From Kusadasi

Kusadasi Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
 I had seen Adaland on the way into town the previous night, but got a better view of it in the morning. It’s a water amusement park - we didn’t get to go, of course - but what’s remarkable is that it’s on the side of a mountain. There are numerous water slides, and it’s obvious they offer great views. Our first stop of the day was at Meryemana, the house where the alleged Virgin Mary allegedly spent her last days. I wasn’t terribly impressed - it’s almost completely a reconstruction. At Troy I could at least tell myself someone was there, but at Meryemana there are no ruins - just the reconstruction. I don’t believe most of the story about Mary anyway, so the site just didn’t interest me much. (To calm the shocked, I acknowledge that there could have been a person or persons who might have done some of what is attributed to the character “Virgin Mary,” but I don’t believe in any of the religious aspects. I believe there was probably a person who may have vaguely resembled Jesus in actions, but I believe he was a respected person and teacher - I do not believe in his divinity.) Our next stop was Ephesus, and we spent a considerable amount of time there. Before entering the site I made an impulse buy of an $8 shirt - fortunately it looked good on me when I got it back to the hotel to try on. Our guide led us carefully through most of Ephesus, but there were so many other voices that I found it hard to concentrate on his. I heard a number of different languages and kept listening to them, and even other English-speakers (guides and tourists) distracted me. But his lectures at Ephesus are a good example of how amazing his knowledge is. Everything - names, dates, purposes, explanations - is all in his head, and he can recite all of it in his second language. My main impression from Ephesus is that it’s big, crowded, and dirty in parts - I got dust all over myself because I tried to scratch an itch on my lower leg through my pants using my foot, and got the brown dirt from my shoes onto my black pants. I did enjoy the site, though, and as I was eager to find a good souvenir I went to the shops at the exit. The sellers there were really aggressive there, but their favorite phrase was “looking is free.” Unfortunately, they said it so many times that I wanted to say “okay, thanks, now shut up and let me look.” With just a few exceptions, they all have more or less the same merchandise; everything is probably priced the same anyway so I paid $1 for a pack of 12 postcards (that’s been standard throughout Turkey) and $8 for a book - probably more than that volume is worth, but the one I wanted is $18 and I knew I couldn’t afford that. I bought some earrings at the restaurant we visited for lunch, and then we moved on to our afternoon tour. We visited a small village called Sirince, which has become a tourist spot - their primary income is now from tourism. There’s a 19-year-old boy there (he’s to join the army next year for his compulsory service) named Selçuk who has taught himself fairly good English and likes to greet the tourists as they arrive. He invited all 30-some-odd of us into his home, a habit his mother must be annoyed with by now. The house is 300 years old, you have to go outside to get to the kitchen, and the stairs are alarmingly shaky; the accents in their main room are family pictures and a small Furby toy. At the hotel my girlfriend was pretty tired, but I had seen the room service menu the night before and we’d agreed I could get something because it was so inexpensive. The menu indicated they had a variety of ice cream flavors, but when I called they only had a few so I ordered caramel. They brought it fairly quickly, and we shared it before my girlfriend fell asleep.
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photo by: tm16dana