South to Selcuk
Selcuk Travel Blog› entry 10 of 29 › view all entries
Today we were heading to Selcuk about 4 hours by bus south, Selcuk was our base for exploring Ephesus. We decided after breakfast we would explore the market for about an hour. The market was large and sold your typical local goods like clothes, food, textiles and some handcrafted stuff. We looked at a few jewellery stalls before ending up in this leather shop where myself and Zehra bought handbags, mine was a Prada, he said it was original but I think it was more fake but still it was nice. Time was getting on so we went back to the pension, one more climb up the steep hill! A taxi was arranged for us and took us to the Otogar. The Izmir bus didn’t leave for another half hour so we sat and ate our biscuits that we had bought the day before from the cake shop. The bus ride to Izmir was 3 hours and very pleasant, once again we had tea and chocolate cake served us, we had a short stop at a roadside cafe where tea was on the bus company! You don’t get this sort of service back home! In Izmir it was an easy change onto the dolmus which was already waiting, we barely got off the bus and the dolmus guys grabbed our bags and put them in the Selcuk dolmus, service with a smile! About half a dozen Intrepid tour group people got on as well and during the 45 minute trip to Selcuk we got some useful information off their guide. In Selcuk the dolmus dropped us off near our hotel Urkmez and then it was a steep climb up three flights of stairs to our room. It was warm and sunny in Selcuk so for the first time in a week I got into sandals and lighter clothes.
After freshening up we headed first down to the Information centre to get some brochures but it was all building and no information. Our next stop was Basilica of St John. John the Baptist together with the Virgin Mary was said to have come to Ephesus after escaping persecution. He died here and his remains buried in a tomb, in 600 AD Emperor Justinian erected a magnificent church on top of his tomb. Overtime earthquakes and scavenging reduced the basilica to ruins. A citadel is perched up on the hill behind but we couldn’t visit that as it was closed for renovations after a wall collapsed. The basilica was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and there were plenty of informative information boards around. Close to the entrance to the ruins was a hotel with a lovely pottery shop attached. We went in and I came out a little lighter on the pocket having purchased a beautiful vase! The owner had the most amazing hand painted pottery and tiles and even lovely carpets you could easily spend up big in this shop but I resisted. He showed us around the hotel which was richly decorated with pottery, colourful rugs and paintings it would have been a lovely place to stay but it was twice as much for a room compared to where we were staying! Selcuk was full of interesting looking Aladdin’s cave shops and it was easy to spend money here a real tourist town but very nice. Another interesting thing was it seemed to be the city of storks. Everywhere you looked in high places even on top of power poles Storks had made huge nests and when they do their call they sound like a motorbike starting up! In the evening we had dinner at a nice cheap restaurant recommended in the lonely planet, we had nice kebabs and as usual a hoard of cats joined us.