Monday, June 6, 2011

First Weekend in Turkey

Smoked Turkey, apples & cheese - a type of Toast
Beth and I packed a lot of activity into two days!  On Saturday we drove to go see the ancient Greek/Roman ruins of Ephesus or Efes in Turkish, which is near the present day town of Selçuk.  For lunch we ate at this Mom and Pop type cafe, St. John's Cafe, which we gravitated towards out of Beth's handy Lonely Planet book.  It was delicious and highly recommend.  They noticed Beth looking at the Lonely Planet book and actually asked if we would write a review on the cafe in addition let the authors know they had some information in the book that was incorrect.  Pretty cool!

Lone column from Temple of Artemis with Stork's nest on top
 Afterwards, we stopped at one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - Temple of Artemis.  There is no temple there anymore but a lonely column, which was once accompanied by 126 others.  Typically the goddess Artemis is worshiped as the goddess of hunt but in ancient Ephesus they instead looked upon her as the goddess of fertility.  They say a stork's nest can usually be seen at the top of the existing column.

Ephesus in the later afternoon
At Ephesus, we were free to wonder about the ruins area.  It was very cool to be that up close and personal with some of the artifacts.  Since so much has been unearthed there are random bits of columns places along the pathways.  My friend Kathy, who has previous been, pointed out that she was surprised at how unprotected these ruins are from tourists compared to others - such as Italy or Greece.  That thought did not even come into my mind but probably should have seeming that I was climbing all over the place :-)  We went later in the day since we had to go into work that morning but it worked out for the better having less people there and the temperature slightly cooler.  An extravagant wedding was being set up while we were walking around - it would be an incredible place to get married. Beth and I were planning to hide out and crash the wedding but opted not since we were not dressed appropriately - next time!
Breathtaking Foca

Sunday afternoon was a day for relaxing.  About 40 kilometers away is the town of Foça, Turkey.  It is a smaller town that is known for the fish caught by the local fishermen.  The views going to and from Foça were incredible.  I did not think the water was going to be that crystal clear and blue!!  We found a public beach area but went a little further where not as many people were located.  The water was a little chilly to me, not to Beth, but once I was in and swimming around I warmed up a bit.  There were many sea urchins on the rocks so we wore our sandals in the water to avoid accidentally stepping on one!  To dry off, we laid out on the wooden docks basking in the warm sunlight.  This area would definitely be one where you could easily fall asleep in the sun and burn because the breezes are so cool that you do not realize the sun is beating down on you!  No burn for me - just lightly sun kissed :-)
Drying off on the docks

 More pictures of Ephesus and Foça can be found on my Picasa page if you click HERE.

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