Walk • Trek • Travel
A photographic record and journal of our walking, trekking and travelling adventures.
Çanakkale to Izmir
Çanakkale to Izmir

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Iwanted to go to Bergama. I really wanted to go to Bergama to see the ancient city of Pergamon. I spent an hour going back and forth between the bus companies in Çanakkale but only had limited success. Two of the companies would drop us off a the Bergama Bus Station on their way to Izmir, but none of them would pick us up from Bergama a few days later from the same bus station. They all just said it was not possible.
I even posted a question on TripAdvisor and got several replies that suggested various ways we might or should be able to get from Bergama to Izmir. But that was the problem. We wanted a little more than ‘might’ or ‘should’, and we had already encountered several examples of buses running reduced services or not running at all based on what we had been told.
Ultimately, we weren’t brave enough to take the risk, and this was partly down to seeing the news reports of Istanbul brought to a complete standstill by the heavy snow that we had just lucky enough to escape.
Instead, we headed to Izmir on the same bus that would have dropped us a Bergama Bus Station. Annoyingly, it stopped there anyway, and passengers did get on for Izmir.
We didn’t have anything special to do in Izmir. We just stayed there to break up a long bus journey.
Çanakkale to Selçuk direct was seven hours, so we thought we would get to Izmir and then take the train to Selçuk.
Arriving at Izmir Bus Station and cognisant of our lack of bravery with Bergama, we decided to take a Dolmuş, but first, we had to find them.
Dolmuş translates as ‘when full’, which is precisely how they work. Dolmuş are small minibuses that operate fixed routes for a very low fixed fee and only set off when the bus is full or when the driver feels like it. Along the way, the driver will beep at passers-by to see if they want to use the service and pick up anyone that flags them down.
Passengers tend to pay the driver during their journey or at the end but hardly ever when they get on.
We found the area in the bus station where the Dolmuş depart, but the next problem was trying to figure out which of them would be going anywhere near the Train Station to buy the tickets for tomorrow’s train to Selçuk.
It didn’t take long before a Turkish man came over to help us, and even though he spoke no English and we speak no Turkish, he managed to point us to the right Dolmuş, thanks to Google Maps.
The driver of the Dolmuş confirmed this and made a little ‘walk’ gesture with his fingers, which we took to mean that we would need to walk the last bit.
At some point along the route, the driver shouted ‘Tren Gari’ at us, and we knew we would be walking the final kilometre or so. A young Turkish man also got off and walked with us part of the way. He wanted to make sure we knew where we were going. We did, thanks again to Google Maps, but it was kind of him regardless.
The Train Station was busy. Lots of people were queuing to buy a ticket. When it was our turn, we discovered that you could only purchase tickets on the day of travel.
Our hotel was near the train station, so we didn’t have far to go or return the following day to try again.
We spent the evening exploring a small part of Izmir and found a tiny vegan restaurant for dinner.
Another 2 plus 1 bus this time to Izmir
Inside the Dolmuş going to Izmir Train Station
Exploring Izmir
Vegan Kebabs - yummy!
Are you tired of being stuck in the office? Bored of being chained to a desk? Counting down the days until retirement?
Me too!!