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Published: April 2nd 2018
Ephesus done we head off for lunch at a little country restaurant serving the famous gozleme, a thinly rolled and folded pancake stuffed with spinach, cheese potato and aubergine. We watch the lady making them by rolling out the pastry on a big circular board with a long, thin rolling pin and cooking them on a wood burning fire. I also try the Turkish version of lassi called ayran, a salted yoghurt drink. Both are scrummy.
We're actually at a place called the Seven Sleepers, near Selcuk. The story goes that during the religious persecutions seven young men were accused of being Christians and ran away to the mountains to hide out. They fell asleep and awoke a day later... or so they thought. One of them braved going back to the village to buy some bread as they were all hungry but the baker didn't recognise the coins as they were so old. The men had actually been asleep for 200 hundred years and in that time Christianity had returned. Instead of persecution they became saints. The site of their slumber became a Christian place of pilgrimage with a church and tombs. I wander up the hill to look
at the caves but all that can be seen now are the remains of the old tombs. There's also a tree with little ribbons of plastic bag ties all over the branches, a wishing tree I find out later. Poor tree.
We head back to Selcuk where we're staying for a couple of days and some of us go to the museum housing some of the Ephesus finds. There's everything from statues (most have limbs and noses missing but there are a few almost complete). Such skill, time and effort making all this decorative splendour for just one city. One of the most complete ones is only quite small and depicts a little guy riding a dolphin. There's some beautiful pottery pieces covered with scenes of dancing and fighting and some complete bronze urns. There's some tiny metal instruments used for medical purposes and loads of coins from different eras. The jewellery and blown glass is so delicate and pretty. Towards.the end of the displays we see the two almost perfectly preserved statues of the many boobied goddess Artemis. Apparently there was a massive version many metres high in the Temple of Artemis (one of the wonders of the
world sadly no longer standing).
We walk up the hill and decide to take a look at first St John's Basilica and then the Ayasuluk Fortress right on top of the hill. The Basilica is dedicated to John the Apostle who is said to have twice visited the area and whose remains are supposedly buried here. There is a marble slab marking the spot. Earthquakes have unfortunately ruined much of the building but there is enough left to indicate how impressive it would have been.
When we meet up with the rest of our group for diner they show us photos of the massive tortoises they'd seen at the castle earlier in the day. They must've been in hiding when we were there.
End of another perfect day in Turkey, but boy are my legs aching after all that walking.
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