120524 Kusadasi 24 May Thursday

Kusadasi? You ask.  Where’s that?  It is a port in Turkey, not far from Ephesus.  I can see the lights of Kusadasi from the gym – Lyn can’t, as she is still in bed.  The sky is cloudy with a possibility of rain.

The city of Kusadasi has grown from a tiny fishing village to a sprawling resort center attracting large numbers of tourists every year.  One of the main attractions to this area along the Aegean Sea is the beautiful beaches, although we don’t see any.  The other attraction is the great number of Greek and Roman ruins found in this area.  Among the most famous are the cities of Pergamum, Ephesus, Aphrodisias, and Troy.  Closest to Kusadasi is the glorious reconstructed city of Ephesus.  Long held as one of the showpieces of Aegean archaeology, Ephesus is a beautiful reconstructed ancient site.  It once was a powerful trading port and a center for the worship of the goddess Artemis.

After a quick breakfast, we take to the Vista Lounge to be divided up onto buses for the 4-hour excursion we have chosen to ‘The Virgin Mary’s Home’ and ‘Ephesus’.  We have a good guide that reveals much about Kusadasi and Turkey along the way.  There are 31 five Star hotels in Kusadasi.  Turkey has 75 million inhabitants and ranks very high on the Economic tables of the world.  Last year, Turkey was 2nd behind China’s growth rate at 8.3%.  They have 21 car manufacturing plants – Toyota, BMW, Volvo, etc.  They trade in silk, carpets, agriculture, heavy earth machinery.

As we climb towards the top of the hill where the Virgin Mary’s Home is supposed to be located, we see extensive vistas of the region.  It is not until we arrive at Mary’s Home that we realize it truly is great place to live in the hills.  The house is small and quaint, and the story is even more quainter – not sure if I will believe that one.  Of course, there are the vendors on your way out of the complex – and scores of coaches.

We make it down the hill to Ephesus.  The sun is coming out and it makes for some good pictures.  After an extensive introduction to the history of how Ephesus became famous, we walk down the main street, past recently excavated houses, and into the town.  The library is an imposing building – it reminds me of the Treasury Building at Petra.  There is a large amphitheater with seating for 25,000.  It is still being reconstructed so a large crane hangs over top.  There are thousands of people fortunately walking in the same direction as us.  Of course, the tour is climaxed by a ‘the souvenir’ shops are there, on the way to the bus.

Our coach takes us back to Kusadasi town.  Here, we are ushered across the street to a carpet shop.  A demonstration is given of how silk is produced from the silkworm cocoon and how strong it is, given many threads.  We get ushered into a large room and an exhibition of how a Turkish salesman selling carpets works.  ‘Too much for me; let’s get out of here.”

After uploading yesterday’s post, we get back on the ship for a late lunch and, eventually, Lyn decides, “I saw leather coats back in the township”.  We have 3 hours before boarding so make our way back to the shops on the wharf.  Yes, Lyn gets her leather coat; and it is not bright pink.

The town says goodbye to 4 cruise ships today, two large ones and two smaller ships, and we have dinner in the Lido Lounge (I call it the blue collar meal).

The main show of the evening is a Magic and Humor show – I thought it was a bit weak – but you can’t have it good all the time.

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