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Selcuk Travel Blog

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Statue of Artemis

I have been quite busy since I arrived in Selcuk.  The hostel here is wonderful - best breakfasts so far.  It is run by an Aussie who has been here for 20 or so years and some locals as well.  First day I made some plans for my upcoming blue cruise out of Fethiye and finally got a good deal!  Then I set out to check out the town including a museum - St. John's Basilica (what is left anyway) and the remains of one of the ancient wonders of the world that being the Temple Artemis.  (Note:  I cannot find the comma on this keyboard).  I got back in time for a BBQ on the rooftop terrace with folks from the hostel and afterwards some entertaining conversation about our respective countries and various sayings about how to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and so forth - very intellectual.

At St. John's Basilica with citadel in background (was closed to the public but a overly friendly Turkish man took me through a fence up there).

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity that included shopping among the locals - a trip to ancient ruins - and finally paying a Turkish man to give me a bath.  Good stuff.  

So every Saturday the locals come together in the town square for a big open air market here selling food and clothes and about anything else one might need.  It was much better than Istanbul as this is more a local's market rather than a tourist trap.  I bargained for some new sunglasses and a keychain with the eye that is supposed to ward off evil spirits (OK that is strictly a tourist item).  Afterwards I joined a friend from Canada to check out the ruins at Efes.  It was an ancient Roman port town but the water has since silted away and is now a few KMs out.

All that remains of the Temple of Artemis
  The place dates to 2nd century AD and has some great Roman architecture including terrace houses - great theatre that held gladiator battles - and a library (magnificent!). 

Afterwards we headed to a REAL Turkish bath. I thought what I did in Budapest was the real deal but here it is quite a different experience indeed.  I mean you are literally given a bath by some Turkish dude.  No one has given me a bath since my mother when I was a child so I was a bit apprehensive to say the least.  A funny fella from Australia gave us the low down as he had just been in and he did not exactly make it sound like a treat - more like some pain and reuse of dirty loofas and such.  I had to check it out nonetheless.

So you go in there and put on your towel with whatever you want underneath.

Sunset over Selcuk
  I did have my bikini on for sure.  Then you go in a dome room kind of like a sauna and take a quick shower.  After that you lay on this marble slab for about 15-20 minutes sweating for a while.  When it is your turn you walk over to another marble slab area and get loofa-d by a Turkish dude in a towel and impressive mustache.  As I lay there waiting for my turn I wondered what the heck I was thinking.  He was over there scrubbing down this rather large man front and back and I just thought I could not be more far away from home physically or culturally or otherwise really.  I was nervous about some strange man scrubbing me down but I was excited about getting to be there at the same time.  As my turn I approached I went over and laid down putting aside my fears.
Great Theater at Efes
  It was not bad at all.  It was not as painful as it had been described and I did not get the sense he was trying to take advantage of me being a woman.  However it definitely was a good idea to go with another guy as I would have been the ONLY woman there among strange men.  So I get my dead skin scrubbed off and back to the marble slab. 

Next up was the real scrub with soap with another Turkish man with not as good a mustache.  I laid down and he put a big dose of soap on my stomach and began washing me while massaging at the same time.  I was a tad nervous when he had me turn to my stomach and he untied my top but that was so he could give me a real massage and I mean my back was cracked about three or four times with him saying good crack?  I squeeked out a "yes" as I was in this mix of pain and pleasure.

Latrine where men in their robes sat and talked politics and business while doing their business so to speak
  He retied my top and had me sit up and washed my hair and face and then dumped warm water on my head.  From there off to the shower again and back to the slab for a bit.  When we recovered we went out to the waiting room and got dry towels and water and sat for a while to cool down.  After a change in the dressing area we were finished and feeling very refreshed.

That cost me 25 Lira or about $20.  Worth every penny.  Sadly I took no pictures of this exciting event but the memory of it will be with me forever.

Doodleit says:
OMG, you had me laughing so hard on the whole Turish bath thing!
Posted on: Apr 11, 2009
esterrene says:
My boyfriend is from Izmir and he took me here a few months ago... so beautiful!!
Posted on: Mar 13, 2009
findmeabeach says:
Enjoying reading about your adventures in one of my favourite countries!! I think Ephesus is just amazing
Posted on: Oct 02, 2007
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Statue of Artemis
Statue of Artemis
At St. Johns Basilica with citade…
At St. John's Basilica with citad…
All that remains of the Temple of …
All that remains of the Temple of…
Sunset over Selcuk
Sunset over Selcuk
Great Theater at Efes
Great Theater at Efes
Latrine where men in their robes s…
Latrine where men in their robes …
Library of Celsus which was three …
Library of Celsus which was three…
Along Marble Way
Along Marble Way
Turkish bath
Turkish bath
Terrace House living quarters with…
Terrace House living quarters wit…
Courtyard of Terrace House
Courtyard of Terrace House
Great Theater
Great Theater
Statue outside library - symbol fo…
Statue outside library - symbol f…
Head of Zeus
Head of Zeus
Freeze found on Temple at Efes - f…
Freeze found on Temple at Efes - …
Selcuk
photo by: peterbc2