I don't have the right keyboard to put the little dots on top of all the vowels in that word, "so long" to Turkey. But check out this site: www.charismahotel.com to see this amazingly gorgeous hotel where we are spending our last few precious hours in Kusadasi. We just got out of a dip in the Aegean and then the pool, and are getting ready for the farewell dinner in the outdoor dining room on the edge of the sea. You can see Daniella sleeping by the pool in the photo below, lower right corner!For our last excursion today we went to Ephesus. It is the second most popular tourist attraction in Turkey (after Istanbul) and it was pretty crowded with tourists. Nontheless, it was a magnificent site, a once ancient city known throughout the world, referred to often in the Bible, and a place that was first built up in the second millennium BC, and then grew to immense power and size (estimated population in Roman times was 300,000).
What remains is impressive in size and scale, for example a theater that held 30,000 people, a library that was ranked as one of the top three in the ancient world (below), wide paved streets, marketplaces, huge baths, walls, and lovely mosaic floors. What amazed me was how much of it is still unexcavated, waiting for teams of archaeologists to come in and unearth what remains hidden. In fact this is true at most of the ancient sites we have visited in Turkey. They represent a fragment of the historical area, and much remains underground. In the photos below, the light green areas that stretch on both sides of the city are unexcavated.My imagination was fired up thinking about what life must have been like in this city at it's prime, and wanting to know more about it. Our guide suggested we begin by reading Architektura by Vetruvius, and when I get home I may just start there! Other suggestions most welcome.
We were there all morning, and only saw a small part of what can be seen. We then went to the Temple of Artemis ruins nearby, where the Amazon women ruled. Here the site is completely broken down, but we could see the size and shape of the original temple and it was massive, on the scale of the Blue Mosque.
Lunch was at a Turkish style place out in the country (Cave of the Seven Sleepers) where we sat on cushioned benches around low tables outdoors and had the Turkish equivalent of quesadillas stuffed with vegetables and cheese. These women were rolling out the flat bread and baking it on a griddle on top of a wood fire.And now our trip is ended. In about 12 hours we'll be flying on the first leg of our journey home, Icelandic volcanos willing! We are happy/sad about this, happy to come home to all our loved ones, and sad to leave this fascinating country when we feel we have only scratched the surface. We want to know the language, taste more food, visit more villages, drink it all in deeply. We love you, Turkey!
-- Posted from my iPad