Blogs from Selçuk, Aegean, Turkey, Middle East

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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk March 30th 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 ... read more
The way to the Seven Sleepers cave tombs
Lottie Let Loose at the top of the Ayasuluk Fortress, Selcuk
Rolling out dough to make gozleme

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk March 30th 2018

This evening a few of us take a short trip from Selcuk to see a pretty little village up in the mountains called Sirince. The houses are very old and are of Greek style. For centuries the village was populated by Greek people whose families had been there for generations. In 1921-22 Greece and Turkey began a conflict that meant the two nationalities instead of living peacefully together began to hate each other. To resolve the situation the governments of the two countries came to an agreement in 1923 to exchange residents based on their religions so Greek Christians had to leave their homes in Sirince (and many other parts of Turkey) and go to Greece and the Turks moved into their homes. Because there were more Turks than Greeks many houses remained empty. Today Sirince ... read more
Wine tasting at Sirince Village (sticking to the sides of the glass!)
Sirince Village
Sirince Village

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk June 1st 2016

I really wanted to visit the sites of Priene, Miletus and Didyma to the south of Ephesus. Priene and Miletus were important Greek cities and Didyma was a wealthy sanctuary of Apollo where an immense temple of an unusual design was built. Normally it's easy to find a one-day tour to all three sites but tourist numbers are so low that no one is offering a tour right now. So I decided to try to do it myself, using local buses (called dolmuses) and taxis if necessary. I set off and quite soon met Al, a man from Edmonton who was aiming to do exactly the same trip. What a stroke of luck! With a combination of dolmuses, hitchhiking and a couple of paid rides we did it and got back to Selcuk in time for ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk May 31st 2016

Yesterday and today were a tale of two goddesses. After leaving Pamukkale I visited Aphrodisias, a fascinating site originally based on a sanctuary of - guess who - Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. In its heyday it was a major centre for stone-carving, and many beautiful relief panels have been found. Today I saw Ephesus, which was famous for its huge temple to Artemis, the virgin huntress (and no friend of Aphrodite!) The Artemision was one of the seven wonders of the world, but is now sadly reduced to miscellaneous chunks of rock and a single standing column. Very different places, both then and now. Ephesus was command central for the Romans in this part of the world, whereas Aphrodisias became a bit of a backwater. But the most obvious difference was the presence of ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk November 6th 2015

Our train pulled into Selçuk station just over 3 hours after leaving Denizli. We then walked across the tracks (after the train left!) and made our way to our hotel which was about 1km away. As we walked through the door we were met by the very friendly owner of our hotel and his puppy Lokum (Turkish delight). We checked in and got his recommendation on what we should do with our time in Selçuk before heading up to our room to relax for a bit. That evening we had dinner at the restaurant recommended by our hotel; we ordered some lentil soup to start as well as a mixed grill (various different kebabs and a token bit of salad) for Scott and a fried aubergine stuffed with onions, tomato and rice for me. My dinner ... read more
Entrance to the Basilica of St John
Basilica of St John
Basilica of St John

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk May 7th 2015

Our beautiful Hotel Bella is a true gem! It's facade is a sea of brilliant green vines while the interior is decorated with true Turkish flair - Ottoman furniture, carpets on the floor and walls, glittering mosaic lamps and gorgeous ceramics. We have a small balcony where we overlook the ruins of St. John's Basilica. We have the best sign in our bathroom though. It reads, "Welcome to the ancient city of Selçuk. Please do not 'flash' anything down the toilet"! Try as we might, I think the toilet water has been flashed once or twice:) After unpacking, we went upstairs to the gorgeous terrace area to meet with Erdal, one of the owners. He explained things we could see, excursions we could take, as well as giving us some history about Selçuk. Just off this ... read more
Celsus Library
Grand Theatre
Makıng Gözleme

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk August 24th 2014

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 ... read more
Odeon at Ephesus
Ephesus
One nice carpet

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk July 14th 2014

Geo: 37.9538, 27.3714 GÜN 75 GÜNLERDEN PAZARTESİ: Benim için çok zor bir gün başladı. Ayağım bayağı şişmiş.. Ayşeciği, bunu, Türkiye'de baktırmak istediğime zor ikna ettim.. Maria bize bir taksi çağırdı. Limana gittik .. Zar, zor gemiye kadar yürüdüm. Merdiven çıkmayayım diye, bana gemi kapağının yanında bir iskemle verdiler .. Martılar, halime bakıp kahkahalar atıyor… Keramoti'ye vardık . Park ettiğim Minibüse erişmek için tekrar bir taksiye bindik .. Minibüsü buldum ve koltuğuma kuruldum .. Araç kullanırken, belirgin bir acı yok .. Belki de araç kullanmağa yoğunlaştığım için acıyı hissetmiyorum.b... read more
THASSOS-SELCUK
hedefe doğru

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk May 4th 2014

Another belated blog...these were so easy to write when backpacking...but so much more difficult to get round to when you're on holiday or living and working in a country. Anyway, in May we had 10 days holiday from our jobs in Odessa. We had planned on travelling to Crimea....but I'm sure anyone reading this knows why we changed our plans. So, with friends living in Istanbul and further friends currently living in England, but on holiday in the country at the same time - we set off for a May break in Turkey!! And this is what happened.... Fast and convenient e-visas Istanbul is just a teeny flight from Odessa at just over an hour and we flew in with Turkish Airlines. On arrival we had to process our visas and despite having bought them online ... read more
View from our hotel room in Selcuk.
Selcuk
Fortress overlooking the town

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk April 30th 2014

Day started with good Turkish breakfast ..at 9:00 met guide, Seda, for short ride to Ephesus. One of the best preserved classic cities in the Mediterranean . Ephesus was once ancient Ionia where colonists from Greece arrived around 1000 BC. It was not until the Romans took the city in 129 BC that the city flourished and became the main port on the Agean Sea.. The city's importance as a commercial center declined as the Harbour was slowly silted up by the river. Ephesus played an important role in the spread of Christianity. It is believed that the Virgin Mary spent her last days nearby and that St. John the Evangelist came to look after her. St. Paul also visited Ephesus and later wrote his letter back to the Ephesians after his exhile. Upon leaving Ephesus ... read more
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