Our first stop today was the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. All that remains today is a single column with the nest of a stork on top. Most of the temple is in the British Museum. We then travelled to Ephesus, one of the best preserved and largest ancient cities in Turkey. Ephesus was the Queen of the Amazons and Turkey's local beer (Efes) is also named for her. The most famous features are the latrina (the communal dunny) which allowed for a display of Roman decadence...wealthy men had slaves whose job it was to save a place and warm the marble. There was also a frog pond so that noises would be covered by the frogs. There is also the famous library which has a hidden passageway to the brothel and a 25 000 seat theatre. Most of Ephesus remains underground (at the current rate of excavation it will take 400 years to dig it all up!) and the hoards of tourists gave the city a bustling crowded feeling which must reflect how it was when inhabited. Once again we had an excellent tour guide and we discovered that in Turkey to become a tour guide you study at university for 4 years learning mythology, archaeology, history, English and at least 1 other language.
Lunch was at a carpet workshop which is supported by the government to preserve traditional techniques. After falling for a pure silk kilim I went for the cheaper woollen option. We then headed for Sirence, on old Greek town which was abandoned as part of the population exchanges that took place in the 1920s. The town is now, sadly, a tourist trap but it still features cobbled streets, whitewashed buildings and is famous for it's fruit wine. The group happily sampled the wine and purchased a few bottles. We then headed back to Kusadasi and had a quick swim at nearby 'Ladies Beach.' Nowhere near a beautiful as those back home it was pleasant enough.
In the evening we had a BBQ at the hostel (whole fish, I had to cover it's head with my salad before I could eat it). After dinner our guide, Burack, and the male members of our tour group got up close and personal with a male belly-dancer and we sampled Raki (Turkish aniseed spirit). We then headed to another Irish pub, where once again we received t-shirts and shots. After Burack commented we were the quietest Aussies he'd ever met we did our patriotic duty...cocktails, table dancing and the Macarena in an Irish pub in Turkey followed.