Day 8 - Kuşadası and Ephesus, Turkey
|Wednesday, May 9: We arrived in sunny Kuşadası and we could immediately see why it is a popular place to vacation.
|The weather is great, the water is clear, and the scenery is lovely.
|What's this? Blocking the scenery on the port side was the Celebrity Millenium. She looked quite familiar to us, since we had sailed on her in the Mediterranean in 2004. On the starboard side was a Seabourn cruise ship, which we'll show you later.
|We had a morning tour, so we headed through the passenger terminal to the waiting buses.
|We were headed to the ancient city of Ephesus. Along the way, we spotted this stork's nest. It turns out that storks not only deliver babies, they also have babies of their own. There were many nests around this area, and at one point, a parent swooped down to a nest and two little heads popped up to be fed. Adorable!
|This is the Basilica of St. John.
|This might be too.
|Sorry, but we were paying too much attention to the storks to listen to the tour guide at this point.
|We arrived at Ephesus nice and early. There were many other tour groups there, but the site is large enough that it was never too crowded.
|Certainly not too crowded for a lone goat to come and see what's up.
|Okay, we admit that this shot makes it look crowded, but this is a very long street. This used to lead to the sea, but then the sea receded several miles. The road did not.
|This is a reconstructed fountain. Sometimes you have to use your imagination a bit.
|There are lots of areas still being excavated, and this area being worked on featured long stucco floors.
|More cool ruins. This is the Temple of Hadrian.
|Take a guess. Our tour guide explained that this location was for men only and was a popular place to sit and socialize. Ewwwwww.
|Finally, we got to the highlight of the ruins: the Celsus Library. Our camera battery was very low at this point and we were overjoyed that it survived long enough to get this photo.
|And this one.
|And another one.
|By now, we were taking photos just because we can. Here's the path leading away from the library, which is the tall structure that appears narrow since we're viewing it from the side.
|Poppies! They were all over the Mediterranean, but the display here was especially beautiful.
|Here's the theater, with a construction crane assisting with the restoration visible above.
|As we were exiting, we saw a little reenactment going on. The sign noted that it was for the Celebrity cruise guests, so we politely moved on.
|This is the outdoor restroom. By the end of our trip, if a bathroom had running water, soap, toilet paper, and toilets that flushed, we considered ourselves fortunate. Often, two out of four was the best we could hope for.
|Here's a lousy shot of the market just outside of the Ephesus grounds where we bought more Coca-Cola Light and some fun Turkish costumes.
|On our return to Kuşadası, we passed this colorful water park. Who wouldn't want to visit, I ask you?
|Most of the city is fairly new, and it sparkles.
|Here's a cool statue on the beach.
|These are the upscale shops just outside of the passenger terminal. The shopkeepers here stood outside their shops like other Turkish merchants, but did not hassle us as we walked by. We headed back up to our cabin for lunch and clean restroom facilities.
|Rested and fortified, we embarked on our personal walking tour of the town. From the shore, we got this great photo of the three cruise ships in port, with our ship in the middle.
|We weren't kidding about the crystal clear water. There are tiny fish nibbling on the seaweed growing on the rock in this photo.
|We walked around the hill not far from our ship and saw more gorgeous water. Anyone walking by with two sets of snorkel gear right then would have had a sale at any price.
|This is the island visible from our ship, Pigeon Island. It's attached to the mainland by a long dock.
|After our walk, we headed back toward the main shopping area.
|Here's the entrance to the many blocks of shops and restaurants that make up the Kuşadası Bazaar. The merchants were very aggressive, but not nearly as bad as in Istanbul. Despite our aversion to having to bargain for everything, we did pick up a pashmina scarf, a jar of Vick's VapoRub for our friend, miniature Turkish rugs, apple tea, and a few other souvenirs.
|There were jewelry stores and souvenir shops and carpet merchants and restaurants. In the heat of the day, the benches looked tempting, but every one appeared to belong to a nearby merchant so we resisted the urge to sit down.
|That is, until we found this cafe. We wanted to sample the strong Turkish coffee we had heard about, and any opportunity to eat baklava is an opportunity that should not be passed up.
|Of course, we had to order Coca Cola Light to go with our dessert, just in case the coffee didn't quench our thirst. We received Pepsi Max instead, which was fine with us. We had tasted it before, but still hadn't seen it in the US.
|The pedestrian streets in the bazaar were decorated with tile and glass. The blue glass circles are called Nazar Boncuk and are thought to ward off the evil eye. These are sold everywhere in Greece and Turkey.
|This photo is for Jill. She knows why.
|We've seen these purple-eyed daisies for sale back home, but haven't planted them. They're going in our garden the very next time we see them, even though they won't survive the winter in our region. (Happy ending: we enjoyed these in our garden in 2009.)
|A statue of Mustafa Atatürk, the first president of Turkey, overlooks the city.
|After such a nice day, we could only cap it off with a sunny sail away.
|We waved goodbye to the tiny Seabourn ship (yes, I know, I should call it a yacht, but please!) ...
|... and to our former love, the Celebrity Millenium, ...
|... and said hello to the pilot who would guide us back out to sea.
|This was our last look at Turkey. Well, until we saw it across the ocean from Rhodes the next day.
|Here's our evening's sunset ...
|... and here's our evening's towel animal. Walrus, perhaps?
Onboard lectures were always televised so non-joiners (like us) can watch in our rooms. This evening, we watched Chef Steve prepare the very same crème brûlée that we had eaten in the Pinnacle Grill earlier in our cruise.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy