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Ephesus, Turkey

Ohhh Turkey... Big tour planned.

sunny 44 °C

Another early start in Kusadasi and our group managed to get together and all were on time. Bert and Jane from Charlotte, NC, Millie and Len from NY, Chris, Donna and Eldon from Florida and us. Isa, from Ephesustours.net met us on the dock and we walked through the stores to our bus. The bus was cozy and we could have had many more on our tour, but ten was ideal. The guide, Isa, was amazing, he used to teach at the university and is now working on his PhD and knew his history inside out.
The history of Ephesus itself is amazing, and the ruins were very cool. As grand as the ruins are in Athens, the ruins in Ephesus are spread out and more accessible. There were dogs and cats roaming about as at the Parthenon. While I could do a history class on Ephesus one of the best examples of Ancient Roman architecture, I will do highlights of our trip. The area gets very hot...it was 37 at 8:30 in the morning. It was 44 yesterday in the afternoon, so hats and water are encouraged.
We start at the top of the ruins and make our way down stopping to explore different aspects of the Ruins. It is not too crowded yet, our ship got in first and there are also people being bused from another port.
Part way down is the Terrace Houses, which many had not purchased, tickets to enter. These ruins were uncovered after having been buried for many years after an earthquake. The houses had artifacts, tile, marble and erotic art on the walls. Only a small percentage of the area has been
Near the end of our tour there was a short drama with trumpets, royalty, a sword fight and Dancers, short and cheesy, but fun! We headed down towards the bus where the usual sellers of trinkets await. They had Turkish Delight, the one fellow said 6 Euros, and then came down to two for 5 Euros, but then we said we didn't have enough, so one for 5 Euros. When we opened up our pockets we only had just over 3 Euros. So because Tracy is so pretty we got the box for that.
On the way home we stopped at a rug weaver's. They train young women after the age of 16. They served us a choice of Turkish tea, Apple tea or Rika. That is their local drink, which turns white when diluted with water before it is served, it has a licorice taste. The process to make the Carpets is very interesting and they showed us many carpets, cotton, wool and silk. It is very tempting, but not in our price range at this time. This is a government subsidized carpet training school. They say no child labour, but it is a cottage industry, so how can they be sure. In town we saw other carpets that were cheaper, again who knows who made them.
It is nice to have the streets a little quieter after Rome and Athens. People in France honk their car horns a lot. Not so in Rome or Brussels despite the tight roads with major traffic. It was very cool to watch our driver in Athens squeeze the bus between impossibly narrow turns and it is fun to watch the hordes of 'Vespa' drivers drive between lanes, on sidewalks and cut in front of everyone.
Back onboard we had time for a little trivia, lunch, nap, clothes washing, line dancing, and cards. Tracy is off to a rehearsal with Sansi, pronounced Shauncy, short for Sandor, for the dance competition. Doris and Joyce took care of themselves today going for a stroll through the port side stores and the duty free. Doris was very pleased with a hat she bought and a pair of sunglasses. They both came back with little pins with, I think, an owl with blue eyes, which is the local symbol of wisdom.
We are so happy with our wait staff. Adrian is so good to us and treats us with such kindness and fun. Paolo is a delight, much to our surprise he is in his 30s with three children. He does not much like ship life. They are long days and very little time off. He will be on until the new year and he thinks maybe longer. The money is good so the goal is about six years until he can retire from the ship. Today Paolo had tricks for us.... he set up patterns with candles and we had to figure out how to make the new pattern with only so many moves. Tracy and I nailed them. Roger did his disappearing money trick and the pencil through the hand, but was out of practice. Bad Roger!
We had a game of settlers of Catan and it was obvious people were getting tired. (I won). So after sitting on our deck for a bit, Tracy and I packed it in and Roger went odd to dance.

Posted by Mari Anne 23:36 Archived in Turkey Tagged houses turkey rica terrace delight ephesus carpets

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