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Published: July 21st 2017
July 15 Saturday
Up early at 5 am to reach our tour into Kusadasi, Turkey to see Ephesus. The buffet breakfast was very busy. The crew had the line of people entering between the buffet and the tables. You were then placed at a seat at a table for six. Then you had to go back to the entrance to go through the line to get your food. After getting your food you had to maneuver your way pass the line of people who are heading to their seat. Not very efficient. The food was ok but I didn't eat much. I left and went to get my backpack from my room. I went up on deck to take some pictures of the mainland of Turkey as we approached it. We were close enough that I could hear one man singing out a prayer from the shore in the morning light.
Kuşadası is a resort town on Turkey's Aegean coast, and the center of the seaside district of the same name within Aydın Province. The municipality's primary industry is tourism. Kasadasi takes its name from the Turkish word 'kus' (bird) and 'ada' (island), literally meaning bird Island. Over the last 25
years, the cities population has grown to approximately 50,000 people the increases dramatically during the summer months. The center is a five minute walk from the harbor. The bazaar, the fishmarket and local Turkish delicacies are just a few of the things one will find close to the port.
I met with the others from our Trafalgar group and another Trafalgar group who paid extra to take the tour of Ephesus. The boat was able to dock at the port so we were able to board a bus after we went through the Turkey customs. The bus was full but I was able to get a window seat. The drive was only about 20 minutes away from the town.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, in Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. The city of ancient Ephesus is one of the largest open air archaeological museums in the world. Traces of the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Christian period are scattered everywhere amongst the ruins. The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century BC, could accommodate 24,000 spectators
and it is famous even nowadays for it's acoustics. The finds from the excavations, which have yet brought to light only 13% of ancient Ephesus, reside in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus.
Ephesus sits on a hillside but we were able to walk down the hill after being dropped off at the top. Normally you would start at the bottom and work your way to the top. I didn't know too much about the history of the area but it was impressive to see all the ancient ruins. The place was very busy with tour groups. It was difficult to get any good pictures without someone getting in your shot or someone taking way too long to get their photo shot. So I decided to leave my group and get a head of them. The guides allowed a large space between groups so I was able to see the rest of the ruins alone without people walking around. The best part was I had the whole amphitheater to myself for about 5 minutes. Although it was a bit of a climb with the steps being twice the height of a normal step, it was well worth it. I sat there
in peaceful solitude appreciating the craftsmanship of building such a large place. One could almost hear the ancient ones of the past laughing, cheering, or booing those who performed down below. As my group caught up with me and began to enter the amphitheater I headed toward the bus.
Yesterday I thought I saw lots of cats and Mykonos, but after what I saw at Ephesus it was unbelievable. I must've counted over 30 cats. Most of them were young cats. We were about halfway through the tour and I need to wipe the sweat off from my face so I opened up the plastic baggie that held my wet washcloth. Within seconds about 4 to 5 cats came over to where I was at. They were meowing. I petted a few. Very friendly. Some had scratches on their nose, some had parts of the ears bit off, some of them were a little dirty. But for the most part they looked fed, not well fed, but fed. I did pass one of the tour guides who was feeding a young cat some cheese that she had brought from the boat. She said she feeds the cats every time she
comes over to the tour. When we got to the bottom at the marketplace I discovered why I had the swarm of kitties. A man was feeding the cats and a couple of the dogs that live there at Ephesus. He asked for donations; of course I gave him some money for the cats. He stationed himself just above the restrooms and there must've been 10 to 15 cats from kittens to up to five years old and about 2 to 3 dogs. Every time he dipped into the plastic bag of cat food the cats would come. Now I know why those cats came to me earlier on. They thought I had food.
I only had a few minutes to walk through the little bazaar that they had at the bottom of the tour of Ephesus. We were warned ahead of time that Turkish merchants are very aggressive in trying to get you to buy something. They will walk right up to you and try to get you to buy what they have in their hand or get you to come to their stores. I must say it was daunting. After leaving Ephesus we drove back to the town
of Kasadasi. We had about 45 minutes to shop or look around. There were two bazaars that were connected right near where we have to enter the port to get back on the boat so I just hung out there. And once again the Turkish merchants were really aggressive. I picked up some magnets, postcards, and a little glass jar that they said was made and turkey. By then headed back to the port and went through the process of getting onto the boat. It's a good thing that I headed back 30 minutes early because it took 22 minutes just to get back on the boat. I ate some lunch on the deck which was nice. And then headed to my room to four shower and a nap before heading out to Patmos to rent a scooter.
Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea and is rocky and barren. Patmos is most famous for St. John's Monastery and the Grotto of the Apocalypse, being the location of both the vision of and the writing of the Christian Bible's Book of Revelation. Most of the islands approximately 2500 people live in three villages: Skala, Medieval Chora,
and this moral settlement of Kambos. According to mythology, Patmos was a present from Zeus to his daughter Artmus, goddess of hunting and protector of young women. She was worshiped here in antiquity, and the monastery of St. John was built on her temple. The island was under threat quite often through 16th-19th centuries and in 1912 the island was invaded by Italian forces and liberated in 1945.
We arrived at Patmos at 5 o'clock. I was able to get one of the first boats over to the port town of Skala and headed straight for the motor scooter rental that Scott had told me about. I inquired about how much it would cost to rent one for an hour and it was €20. Everything was great until he asked me for my motorcycle license! Apparently in Greece you have to have a motorcycle license even for a moped. So no riding around the island. So I spent the next 45 minutes walking around looking at the shops and souvenir places until the first water taxi arrived from the ship. I did get a chance to try the Greek drink Ouzo. While walking around I stopped at a restaurant where
the waiter was in the doorway. I asked him what was Ouzo. He beckoned me to come inside and then he got me a shot of it for free. It's a clear liquid like Vodka but boy did it burn going all the way down! I couldn't even finish the whole shot. While waiting for the water taxi to take me back to the ship, Cameron and Charne arrived also. So we chit chatted on the way back to the ship.
We then decided to go for ice cream on board the ship. We had forgotten about the barbecue they were having by the pool deck so we also did that. By now is getting closer to 9 o'clock. Trafalgar was having a cocktail hour and 15 minutes. I was a little early so when I walked in I was surprised to see a church service going on. So I walked back out and waited in the hallway along with a few others who showed up early. We sat in the group about 12 to 13 people from our group. First time we were together in such a large group since we got on the ship. Many of us had
mentioned how lonely we felt on the boat we didn't see each other. And when we did see each other it was like having a reunion. I was able to give Dana her gift finally. She loved the Greek scarf that I had gotten Delphi. After couple strawberry daiquiris we found out that Scott was singing karaoke one floor below us. We all left and went downstairs to watch him perform. Needless to say, it was entertaining to watch him sing off key. This is the same man who is very mellow and always polite and well mannered. Due to the liquid refreshments I had earlier, I even got up to Sing-a-Song. I chose to sing The Locomotion by Kylie Minogue. Ann, Dana, and Charne got up to dance while I sung the song. Charne and I tried to get one more song in together but they stopped at 11 o'clock and then the place became a disco. I had planned to leave but then everyone started dancing in the songs are really good. It is very hard to dance when the ship is listing left and right. Finally at midnight I had enough and I left the group and
headed for bed. When I arrived to my cabin, I found that my laundry was done! We had a special Trafalgar rate of €20 for all the laundry that we could stuff in the plastic bag. Needless to say I stuffed that bag to the brim. Everything was nicely folded and pressed.
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