Turkey wrapup; on to Bulgaria.

Turkey Travel Blog

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The forum at Ephesus

I hopped off the bus in Selcuk around 7:30 am, about an hour early. The hostel had a free pick up which I'd arranged for 8:30, but I didn't want to sit around for an hour waiting. I thought the hostel was fairly close to the bus stop so I set out looking for it. It turns out that it was fairly close, but in the opposite direction of the way I walked. I returned to the bus station and caught my ride, a little sore after lugging 40 pounds around for 35 minutes.
Bad idea.

I set off for Ephesus shortly after arriving and spent about two hours there. This was my first introduction to some proper Roman ruins and they didn't disappoint. The two highlights of Ephesus are the Celsus Library, with only its front façade remaining, and a 25,000 seat Roman theatre. I spent most of my time at both of these places, trying to take it all in. Impressive stuff.

I walked the two miles back to town and spent the rest of the day lounging about and chatting up my Japanese roommates. I've met so many Japanese and Koreans in the last two months; it's been quite a nice surprise.

I'd booked the overnight bus back to Istanbul for the next evening so spent most of the next day lounging about and strolling around town.
Nike
I hit up the ruined St. John Church up on the hillside beside the castle, which was unfortunately closed. The church is supposed to be where John wrote the book of Revelation and certainly must have been quite impressive back in the day, especially since it would have overlooked the Temple of Artemis down below, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It's still quite interesting now, though.

I made it back to Istanbul on Thursday without getting a minute of sleep thanks to my over friendly seatmate who felt compelled to try and sleep on me. I've got this thing about personal space so I was suffering for a solid 9.5 hours. Due to this, I nixed my plan to catch another overnight bus to Bulgaria that same day and decided to get a good night's sleep in Istanbul.

I spent the rest of Thursday hitting up the sights in Istanbul that I hadn't taken in before.
The library of Celsus
First, I went to the Haggia Sophia and stood inside gaping at how monstrously big this 1,500 year old building is. I really can't fathom it. This was once the largest enclosed space in the world and to think how old it is boggles the mind.

I followed that up with a visit to the Blue Mosque, right across the way from the Haggia Sophia. The Blue Mosque is still a functioning mosque (the Sophia was converted into a museum in the early 1900's) and is really spectacular, both inside and out.

After that, the Basilica Cistern. This is a big underground water storage thing. It's pretty old, not that interesting, and probably wasn't worth the seven bucks I paid to spend ten minutes inside of it. Woops.

The next morning I caught my bus to Sofia. This was a pretty uneventful ride except for the two hours spent at the Turkish/Bulgarian border, getting our bus combed through by Bulgarian customs. Whatever that was about…

So now I'm in Sofia, getting fat and sleeping a lot. More to come from Bulgaria, including the Rila Monastery and Veliko Tarnovo. Yawn. :) Until then.
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The forum at Ephesus
The forum at Ephesus
Nike
Nike
The library of Celsus
The library of Celsus
The Library of Celsus. Ephesus.
The Library of Celsus. Ephesus.
Library from afar.
Library from afar.
Forum
Forum
The road back to Selcuk, the ancie…
The road back to Selcuk, the anci…
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