The ancient library
I decided to take a brief side trip to Ephesus and Pammukkale.
It wasnâ€™t exactly what I expected but still worth it.
I arranged a tour locally from an Istanbul agent and was soon on a plane to Selcuk.
From Selcuk I joined a bus of other foreigners where we spent the day at:
-Artemis Temple â€¢ an ancient temple that is now totally destroyed except for one piss-weak pillar that has been put back together with concrete.
-The Ancient City of Ephesus â€¢ a breathtaking archealogical site. It had plenty of different buildings and facilities including some ancient toilets (so I was very happy). There was also two ampitheatres (1 technically). The larger (genuine amphitheatre) was massive and houses over 20,000 people and is still used for big concerts. The smaller one was actually an enclosed theatre originally so itâ€™s not technically an amphitheatre. The library at the end of the main street was the main attraction and an impressive building. Opposite the library and next to the toilets was the brothel/bordello â€¢ so I thought it was interesting how they prioritise their real estate. The architecture showed an interesting mix of designs and influences from across the centuries and from around the area. Our guide knew the site well and pointed out lots of different little obscure facts and stories to do with the place.
Artesis Temple - with thistles
-Mother Maryâ€™s house. Apparently the story goes: after Jesus was made into Swiss cheese on the cross, Mary made her getaway to Turkey with St John the Baptist and set up a new life on a beautiful hill. John wanted a swimming pool so they called it â€˜the original baptismal fontâ€™ to get it through council approval and avoid needing a child safety fence. Apparently DNA and carbon dating has confirmed the houseâ€™s age and the story. Not quite sure how they did that. The actual house now there is a reconstruction of a reconstruction (nothing is original) so itâ€™s not a very authentic experience. However it doesnâ€™t stop hordes of people flocking there to move silently through this humble abode, write a prayer and stick it to a huge wall, and then buy an ice creamâ€¦ The location is spectacular and I did feel a spiritual rumbling within my soul until I realised it was my lunchtime kebab repeating on me.
After this we were taken to a Rug shop where we were shown how the rugs are made, including the main different types: cotton, wool and silk. We were also shown how the silk is spun from the cocoons. Itâ€™s an extremely impressive process and I recommend it. Then the owner proceeded to lay down about 100 carpets on the floor and let me moonwalk across the different varieties of rugs. What I donâ€™t recommend is the hour following this where the tour guide left us all to be almost forced into buying something. The rug I was being recommended was a beautiful blue fine silk one worth about $12,000. It took all my strength to get away from these extremely persuasive selling agents. Who the hell goes on holiday ready to spend $10k+ on what you could get in Ikea for $80?
Genuine Fake watches...