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Friday, 12 October 2012

Kusadasi & Ephesus, Turkey.


We walked from the ship into Kusadsi with the plan of the six of us hiring a taxi for a day. We were just about mugged by taxi drivers. After much haggling, and occasionally walking away we struck a deal at 15 Euro each. While we were doing all the hard haggling work look what Suzanne was doing.

Suzanne made a friend. There's a puppy somewhere inside all that fur.

Between the six of us we decided on the main sights we wanted to see and piled into the taxi. Our first stop was the Virgin Mary's house. The line to get in here was very long. It was interesting.

 There it is, the house of Mary.

 On the way out people were lining up to pray and kiss the house.

There were thousands of prayers tied to the "Wall of Prayers".

With a bit of luck all these prayers combined will stop the bloodshed, violence, and wars that are happening because of religion, but I doubt it.

Next stop...The Ancient City. I must admit that I went there thinking "OK, more ruins, big deal", but this place blew me away. It is an enormous area covered with ancient buildings with quite a few that are still fairly complete. It's by far the most stunning place we've visited. Oh yes, and it's inhabited by cats. You can see more here: 

 One of the many cats that live here.

 The small amphitheatre.

 These carvings were everywhere you looked.

The main drag.There were apartments on the left and super intricate mosaic paths. Take a look at the building down the bottom of the walk.

 Like Olympia, they are still excavating more items every day.

 I couldn't help but just stand and stare at this. It was almost unbelievable.

 The large amphitheater from about half way up.

Looking up to the top of the amphitheatre.

Then we took a peek in the museum. It was good, but not a patch on Olympia. So the way I see it I saw the best of both worlds. The museum at Olympia and the ruins at Kusadasi. 

 A statue of Eros.

 Eros on a dolphin.

 The Ephesian Artemis, the "great mother goddess"

So that was our day, or so we thought. 

Our taxi driver was very keen to take us to see a rug manufacturer, so we said OK. We visited the rug shop and were shown how silk is spun from cocoons of silkworms, which was pretty cool because I had no idea how it was done. Then we were shown how the rugs are made. It's very labor intensive. The rugs are very nice, and good value, but when they don't suit your decor they just don't suit your decor. No sale was made. Next stop was a leather jacket manufacturer. We said we didn't want to go, but then our driver explained he gets a small kickback if he takes us there, even if we don't buy anything. At least he was honest, so off we went. The jackets were exceptionally good and the quality was fantastic, but then so were the prices. Even at half the marked price they were expensive. Again, no sale.

Our taxi dropped us back at Kusadasi and Suzanne immediately headed for the puppies again.

Suzanne with the pup and mum. Dad is in the background.

Suzanne and i decided to have a look around the markets while everyone else headed back to the ship. After about ten minutes of being harassed at a level I've never experienced we spotted Kev and Annie having a coffee. Great idea. After the coffee we decided to have a drink, and another, and so on. I'm starting to think Kevin and Annie are a bad influence on us.

 Not a bad drop, and 500ml per stubbie.

 Kev, our new best mate George, and I.

Kev, me, Annie, and Suzanne.
We nearly missed the ship.

Half way through our re-hydrating drinks Kevin and Annie told us about a leather jacket that Annie wanted. The three of us went off to strike a bargain and left Suzanne in charge of the drinks. Big mistake! We managed to haggle the jacket down a bit, and Kev nearly got into a fight over a couple of watches. It makes shopping here much more exciting than it is at home, and a lot of fun.

Back at the table we were befriended by George, who happened to own a jewelry shop across the walkway. He was our best mate, a motorcyclist, and anything else that might make a sale. Pretty soon these rings started appearing at the table, which of course the girls loved. Unfortunately George didn't make a sale that day, but I promised if we go back we'll buy something. From what we've seen of Turkey we do want to go back, so it might be an expensive trip.

Turkey reminded us of Slovenia. The terrain is similar and I'm sure out of the main cities it would be a very pleasant place to stay. We'd like to go back but we'll see what happens.

We guided Suzanne back to the ship where she went to bed. I don't know why she was so "tired". I did the dinner thing and the show tonight was a really good Flamenco guitarist. A perfect way to finish a big day.

Tomorrow morning will see us dock in Piraeus and visit Athens. Ruins anyone?

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