Oct 29 – Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey
We travelled overnight – very smooth and quiet – and wakened in Kusadasi, Turkey to a lovely baby blanket sky: pink and blue. Apparently we are having exceptional weather for this time of year. It was warm and sunny both yesterday and today with highs over 20C.
Our big destination today was Ephesus, an ancient city that at one time had over 250,000 people in it (and no bears). We decided not to take a tour because Myrna was there 5 years ago and Grammar was there 43 years ago. (Grammar does not remember a lot from back then except that it was a grand site).
As soon as we got off the ship, lots of people selling things and many taxi drivers wanted so much to talk with us. It did not take us long to stop replying and to just keep going. At the tourist office, a couple of helpful people – one of them a policeman – told us there was a reasonable mini bus that went near Ephesus; so we hunted it down and took it. It was fun – much better bus than any in Uganda and no people hanging off the roof or goats and chickens in the bus. It only cost five Turkish lira each way instead of 80 Euros (about 200 lira). On the return, we took the bus further, to the town of Selchuk and then caught another bus back. That was because often the buses were full by the time they got to Ephesus.
What is Ephesus like?: broad stone-paved promenades, layers and layers of occupation, a huge amphitheatre, the magnificent façade of an ancient library, communal stone-seated latrines (toilets), lovely mosaic walkway, pillars, huge stones in low walls and cats, many, many cats.
We drifted in and out of other people’s tours, catching snippets of stories and enjoying other people’s experiences. We listened to a wonderful tenor tourist sing in the big amphitheatre (everyone clapped) and heard a grade six student from an international school in Abu Daubi give an impassioned talk about Emperor Trajan. One of those students, when shown the stone toilets, said “This is the first interesting thing I’ve seen”. Myrna was asked by two separate people to have her picture taken with them. Grammar’s nose is out of joint because no-one wanted to photograph her.