the moussaka and the lamb shanks, both unusual, delicious and cheap. We went back the second night.

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