The Relaxing Port City of Kusadasi in Western Turkey

Anyone who has taken a cruise ship to Turkey has probably spent at least a day in the port city of Kusadasi. We actually flew into Izmir and then spent a week in Kusadasi using it as our home base as we explored as much of the west coast of Turkey as possible. We also used it as an opportunity to relax for a couple of days before continuing on to Istanbul and then Bulgaria. While there are certainly plenty of historical sites to visit that are just day trips, spending time in the city of Kusadasi is worthwhile if you enjoy sitting by the water and watching the sunsets.

Looking Down the Shore in Kusadasi
Fresh Fish to Select for Dinner
Hand of Peace Statue on the Boardwalk
Sunset and a Fortress

We stayed in a resort that was outside of Kusadasi, but they offered a shuttle that would take us downtown near the port, which we took advantage of a couple of times. The weather was much warmer in Kusadasi then it was as we traveled north, so it was definitely a beach experience. We ate our fair share of seafood, tried some fresh ice cream as well as gelato, and of course had several glasses of wine. There are many different restaurants, all with views of the Aegean Seas and the beaches with people wading and swimming near the shore.

People Wading in the Water
Lemon and Orange Gelato
Kusadasi Sign

Since we usually have trips that are “travel” and others that are “vacation”, it was really nice to have a trip that was actually a little bit of both. Because of all of the cruise ships that do dock at Kusadasi, you do need to pay attention to how many ships are in the port as that does increase the crowds, especially towards the end of the day when they return from their tour of Ephesus, which is where most people on the cruise ships visit. You can also take a day trip to the Greek Island of Samos, but we chose not to do that on this particular trip. We will definitely have fond memories of Kusadasi as we really enjoyed our time sipping on wine and watching the sun set across the water.

Man Fishing
More Statues on the Promenade
Cruise Ships
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cone
Beautiful Sunset
More Fish
Waves and Resorts
Another Statue
The Beginning of the Sunset
Drying Peppers and Gourds
Fish for Dinner
Beautiful Flowers

Reginald’s Tower in Waterford, Ireland

When visiting Waterford in Ireland, one of the sites to visit other than the House of Waterford Crystal Factory and shops is Reginald’s Tower. It is a Viking museum as well as providing wonderful views of the port. It was a rainy day during our day trip from Dublin to visit Waterford and touring the tower gave us an opportunity to get out of the damp cold. Reginald’s Tower is Waterford’s landmark monument and has been in continuous use for over 800 years, making it Ireland’s oldest civic building. The tower was built by the Vikings in 914 and was the cornerstone of the triangular shaped settlement. For hundreds of years, the tower served as a fortification to protect the city of Waterford and today it serves as a museum to commemorate the history of the Vikings in ancient Ireland.

Historic Reginald’s Tower and Statue of Thomas Francis Meagher
View of the Harbor from the Tower
Inside of the Tower
Viking Ship Next to the Tower

The historic structure now stands alone, but originally there would have been walls on either side of the tower adding to its fortifications. The full-size replica of a Viking ship outside of the tower is certainly quite striking and definitely lets you know what the museum is all about. The port of Waterford is Ireland’s oldest harbor and an important part of the history of the region. There is also a statue of Thomas Francis Meagher outside of the tower, which is a tribute to one of the founders of the Irish Confederation that adopted what is the national, tricolor flag of Ireland featuring the green, white, and orange stripes. There are also plenty of restaurants in the area featuring wonderful seafood and traditional Irish dishes.

View of the Tower Exterior
Ceiling of the Tower
What the Viking Settlement Would Have Looked Like
Thomas Francis Meagher Statue