Kusadasi, port/tourist town,Helenistic towns nearby
|We left on a bus at 3pm arriving in Izmir - old world Smyrna for history buffs - and arr. and left at 5pm for Kusadasi where we are now. Yesterday, while in the internet who should walk in but Rene, our cycling friends from Amsterdam had just happened to stop to send an email to us when they arr. here and of all the internets they pick one we were in, ha! So last night we celebrated their arrival and caught up and today we went with them to Ephasus...they are off to Greece by ferry tomorrow!
Heard from Jake via email several days ago - he and Warren(lvg.for England from Prague yesterday) experienced great $$$ expenses travelling N. so was expressing doubts that he could travel back this way retracing his journey to join us...so we will see...
Mari here. Bonnie and I took a little trip out to see three small Helenistic cities
south of Kusadasi. We went to Didyma first and visited the huge Apollo temple there.
It was the twin to the Artemis Temple in Ephesus, Apollo and Artemis being twins in
the Greek system of belief. There was an Oricle there, which made the place especially
important, on a level with the Oricle of Delphi. We got another bus that took us to
Miletus, much of which is now a wetland. One has to jump from marble pilar to pilar
to visit the buildings, which include a colonade and the baths of Fatima, the wife of Marcus Arelius. Cowboys, Turk style, use the area to graze their cattle now! There is a huge theater there, which is way above the water line, so easily explored by way of its high arched corredors. Miletus is a bit off the beaten track and we found ourselves without public transportation options. Fortunately Bonnie met a woman who had a car! She is a tour guide, but today she was just showing a friend of her's from Ankara the area. She offered us a ride to the next city, Priene. Great! We arrived there about 5:30. Because it was so late in the afternoon, the guard let us in for free! Priene is situated on the side of a mountain with a sheer rock face above the city. No flooding problems here! But oh was it windy! There is a big Temple to Athena at the highest part of the city. Most of the many fluted pilars were toppled over by earthquakes long ago, but the wind was so strong that it seems their pieces could have been push around by that force of nature too. Much of the city remains intact, especially the small, but ornate, theater. Probably due to the difficulty of hauling the building stones off the mountain as opposed to the ease of moving and using stones for new stuctures, as is the case with cities on the flat lands. Pine trees are growing all through the city foundations now and along with them an array of spring wildflowers. When it was close to sunset we walked down to the small town nearby and were lucky to catch the last minibus of the day going back to Kusadasi. At a high point on the road before dropping off to the coast we got to see a big full moon rise! A really full and wonderful day.