It has been a couple of days since I have filled in the sights and wonders of Turkey. From Kusadasi (now I find out the pronunciation is actually koo-SHA-de-sheh, Ephesus is less than a half-hour away. We picked up another tourist along the way, Francisca, a young woman from Santiago, Chile. She is taking time off from her job to wander around Turkey, Egypt, and scuba diving in the Red Sea.
From the road, our guide pointed out that a not-too-distant mountain was Samos, the closest Greek island. Rhodes isn’t too far away either. There are shuttles to the islands all the time. With some free time, we could have done this but it will have to wait until next time.
Ephesus is a wonder to see. It is spread out, with a theater, library, homes, a cemetery, agora (market), statues of all kinds to honor various gods and goddesses, a pharmacy, and medical facilities. On the steps of the library was carved a Jewish menorah indicating that there was a Jewish presence there. More areas are being excavated all the time. It is a forever project. Walking around the area took hours. It is also a destination for Greek and Mediterranean cruise ships. Jim visited there over a decade ago. There are lots of pictures to follow.
From Ephesus, we went to the House o the Virgin Mary, supposedly where Mary had her final resting place. Even Francisca was underwhelmed. However, devout Catholics lit a candle and said the appropriate prayers.
Our next stop was a delicious lunch under the olive trees surrounded by chickens, roosters, a peacock, a peahen, and her babies. They were so cute. After lunch, we saw a demonstration of how the famous Turkish rugs are made, again. This is standard for all tours, to show their wares and hopefully sell some rugs. Worldwide shipping, door-to-door is free. So, if you see something you love, no problem getting it to your home. They were beautiful but not something we wanted.
Our next stop was a leather factory. Turkey is known for leather products, shoes, handbags, and especially coats and jackets, notably made of lambskin. The benefit of lamb is it is light in weight, pliable, and waterproof. We watched a live fashion show about their jackets, which was really fun. High fashion designers all over the world bring their designs to them to make their goods, which is a great recommendation.
The other unique feature of some of their jackets is they are reversible. One side is a solid color and the reverse side is a print. I found a beautiful jacket, off-white on one side and a houndstooth print on the other, making both sides waterproof and suitable for cool summer evenings or fall/winter afternoons. It was a splurge but so worth it! After this exhausting day, we returned to Kusadasi to drop off Francisca and have dinner before collapsing into bed.
Before we sought a place to have dinner, we took Francisca’s advice to purchase a Turkish towel for our next day’s swim and the days on the sailboat coming up. These towels are made of fine Turkish cotton, for which they are famous. Although thin, they are very absorbent and the perfect size. Off to dinner…
With a huge number of restaurants to choose from, we opted for the one adjacent to our hotel. Everywhere, most places had few diners while this one always seemed packed… a good sign. A burger for Jim and some fish for me sounded good. Unfortunately, the grilled vegetables that accompanied my grilled fish gave me a lot of tsouris (Yiddish for problems). I was up half the night and it was no picnic. By the morning, I felt okay, if not a little drained and tired. Tomorrow will be another fun, interesting day.