Ayvalik is a must go destination when we visit Turkey, this time we started the trip to Ayvalik on April 26, 2012. We went to Pendik to take the ferry to Yalova where Suleyman the driver would meet us and drive the car to Ayvalik. The ferry was a newer generation than the ones I recall, similar in style but larger and clearly better built. It had a larger capacity to carry vehicles although it was not full that day. The passenger area upstairs was better appointed with more amenities. The ferry ride was comfortable and a little under one hour.
Suleyman was waiting for us as we exited the ferry and I relinquished the driver seat and enjoyed the scenery. Roads were better than the last time we drove this route, mostly divided highways with intermittent construction to make the rest the same. We drove to Balikesir where we took a lunch break at a restaurant where everything was made with olive oil, not surprising since the region is known for olive groves and oil production. From there we drove to Edremit, then a stop at Laleli Shop, ending in Ayvalik in about an hour and a half.
Just as luck would have it, my young friend Erdinc who took me to the dome of Hagia Sophia three years ago was in Ayvalik to bid on a renovation project. We arranged to have them briefly at the house which they truly enjoyed, then went to Ayna for dinner. It was a very enjoyable evening. They told us about their work and extended an invitation to visit them in Bursa where they had been working on the restoration of Yesil Cami (The Green Mosque). The project was coming to an end and there would be an opening ceremony on May 11, 2012. That’s the reason for our departure from Ayvalik on May 9, so that we can spend a day touring the mosque and other places they suggested. During their visit I also learned that Erdinc and Canan got married after working together for quite a few years. Belated congratulations to both.