CONTRIBUTED BY ERIN SKINNER
If you’re looking to get out and find an adventure in Adana, Old Town is a great place to visit. There are a few main landmarks in Adana – the main mosque, the Roman bridge, and the clock tower. The clock tower is surrounded by Turkish shops with all kinds of interesting finds.
Driving and parking can be a mess in this area, so people sometimes park at the Hilton and walk across the Roman bridge. We have two young children and since it’s the heat of the summer we opted to brave driving directly into Old Town and parking. Be careful – we came back to find our car completely blocked in by three Turkish cars! We had to enlist the help of some Turkish guys in order to find the owners so that they could move their cars. My husband and one of the guys ended up putting one of the cars in neutral and pushing it! This is life in Turkey. If you park by the clock tower, make sure to park where you can’t get blocked in.
From the clock tower you can see the beginning of the market area. There are areas with metal work (pots and pans), fabric, wood work, beads, clothes, shoes, etc. We even wandered through a covered alley full of meat for sale. It smelled horrible and had animal entrails/lamb heads everywhere, so I don’t advise this for children or really for anyone.
If there’s something specific you’re looking for such as wooden chests, I suggest you bring a picture of it. There weren’t a lot of English speakers in this area but we were able to show photos and ask people to point in the right direction. It probably goes without saying that this is an area where you should bring TL rather than using a credit card.
Our favorite place we found was a large store called Yeni Ugur. Here they hand-make many different types of Turkish Delight. As soon as you walk in they start handing you large pieces of all kinds of Turkish delight to try. Warning – they will feed your toddler chocolate. They will also grab your 4-month old baby, kiss him, and try to feed HIM chocolate! I’m used to the Turkish “baby grab” but when I looked over to see his first food about to be a chocolate bar, even I was surprised. Anyway, the Turkish delight here is amazing and this store is also a nice way to escape the heat.
Overall, Old Town is one of those places where you should visit several times in order to take it all in and to experience everything that it has to offer. There are always new treasures and adventures to be had!