Heaven: That's what I first thought about Atilla's Getaway at 8:00 in the morning. Our night bus from Istanbul arrived early, so I struggled to enter the world and put in my contact lenses while Scott found the tourist office and called the hostel to pick us up. Five minutes later we were standing in front of a serene pool surrounded by faux Greek statues, hammocks, and cushions, being offered a choice of 6 delicious breakfasts. Our excitement defeated our exhaustion, and we headed to the ancient site of Ephesus right after breakfast.
The ruined city was just as hot and even more interesting than I had remembered. Scott and I bought a small guidebook that taught us a little something about each section. Wandering around the odeon, agora, fountains and mansions, we tried to imagine what it might have been like once upon a time. The highlights of the visit--the famous "library" (really a giant mausoleum) and the huge theatre--came at the end of the site, just in time to peak our interest despite the heat.
It's funny that all of my photos from my week in Selcuk are of those two hours in Ephesus. The rest of our days were far less eventful. Except for a couple short excursions to the Ephesus Museum (where they keep all the statues and treasures safe from the swarms of tourists at the actual site) and a little Greek village, we spent the rest of our time relaxing by the pool. The most excitement we had was when we took the shuttle into town to buy water, bananas, or cookies. Each day we had important decisions to make: omlettes, french toast, or a delicious yogurt/musli/fruit salad for breakfast; sunbathing or swimming in the afternoon; ping pong or backgammon in the evening; and playing pool or smoking a traditional Turkish shisha after dinner.
The first day when we came back from Ephesus, I didn't know what to do with my new freedom. After rushing from one excitement to the next in Romania and Istanbul, I was bored and restless here. I felt like we were wasting our remaining three weeks doing nothing. The longer we stayed, though, the more I got into it. I got to know some cool Australians, and the more time I spent doing nothing, the less I felt like doing. After seven days it was clearly time to hit the road, but in the end it was hard to pull myself away.