Selçuk, Just a mulberry tree or two from Ancient Ephesus
You have genuine concern it’s not going to be a great stay when upon entering your hotel you step on a dog turd in the corridor and walk it all over the rug inside your room, only for the owner to say “oh terrible sorry” and just hang the rug outside on a railing. But when your paying 30euro a night for two people you can’t really complain and things did improve. Even if the shower head did fall on me a few times and there was only a bottom sheet on the bed with one itchy blanket. Luckily our travel towels make excellent light blankets on a warm Turkish evening. The Turkish breakfasts were pretty good here; omelet, fresh bread, tomato, cucumber, feta and olives. The hotel was super budget and actually called a Pension. Located a 5 minute walk out of the town centre in suburbia. An area with unit blocks, some with half missing roofs, tin Sheds and the odd tractor.
We had a few nice strolls through town and it was always good to see the men hard at work while the women were bludging with the children. Pretty sure as a male here you can retire at 35 and just play scrabble and drink cups of tea all day.
We had a great dinner with funny staff in a little restaurant on the main arcade in town. The waiter and owner was really friendly and explained all the meals that were in the window all prepared ready to be cooked. The moussaka and spicy couscous were both super tasty. The owners twin brother also worked as the chef and baker as they made their own bread in the wood fired oven. We shared a pretty funny laugh over a strange Asian woman who couldn’t understand what was in the window.
The bulk of our only full day here was spent amongst the ruins of Ephesus. I had been before but loved seeing them again. It is so amazing to be walking down an ancient street where Paul and Timothy may have walked and standing in a market square where they may have made and sold their tents. Even if we did have to share them with about 500 others.
The Library of Celsus is pretty impressive (pic at the top of this page), the facade of which has been reconstructed from all original pieces, originally built c. 125AD. The Odeon was cool too, a small (originally roofed) theatre constructed around 150AD. It was a small salon for plays and concerts, seating about 1,500 people and possibly where Demetrius, a silversmith first rallied the idol craftsman against Paul and his friends. Clare loved the refurbished ‘terrace houses’ which show how the wealthy lived during the Roman period.
It really changes your perspective though to see little pieces of the grand city and imagine it a thriving multi-cultural centre with over 250,000 people in its prime. The busy streets actually added to the scene a little. My favourite ruin is this old pagan shrine (Temple of Hadrian) covered in intricate images all carved from stone.
We sat in the giant stadium and read Acts 19 which was pretty surreal. Click this link if you wanna see what I mean: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%2019&version=NASB
Picking mulberries on the walk home was fun.
Eating them while sunning ourselves on the roof top, was even better. The day seemed to go forever!
To get out of Selcuk we had to take a ride on a minibus (called a Dolmus) for the first hour to Aydin (which when we asked our hotel manager how to spell he said “I… Den” as if it was really obvious. He was close enough I guess). As it left town it was so full people were standing in the one tiny isle. It was hot so I thought I’d open my window. Apparently this is not the done thing as I was quickly motioned to close it. Twenty people and three babies on a mini bus and I get asked to close my window? Luckily one of the babies crapped themselves which stank. Surely now someone will open a window? No such luck. I couldn’t even lean my arm on the side of the bus, it was that sweaty it just slipped off. We hoped eventually the BO stench would just knock us out completely. I sometimes wonder if we might wake up one morning and Clare’s super sensitive nose (the nurses curse) will have just left, never to be seen again. Ah the joys of the povvo traveller.