Turkey is where East meets West.
For centuries,a cultural, economic, and religious crossroads, it's long been a land of change.
And Kusadasi is a fine exampleof the latest change, modern prosperity.
The port of Kusadasi is a good low-stress place tostart our Turkish adventure.
As if to remind its residentsof a humbler past, colorful fishing boats stillbob in its harbor, cradled in the sweeping curveof a people-friendly promenade.
Kusadasi is booming today inpart because of its foresight in building a finecruise port.
Nearly every morningin season, ships carryingthousands of passengers slip artfullyinto harbor.
As they disembark, cruisers enjoyan ambush of hospitality as traditional musicians celebrate their arrival.
I find Turkeyevery bit as friendly and rich in historyas Greece.
The food's greatand it's a good value.
While most visitors find it'sa safe and welcoming place, it still feels exotic.
In Turkey, some womenmay be more comfortable traveling with a partner, but with a spiritof adventure and applyingyour common sense, I think anyonecan find this country as friendly, comfortable,and as intriguing as I do.
The cruise ships have left and the town isonce again relaxed.
We're capping our day with strolling localson the harbor front.
Like anywhere alongthe Mediterranean, the town promenadeis the great equalizer.
Everyone is welcome to enjoythis convivial scene.
And when the call to prayerrings out, I'm reminded that people of allfaiths share the same joys.
[Call to prayer] One of the delights oftraveling in Turkey is the cuisine;seafood is the forte here on the coast, and we'rejoined by some local friends for a feast.
Traditionally, meals startwith a selection of "meze" — fun little plates that let you dip into avariety of taste treats.
-Ah, right, then Ilike the eggplant over there.
So, I want — no, no,yes, yes, yes, yes.
When Turks are ready to party,the local firewater, raki, is often part of the mix.
It's an anise flavored drink,like ouzu, you mix to tastewith water.
[Toasting in Turkish] And it goes surprisingly wellwith the meze — octopus salad, fava beans pureedwith olive oil, zucchini fritters,and grilled eggplant.
And for our main course, the kitchen is preparingan array of fresh seafood.
We've chosen sea bass encasedin salt, as is the tradition, to keep in allthe flavor.
Oh, that looks very nice! At the table,our fish is cracked open and filleted with pride.
Mmm! The flavor withthe olive oil and the salt, which keeps theflavor in.
This is excellent.
We've a saying in, again,Aegean region — if you drink rakiand eat fish, fish in your tummyreincarnate and swim again.