160518 Kusadasi Turkey

Kuşadası is a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast, and the center of the seaside district of the same name within Aydin Province. Kuşadası is 95 km (59 mi) south of Izmir, and 71 km (44 mi) from Aydin. The municipality’s primary industry is tourism. Kuşadası has a residential population of 64,359, which can rise to over half a million in the summer as a result of the large resort filling with tourists. This also includes the hotel and bar staff, construction workers, and drivers who are required to work in/for the restaurants and other services accommodating these visitors. In addition to tourists from overseas, there is also a significant community of foreigners residing in the area. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here we step off the ship to go to the ruins of Ephesus. For sure, they are a ‘wow’ to everyone. But because we have visited Ephesus, we decide to do a 4×4 drive up into the nearby national park.

To be ready to leave the ship by 7:40am is a new experience for us, and to do that, we miss out on our early morning walk around the top deck for 45 minutes.

After boarding a small coach and drive for 15 minutes, the 14 of us change over to the 4wd vehicles. These are old and both belch out black smoke so no travelling too close behind the one in front, that’s for sure. We continually gain altitude and come to a spot known as the ‘monastery’, for it was here that a number of the disciples ventured for some ‘quiet’ time away from the bustle of population. (Sometimes, these stories sound like a mythology but we have to listen anyway.) We stop by a spot where there are two water faucets where people from the town to stock up on mountain water if they like. After a short walk, we come to the monastery site – what looks like two buildings. The ruins are unrestored – just bricks in an orderly fashion in the bush, as it were. It is quiet with no hint of any recent past activity. The solitude is awe-inspiring. Without a distant view – just close-by bush – it is assumed that the idea of monasteries would follow a similar idea of being in seclusion for visitors to experience the “restoration of the mind”.

A couple of kilometres beyond the ruins and at almost 1000 meters, we spend time taking ‘selfies’ with a magnificent view of the coastline below. We are glad the weather has changed to blue sky.

Our descent is broken with meeting up with other groups of tourists and at one corner a group of mountain goats are on the roadside to wish us well. Further down and into the coastal villages, we get the feel of much activity both agriculturally and commercial.

Our next stop is an hour just lazing on a beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The store on the beach has beautiful juicy peaches for sale; we tested them. In fact, they were given as ‘change’ for the store holder didn’t have any euro as change when purchasing other drinks.

We leave our 4wd friends to be transported back to the ship for our 1:30pm departure. At Kusadasi, you enter the wharf area and then become confronted by very active traders. Lyn eyes off the colourful leather bags but we need to get on to the ship in haste before it blows its whistle tune.

Fortunately, we have some ‘ocean’ time to catch up on the last two days of posts. Lyn also takes the opportunity to take a 90-minute nap. Later during ‘ice cream time’, we met up with Brian who declared the ruins of Ephesus to be absolutely magnificent.

The evening “Showtime” is of a very high standard again. The ships dancing and entertainment group are at their best.

Tomorrow, we will be in Istanbul. It seems that the authorities have authorised us to visit this port even though the political tension still exists.

“The value of travel is the baggage you leave behind.”

 

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