Greetings from the ancient city of Ephesus... it's a dramatic collection of ruins on the Aegean coast dating back to the time of Rome and Greece. The sun here is boiling, and there are thousands of tourists clogging up the crumbling bathhouse and the enormous open-air theater, but it's a very impressive place. You can still read the Greek writing on the market stalls (er, if you knew Greek anyway), and admire the statues of Sophia and Episteme on the tombs, and stroll down the ancient version of 5th Avenue. In the museum in the nearby (modern) town of Selcuk, they have a spectacular collection of statues and artifacts rescued from the ruins, including many of the pre-Greek, 30-breasted mother goddess Artemis.
Well, of course we didn't actually stay in Ephesus; no one's done that since the 7th century. Instead, we stayed down the road a bit, at a secluded little villa called Attilla's Getaway where we rented a small bungalow for almost a week. A week, you ask? Ephesus took one morning, and the museum took up another, so what on earth did we do the rest of the time? Confession time... at the beginning of the blog, I made it sound like we spent all our time exploring ancient history and learning things. Not so! In fact, most of what we learned had to do with how to stay afloat on a tube in the swimming pool, or the best chair to sunbathe in.
Attilla's, you see, is like a self-contained universe, a universe with its own gravitational pull that is difficult to escape. I'm almost embarrassed by how indulgent we were. Allow me to describe a typical day: get up in the morning, enjoy some fresh yogurt or chiles and scrambled eggs, then get a ride to the museum or the ruins. Return in time for lunch, then take a dip in the pool, which comes complete with a Greek statue spilling water into it. Dry off and catch a tan at the same time by lying in the sun. Next, while away the hours until dinner by sitting the lounge - an outdoor deck covered with soft Turkish rugs and even softer giant pillows - and playing backgammon or maybe reading a book (switch to the hammock every other day just for a change of pace). Then around dusk, enjoy a hearty, local vegetarian meal. Eat quickly, so you can beat everyone else to the pool table. Then try some ping-pong in the dark, or maybe back in the water for a little nightswimming. Shower, go to bed, repeat.
So, in short, we allowed ourselves an absurdly self-indulgent Epicurean interlude (but please, be fair! Our lifestyle is otherwise pretty humble and Spartan, and I think we deserved it. Besides, it was super cheap).