So on this day of my blog we leave our leisurely kick back stay in Datca. I can't say enough about this place except that we will miss it.
Rolled our bags a along the cobblestone walkway by the sea in the quiet of the morning. Now to yet another bus and then a ferry to Bodrum. This time we have tickets!
Chunk, clunk, stall, rev, spit and backfire, all of this before the old bus hobbled down to the ferry dock. Nothing much here but a good breakwater and a small ferry that holds about 8 cars and maybe 100 people.
We, luckily, picked the only day the sea has been quiet. Gently it chugged it's way from one rugged coastline to the other.
As we approached Bodrum harbour we noticed one or two, then twenty then hundreds of double masted wooden schooners. These beautiful boats are polished and outfitted for the mass of tourists we find in Bodrum.
The harbour is lovely. Not only the ships in the harbour but right in the middle (on a kind of peninsula) is Bodrum Castle with a (huge!) Turkish flag flying. I miss sleepy Datca!
In Bodrum tourism is in your face! My favourite line is "Hello you very nice couple...come, look and see. No buying." This goes for food and trinkets to clothing. Only the high end stores at the fancy marina we're low key. Strange thing was that, with all the boats sitting idle, we were never bothered by people selling tours.
In spite of the hype, discos, overly dressed and bejewelled people, we hadanotherkick back. The hotel we found, Asmin Hotel, was clean and quiet with great staff and a nice pool. Another oasis down a narrow back alley. Can't help but think how different this trip would be if we had rented a car. Difficult to get a place with parking unless you are out of town.....and to visit town would have been Tough. Round and round looking for a (probably illegal) place to pull in. We made a good choice.
So we stayed a couple of nights in Bodrum then hopped a bus to Kusadasi.
Have to interject here.....never book a hotel based solely on reviews on the internet.....though I don't know how else you could do it. We stayed at the Ladies' Beach Hotel (located at, where else, Ladies' beach). The room looked great ....right on the beach with a large patio overlooking the Aegean. The problem came when people returned to their rooms late at night and a symphony of door slamming echoes began. That and the fact that the bathroom light didn't work and the door to the patio was warped. Anyway... The staff were really very helpful and the food was quite good. We stayed a couple of nights the. Made our way to the Blue Sea Hotel which was much quieter a block away from the sea but with a beautiful view.
So, again we kick back. Swimming in the Aegean, swimming in the pool, eating and walking.
There was one day, however, where we absolutely did not kick back! We went to Ephuses! On a tour! Why didn't we follow our own rule and find our way there by local bus?
So the tour began with the first stop at Artemis. Well, actually it all started with an 8:25 pick up time that turned out to be 8:40 before the bus continued the rounds. Round and round past signs that said "Ephesus 15km, 20km, 17km, then we turned left as we blew through a sign that clearly states "go straight ahead to Ephesus. Eventually, well on our way to Izmir, our bus makes a sharp turn and we are headed in the right direction.
Artemis is affectionately known as 'The British Hole'. Apparently the Brits began to excavate the place during the Ottoman rule. The Sultan was more interested in selling antiquities to the highest bidder than keeping them for future tourism. So the Brits are now exhibiting the finest examples of Artemis' art at the British Museum. Turned out to be a good idea to start this journey in London as we had a chance to see the statues before we saw the 'Hole'.
Next stop on the 'Tour' was a ceramics workshop and yet another opportunity to spend money....which I didn't. We have way too much stuff!
Now on to Ephesus. Legend says that Androcolus was the city's founder but I kind of like the tradition that it was founded by Amazons leaving Androcolus to come later when he was guided to the area by a fish and a wild boar.....well that's what the guy said! Then came the Persians then the Macedonians and then the Romans who hung around the area for 1000 years. I thought it was a nice touch that the Romans built a temple to the Greek God Isis just to keep their trading partners happy. Another interesting tidbit is that they had to move the city three times if they wanted it to remain a sea port. The Aegean Sea kept silting in. It's pretty difficult to arrive in port all smiles if your bottom is dragging. They eventually gave up and the whole place became a place for livestock to graze. That is until someone decided to dig it up. To date only 25% of the city has been uncovered.
Anyway, the Roman ruins are most of what you see here. We have seen many Roman ruins but there is always something to learn. I was surprised to see that they had bath at the entrance gate so that visitors would clean themselves thus keeping epidemics at bay. The method of heating the homes of the wealthy ( circulating water from the baths in pipes in the walls) was interesting as well.
The library reminded me very much of Petra....and the theatre was stunning!
But the mass of people almost ruined it for us. Our pictures show both of us slightly overwhelmed by the crush of people....thankfully we made it back to the bus fully intact and our sense of humour still there.
Now back to Istanbul for the last leg of this trip and the beginning of a new journey.