Monday, March 31, 2008

Ephesus and Selcuk

We took a bus from Istanbul to Izmir. The plan was to take a second 30 minute bus ride from Izmir to Ephesus. However, the local girl who was helping us was afraid that we were too incompetent to figure out the bus station and instead took us to the Dolmus station. A Dolmus is basically a 15-passenger van that drives for two hundred miles and randomly picks up/drops off people along the way. The first one we got on had a man carrying a pitchfork. In retrospect that should have been our first clue that we were on the wrong bus.
I suppose wrong isn't the best word; we did eventually get to Ephesus. But instead of taking a direct route, we took a winding route along the coast line, stopping once to change to a second 15-passenger van next to a fruit stand somewhere. At random places along the highway, people would get on or off. The second Dolmus we were on drove the first 5 miles at around 15 mph. We were understandably nervous, but it turned out that there was a military checkpoint (?!) on the road, after which we settled into a comfortably rattling 40 mph. We got to Selcuk just before noon, and checked into our hotel across from St. John's Basilica

we cleaned ourselves off after accumulating a day's worth of road grime, and were driven to Ephesus. On the way we stopped at the Seven Sleepers, where we ate a lunch of Gozleme- which are like paper-thin tortillas filled with meat, cheese, onions, or potatoes. I can heartily recommend them to anyone who's in the area. Gozleme are made by women wearing something that looks like a hippie skirt with the bottom sewn up except for foot holes, over an open woodfire. This includes if you ever go to a fancier restaurant that serves them. You can see the wine cellar, and next to it a woman sitting on the floor over a woodfire in a flowered skirt.

We ate our fill and continued on to Ephesus, where we joined up with some women from our hotel for a semi-private tour of this great piece of history. And I mean REALLY private; My new travel revelation is to always go somewhere just before or after the high season because the weather will be almost as nice and you won't have to wait in lines.

These Terracotta pipes were used as underground plumbing in Ephesus. The cement-like mixture they used to seal the pipes is still partially attached.
Columns:The Odeum
Outside Ephesus Medical School, a Caduceus!
Curetes way

The Temple of Hadrian; Medusa's head was supposed to keep out evil spirits.
The Library of Celsus; Niches on the facade hold statues representing the virtues; goodness, knowledge, thought, and wisdom. the Great Theater

Me, relaxing and taking it all in
A final look back at Ephesus
only 50 cent is enough to feel the magic atmosphere of the WC. Especially if you're Anglo, wearing a kerchief and no pants. The temple of Artemis; one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. now it's just the column of Artemis.

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