The Blue Aegean Sea…

(Aegean Coast of Turkey, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

I’ve never seen a bluer sea, and I’ve seen many, because if there is one thing that I love is the water…I was born near the water and I’ve always lived in a coastal city or town…but the Aegean Sea is incredibly beautiful.

Here are some shots I took while sailing in Turkish waters…

And areas along the coast heading south from Bodrum, and Bodrum is more or less in the middle of the Turkish Aegean coast, about a one hour flight from Istanbul.

It’s a very relaxing time, the time you spend on the water, and since most of the coastline is composed of coves and small bays, you can anchor and jump in any time of the day or the night that you like…

(Our saiboat, we rented it with friends, for one week, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

When you hire a boat, it comes with a captain, a chef and a first mate. You then purchase everything and anything you wish to eat along the voyage as well as everything and anything you would like to drink. We had a great chef and ate gourmet quality food throughout the seven days of sailing the Turkish Aegean.

It is a very relaxing and refreshing time, a most enjoyable experience. You eat, you drink, you take in the sunshine and the gorgeous waters of that blue, blue Aegean Sea…

I leave you with a little video clip that I made of my trips and journeys in Turkey, a country I know very well, although I should say that I know the western, Aegean coast, because Turkey is a huge country and I know very little of all points east, north or further south…

Turkey, at least some of it…

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Ayvalik en la costa del Egeo turco…en fotografias…

Ayvalik esta situada en la costa noroccidental de Turquía. Fue una ciudad llamada Kydonies (Κυδωνίες), cercana a la ciudad de Pérgamo. No muy lejos esta la ciudad de Esmirna. Tiene muchos restaurantes de mariscos a la orilla del mar y es famosa por la gran calidad de su producción de aceite de oliva. En Ayvalık se encuentran las playas Sarimsakli y Altinova, playas de arena, grandes que se extienden aproximadamente 30 km hacia el sur, casi hasta Esmirna.

La primera vez que estuve en Ayvalik fue en 2006, pero no ha cambiado…

especialmente una de sus islitas llamada Cunda (Yunda)…

Realmente es un lugar encantador…

Del puerto de Ayvalik puedes embarcarte a la isla griega de Lesbos…

Fácil de llegar en coche de la ciudad de Esmirna…

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Resultado de imagen de location map of ayvalik turkey
(Map courtesy of Trip Savvy)

In Ilica Harbour Even the Cats…

As I have been staying the summer in the Aegean region of Turkey in a little town called Ilica, I have been exploring and photographing about. A few days ago my wife and I walked to a nearby town in the peninsula, Chesme and a dog…that I named Paxota (see article)…followed us and walked with us seven kilometres.

Well, today, we were strolling around Ilica’s “fisherman’s wharf”, really just a makeshift marina, and a group of cats started to follow us around as well. I have been a cat lover all my life and I know that cats are curious and they come to you to see what you are all about but then they lose interest and leave. However, this cat family thought they were dogs! After all there are dozens of stray dogs wandering all around this town. They followed us everywhere as dogs usually do around here.

So the cats followed us. They stuck to us, playing at times, exploring things and getting into the most difficult nooks and crannies but went with us as we walked around the three hundred meters or so of marina. As it is my custom to name things, animals and even people, I have named the three males, Badoret, Manalet and Gasparó. The female kitten is Josefina.


I thought it was quite unique. Perhaps it isn’t so and you might have many stories of incidents such as this one. But for me it was out of the ordinary. Here in Ilica, nature is all around us. This is, after all, a village but an interesting one that behaves as a city would during the summer season.

Pretty nice boats in the Ilica Marina

After the middle of September, everyone leaves. The population reverts to about nine hundred souls. There are many beach places here, many bars and cafes along the waterfront and in summer they are bustling. Yet, come this time of year…end of September…it begins to look like a ghost town.

View from the west side of the Ilica marina towards the southeast

The beach is still beautiful and people still get in the water and swim, although the temperatures are going down. But you get a sense of closure, of something fun and lovely that has finished when you look around and see everything closed. After all, just days before everything was out, all the chairs, the umbrellas, the chaise longs, and most importantly, the people. Now there is silence and instead of tourist families there are packs of barking dogs…

This is Panxo, he’s a little crude but…what the hell…the beach now belongs to them, so…

All photographs and artwork in this blog are my original work. (C.2019) I am an artist living and working in Valencia, Spain. If you are interested in seeing more of my artwork, I cordially invite you to visit my Instagram galleries @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and to see my online gallery where I have posted my 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” collection, please go to http://www.ArtPal.comrfbravo1155


Travelling in Turkey, Alacati and Ilica on the Aegean

Alacati (pronounced Alachati) is a very pretty village on the Cesme (pronounced Cheshme) peninsula, which is very close to the city of Izmir, on the Aegean coast of Turkey. All the homes are stone structures and the streets, narrow and cobblestone.

During the day it is a relaxing place to walk around and shop. There are many authentic stores with items you will not see anywhere else. There are also many antique stores, some galleries and lots of tea house, coffee shops and open air restaurants. At night it fills with thousands of visitors from nearby or from very far away. There are many interesting little boutique hotels as well as many night clubs.

But I prefer to stroll around and enjoy the old houses. Their doors are very interesting and picturesque. Most of the houses date back to the time when the Greeks lived here, before WWI. Actually, if you take away the many fine restaurants and fancy shops all around Alacati and imagine it with only the old stone houses, it looks exactly like the Greek towns in the nearby islands, like Xios.

In and around the narrow streets there are artists studios working on ceramics, glass and textile pieces that are genuine works of art. The bougainvilleas adorn the facade of most of the houses, mixing and blending with the colours of their doors, the little streets of Alacati become a very pleasant place to spend some time.

It is a very nice place to visit, especially if you stay in nearby Ilica (pronounced Iliya) where you can enjoy the beach. Ilica is just about six kilometers away and there are many taxis and micro-buses that take you back and forth. Personally, I prefer to walk the 6k.

The Cesme peninsula, where you can visit Ilica and Alacati and the town of Cesme itself, has an international airport very close by, (about 1,5 hours away by car or bus) and an international port. From the port of Cesme you can book passage to many of the nearby Greek islands as well as to Athens. I highly recommend a visit, and perhaps you too would like to explore places like these and imagine who lives there and how life can be in an old stone Alacati home.

I am an artist from Valencia, Spain but I usually spend my summers in the Aegean coast of Turkey and Greece. If you liked what you read, please hit that like button, share and follow. If you would like to see my drawings and paintings, please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and for my 2019 new works of the series “JaZzArt en Valencia” go to


Towns of the Aegean: Dogs of the Streets

A street scene in Ilica, Turkey

As I have mentioned in my other articles, I am travelling through the Aegean region of Turkey and visiting some of the nearby Greek islands. However, presently I am in a beautiful little town called Ilica on the Chesme peninsula, not too far from the important city of Izmir. Ilica’s a little town that grows to immense proportions during the summer season as thousands of tourists…mostly Turkish from Izmir and Istanbul…flock to this tropical paradise in the mid-Aegean region.

Of course, for in Ilica there are very nice sandy beaches and the waters of the sea here, is incredible. Cool, clean, crystal clear, inviting and refreshing. It is no wonder why thousands rush over every year to spend…if you are lucky and have the vacation time available…from June to September.

However, I have been noticing a rather disturbing situation that has been getting more and more noticeable within the last six to seven years that I have been coming here. It is the amount of stray dogs that roam the streets at will. They lie where they please and sleep where they please and do everything else wherever they please. In truth, they act like the town is theirs and we are all just passing migratory birds, here for the summer then off to our colder climes.

I find this situation disturbing, for although people here tell me that the dogs have been looked at by the local veterinarian and have received their shots, I am still weary of packs of dogs roaming the town as if they owned it. They go into the water and scare the little children. And I say, these are not cuddly little pooches, they are all big dogs. I think they are a mix of Labrador with Anatolian Hound, judging by their size.

In any event, I just wanted to put this out there. Maybe someone will mention this to the authorities so that they can begin to pick up these animals and take them to a safe place out in the country. Around Ilica there are many ranch type properties with plenty of space for these dogs to wonder and live happy lives. Anyways, since I have never encountered such a situation, I just wanted to express this curious detail of another wise beautiful little town, Ilica.

Thank you for your attention and if you liked what you read, please like and share and follow. Comments are encouraged and welcome. Let’s discuss things like these.

I am an artist from Valencia, Spain and if you would like to see my paintings and drawings, please go to Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

And to see my online JaZzArt en Valencia galleries, visit…it’s free…here:

The “big” beach in Ilica and the dogs