Published: November 15th 2007May 17th 2006
has a lot to choose from
17th May Arriving in Eğirdir early in the morning I slept in my dorm till just before breakfast and spent the day walking around the tiny picturesque town. As normal it seemed as though there were only men in the town and the women were all in hiding, drawing attention to me. I even had a sleep on my daypack in a park next to the lake I was so relaxed. The lake is completely beautiful, surrounded by rocky and tree covered mountains. When the sun shines the water is a beautiful turquoise blue and I love that even though there are heaps of pensions (hostels), there are not many touristy shops, which is a nice change. I went for another walk at sunset and ate dinner at the pension (eggplant stuffed with veggies) which was absolutely gorgeous. I then had a beer, ate sunflower seeds, watched some of the European Champions League with some of the pension owners and 2 gay looking Roy Orbison look a likes, but I had an early night. What a beautiful place.
18th May I just hung out at Lale Pension till it was time to get my bus. I sat next to a
lovely Turkish lady who didn’t speak English so we just smiled and shared some food with each other. I got a bit lost when I arrived in Selçuk, eventually finding Wallabies hotel but I had to ask and a lady walked me to it, how nice. I arrived to meet Lauren and Emma (remember Aussies from ANZAC tour) who were playing poker out the front of the hotel. Both girls are working at the hostel and I thought I would join them here and maybe also try to get a few weeks work. I ended up getting my own huge room with my own bathroom and ate dinner with the girls and the rest of the staff, caught up with travel talk with the girls, but had a fairly early one.
19th May Today I spent the day at Ephesus (Efes in Turkish) which is apparently the best preserved classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was a trading city which I would have never believed if it wasn’t for the market place (agora). I took my time looking around taking 4 ½ hours to do the whole thing and I would have stayed longer if it wasn’t for
the heat and being hungry. My biggest wow moment was the Library of Celsus which was amazingly beautiful; I could have sat there all day looking at it if it wasn’t for the damn tourists who kept standing directly in front of where I was sitting. When I first walked into the Grand Theatre I wasn’t really that blown away by it. I kind of just thought ‘oh another theatre’. I sat there for a while watching everyone and had a bit of a chuckle when some Korean tourists sang and line danced on the stage. It wasn’t until I left the theatre to keep exploring that and I turned around that I actually realised just how ‘Grand’ it was. The only downers were the herds of tourists who were so loud and the two kiosks right in amongst the ruins, but it was definitely worth the money. So I catch a bus back into town and notice that you can see the Grand Theatre from way out on the main road.
Tonight I went out into Izmir with the girls Emma and Lauren. Apparently the guy they work for, Ray, knows a guy who own a nightclub (among
other things) called Rain and it just opened last week. So I get to blow dry my hair and get all dressed up. I would like to say at this point that I don’t really feel comfortable all the time with the girls. I don’t get a great vibe from them and at times with them I feel like I am back in high school. Loz is such a poser (all the time) it’s highly annoying. So the owner (forgot his name) drives us to his club (no one in Turkey wears a seat belt and if you do your offending the driver which is a bit scary). So we arrive and we 3 girls are the only tourists in there. It was pretty flashy and the alcohol was free, as to the nibblies on the table such as strawberries, cherries, nuts etc. I had to drink what was on the table so I wouldn’t offend him and it happened to be Jack Daniels which I have never had as I can’t stand the smell. And it was mixed with Red Bull which I also never have due to the amount of caffeine. So we have a great dance around,
view from the water
looking back at the town. see the snow capped mountain in the back?
leave at 4, get home an hour later (this time I wear my seatbelt)! Thought I was going to chuck when we got back but instead I passed out in bed. What a random night.
20th May Slept till 12ish then woke up rough as guts. Very seedy indeed. Eventually I went out for a walk and to try and put my film in and check out the markets and instead ran into Carolyn in the street. It was cool to bump into someone that I knew, felt like home. So we go for a walk with her friend Mehmet into the market which was pretty big for such a small town. Later I went back to the hostel and finished reading State of Fear and I absolutely loved it, thanks Paul for recommending it. I went back to the markets to get some essential supplies such as strawberries, Turkish delights, fruits and nuts. The girls today didn’t offer me their home cooked lasagne so I went next door and got the most disgusting food I have ever eaten, a chicken and mushroom pide (pizza). When I went back to the hostel the girls told me there was plenty
of lasagne left but they didn’t offer it to me when they were eating it! Went to bed early as Carolyn was out on a date.
21st May I got up early but didn’t leave for the beach till later, Carolyn came round and got me but then we had to wait around at her pension Diana for the family that owns it to get themselves ready, which felt like forever, but I can’t complain as they did offer to take us to the beach. The car was a tinier version of a station wagon and the 2 kids were in the back, me Carolyn and the wife Fatima were in the middle and the dad his son and dads cousin were squashed in the front. Apparently Fatima was born in Turkey and moved to France with her family when she was 10 and came back when she was 18, met her partner and after 4 days married him. They have now been happily married for 14 or so years and have 2 kids. They still look in love and I think it’s very cute. So on the beach we all try to squeeze in under the umbrella and
even though it’s a stinking hot day the water is freezing and there was heaps of seaweed. On the way back we had an extra person in the car so I squished right in the back with the 2 kids who spoke no English so we just smiled at each other. Back at Carolyn’s hostel we at some yummy pide on the rooftop, drank beer and danced around to Turkish music trying to belly dance. Watching the father was great, the way he moved his shoulders, arms and feet. It was such a great arvo sitting with the family; laughing, dancing, drinking and watching the sun set over the Basilica of St John. Afterwards Carolyn introduced me to the Turkish food Iskender with bread (surprised?), meat, yoghurt and sauce layers. We then went to Kuşadasi (the party / touristy town) and had to sit around the docks to wait for it to be late enough to head out to the clubs as it wasn’t ‘happening’ yet. So after walking up and down the street a few times we find the tiniest loudest place, but when we actually got in there, there were hardly any people in there, but we did
A turkish breakfast
and all that bread...
have some great dances and they did play great music. Carolyn and I even got a free cocktail with sparklers in it. After then spending time somewhere quieter I got a bit tired so after I got my requested Kylie we left and I fell asleep in the car on the way back.
22nd May Carolyn and I went to Şirince, a cute little village ½ hour out of Selçuk but a little touristier then we were anticipating. We walked the cute backstreets, found a little family run restaurant where the food was delicious. We then walked more and found Artemis Restaurant with its great views and ordered ourselves some apple tea. It was nice to be able to sit there chatting with Carolyn and actually have someone to share a moment with, something rare when you’re a traveller on your own. Back in town we went to the Efes museum with heaps of collections from Ephesus, ancient backgammon boards and I was quite impressed by the marble statues of Cybele / Artemis with the rows off egg-like breasts on her chest and stomach, which may even be testicles. We then checked out the ANZ pension to see if
their rooms are cheaper and they are and they may even have work for me (Lauren said Ray didn’t have anything), so I decided I would change hostels tomorrow. We stayed at the hostel for dinner before Carolyn showed me some of her packing tips back at her hostel as she was leaving tomorrow.
23rd May Saw Carolyn off at the bus stop and it was a bit upsetting. It was great to travel with her and I hope we get to travel again somewhere. She has a great spirit! So I then packed and checked out. It was a bit weird and I think Ray and the girls were a bit shitty with me. Ray told me he would have lowered my price but I told him they may have work for me too. I don’t know if they are what you would call friends, so I moved to ANZ where I bummed around all day, had a kebab for lunch (something that becomes a daily ritual here in Selçuk, did some internet which is free at the hostel (another daily ritual), watched a movie and Chad who works here showed me how to eat sunflower seeds like
My room at Wallabies Hotel in Selçuk
nice and spacious and all to myself, even had my own bathroom. luxury
There are more photos below