Just a quick update tonight…
My eyes are heavy after a long, hot day skimming the tourist highlights around Selcuk: Ephesus, Artemis’ Temples, the Ephesus Museum and the local markets.
I arrived in a dark and deserted Seluck at 6am this morning after a sleepless overnight bus ride. Being a single female, I was seated up the front with the driver and given special point-and-do instructions by the classy bus attendants (who wore bow ties and served free beverages throughout the ride). I have to note that Turkish buses are unlike any others I’ve encountered: they have media screens in the back of every chair; attendants; a concierge service to help you transfer and load you luggage at pick up; and men who wash the bus at every toilet break.
But moving on.., Ephesus is a grand, amazingly intact example of a capital city built about 1000 years ago. Established by the Romans, but influenced by Byzantium and Ottoman cultures throughout the centuries, a substantial part of this former capital city still stands, with stoic temple pillars and decadent fountain frescos.
I learnt so much today (which I may relay at a later date when my brain is not full of sleepy hormones) about the ancient world, but also experienced the joy and humble nature of a small Turkish community. Again, shop owners were gracious, polite and keen to tell me about the history or production of their wares. I made friends with an elderly Turkish man who gave me free Turkish Delight and a big ear-to-ear grin. I sat and spoke with a local ceramics artist who seemed more keen to explain the details of her art than sell me anything. I also ate some of the best (and cheapest) Turkish food of my life.
Tomorrow I have another early start to go explore the calcium travertine at Pamukkale (spruiked as the eight natural wonder of the world), before another overnight bus to Istanbul.