PLACES: Izmir Zoo
It has literally been years since I have been to a zoo. Shockingly enough, in the four years that I lived in Iowa, I never made it to the Des Moines zoo (and they even have a Zoo Brew for adults in the summer!). Even more shameful, Jason and I went to San Diego and did not go to the zoo … which apparently is one of the main attractions.
So, either we are not zoo people or we don’t have kids… it seems that both are true right now!
BUT, we recently went to the zoo… in Izmir. And we really enjoyed it!
I know you are thinking…how can you make it to the zoo in your first 2 months living in Turkey and never make it to one in your own state OR even San Diego in the last 4 years? Last summer, Jason and I spent 10 days exploring Izmir making dreams and visions for possibly moving to this location. One of the ‘things to see’ in Izmir on almost every website was the zoo. Unfortunately for us, July weather is extremely hot and humid. That and public transportation from our location to the zoo was going to be 2.5 hours… one way. Being the wise ones we are, we decided (very quickly I may add) to stayed put in our air conditioned rental and planned to visit it another time.
With it being fall time, the weather was perfect and the bus ride was pleasant. The neighbourhood we decided on is a little closer, and we are able to catch only one bus that took us all the way there. Being a Saturday morning when most Turks are just starting to eat breakfast, the bus was found to be empty and relaxing.
The zoo exceeded our expectations by 100%. For only 3.50 lira ($1.25 USD), zoo goers are able to access the whole zoo and the petting area. A little cafe with simple cheese toast, muffins, snacks, and drinks was the perfect place to wait for some friends of ours.
The zoo was opened on 18 acres of land for the International and Cultural Fair in 1937 and in 2008 gained a 425 acres area that now makes up Turkey’s first zoo and wildlife park. This park now hosts over 1500 species of animals and 250 species of plants.
Jason snapped this shot of me…
I kinda of like him… and this hat.
And he kinda likes me wearing a hat, which I do for him…
Our relationship works out well for us.
Can I pause here and tell you about one of my favorite purchases this past year? Overalls.
If you know me, then you would know that I have become an avid dress wearer. One piece of clothing makes a whole outfit – casual or dressy. And now that jumpsuits and overalls have made their debut again, I am one happy girl! I found the perfect pair of overalls at the Gap Factory Outlet this past summer. They are the perfect casual day wear. Especially for a day at the zoo, correct? (Similar black pair can be found here.)
I will also tell you that we completely overdressed for this day. Being more familiar with a colder November, we have been a little caught off guard with how warm it has gotten throughout the day. So a sweater under my overalls and a wool cap was not the best idea!
A couple of my favorite animals were the rhino and camels, but the cutes animal award goes to the patagonian mara! Other animals such as deer and squirrels can be found at the Izmir zoo. Those are quite common in America but not so common. I was able to see the deer, but did not see any squirrels!
So that’s it. We went, and we love it.
Maybe we are zoo people after all! (Because we still have no kids to blame it on.)
Izmir Zoo or Izmir Doğal Yaşam Parkı is located in Sasalı, Cigli, Izmir, Turkey. (Telephone : (0090) 232 327 30 16)
What about you?
Do you love the zoo?
What is the best zoo out there?
Would you go to a zoo without kids?