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Published: August 24th 2014
Library at Ephesus
Library at Ephesus
I'm not sure exactly what the opposite of delight is when talking about Turkish delight but, in my wife's case, it consists of pulling a face with a sticking out tongue and looking like all hell has been let loose in her mouth. And that's without even tasting it! So you can imagine her, ahem, delight, when we were dragged into a shop specialising in the stuff as part of a tour. I was more concerned with the prices and the fact that we would have to remortgage our house just to buy one box.
Now I know from experience that getting dragged into artisan shops is all par for the course on excursions so this side trip was no surprise. Nor had been the carpet seller earlier who did at least give us a free drink and didn't get angry when we couldn't afford a carpet. There was one nice one as well. Just one. Claire liked some others. But she was wrong.
The tour had been sold to us last night at our hotel by a guy with a strange haircut. He'd even done the 'not 65 euro, not even 45...' etc but had at least given
Odeon at Ephesus
Odeon at Ephesus
us time to go away and think about it. We thought about it over 4 meals last night....
Okay so I didn't mean to order that many meals thinking we would be getting tapas like portions when I actually ordered three meals for myself. Luckily it wasn't too expensive (no menus you just point at what you want) and was very nice too.
We had flown from Birmingham to Izmir earlier and then taken a pre-booked transfer to Selcuk. It was Saturday night and Selcuk was at the end of what looked like a busy day. We'd dumped our stuff in our room and then ventured out into a town that looked like it could manage very well without the tourist income. But we gave them some anyway.
Our first full day started with the inclusive breakfast at the hotel. Bog standard but acceptable.
Our first stop was St Mary's house where Mary mother of Jesus was supposed to have lived for a time. The house was small and unimpressive with the inside about as exciting as the interior of my shed at home. You could light a candle and fasten a written prayer onto a
wall festooned with some cloth or something. Having previous experience of monks running these things (Meteora in Greece) I reckon the candles would be resold and reused and the prayers binned ready for tomorrow's offerings.
And so to Ephesus which is pretty impressive all things considered and was brought to life very well by our guide. His English was pretty good although we struggled to understand his accent at times. The library has a good frontage and there are plenty of pillars for pillar lovers.
And so to lunch which, again, was pretty good for an 'included' meal so we ate plenty of it. Well it's polite....
Then to find out that there was a carpet shop right next door....what a bonus! The guy told a good yarn though but when the lowest price he mentioned was $500....it wasn't for us.
And then to the Temple of Artemis which used to have 127 pillars and was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Now there is just one pillar standing and even that's not strictly true as it looked like they'd found some bits and stacked them up. It was about
One nice carpet
Waaaay out of our price range!
as impressive as stacking a piece of cheese on a potato so thankfully they don't charge to get 'in'.
And then we somehow ended up at the home of Turkish comedy where a well rehearsed patter still didn't get us to part with our money for the aforementioned Turkish anti-delight. Nor surprisingly for olive oil that you rubbed in your skin and instantly looked six years younger.....
Claire found a pot she liked the look of that was no more than 3 inches high. When she found out it was 40 quid she smashed it over the guy's head, pushed Turkish delight up his nose and threw rejuvenating olive oil in his eyes before storming out telling him where to shove his double roasted nuts. Or she might have just put it down again. I always get those two confused.
We were the first to be dropped off at our hotel and we said goodbye to our new friends from Australia. Back at the room I settled down for a well-earned rest only to soon be frogmarched back into the blistering heat to see some historic stuff in Selcuk.
We managed to go the wrong way
but then found Tourist Information where an invisible member of staff (we presume) sat in a very modern office. We took a map and left, then walked back the way we'd come, eventually ending up at St John's church which someone had conveniently built a castle behind so that was included in the entrance fee. I'm sure that was why they built it there.
The church remains and castle were well worth the 10 lira we paid to get in although they could have supplied some lizards. Haven't seen a single one yet. Not good enough Turkey!
We have an early start tomorrow so expect much moaning in tomorrow's blog. Hopefully tonight will be better than last night. I woke up at one point to find Claire gone....no light on in the bathroom.... I waited, thought I must be dreaming....then thought it was like one of those movies where they convince you you checked in alone and weren't married in the first place....
Fortunately she was in the bathroom and in the dark so she wouldn't wake me I think I'd rather she'd have woken me!
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