Trip Start Jul 01, 2007
79Trip End Sep 02, 2007
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Today we took the first big road trip that we've had in quite a while. We struck out for Ephesus somewhere around 9 this morning. The drive was same-old, same-old through Milas since we've done it a number of times heading to and from the airport. It got more interesting as we turned north and reached out into new territory. Things continued to be very dry and rocky. The stone outcroppings from the mountains looked more like shale than what we have around our house, but truth-be-told, I took geology as an 8am class and I could be wrong on that. The amount of agricultural land seemed to increase significantly. It seemed to be primarily orchards over tilled land. Lots of figs, an amazing amount of olives and, as we got further north, a good number of lime, peach and pear trees
At that point we were just 10 minutes from the last home of the Virgin Mary. We drove up a pretty steep mountain to find the site. It is nicely shaded and very peaceful for the most part. There is a chapel where the house foundation is and a spring where pilgrims can fill bottles of water and a grate where they can tie rags for prayers
Next we headed down the mountain to Ephesus. The site has two parking lots, so we parked at one and arranged for a horse carriage ride up to the other so we wouldn't have to walk the length of the site twice. This turned out to be a good call for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the fairly late hour at which we got started.
Ephesus is a huge site that has a wide variety of ruins that you can study, admire or climb on. They range from a giant amphitheater that seated 25,000 people to one of the oldest libraries in the world. The city once had a population of 250,000 and was the capital of Asia Minor. We felt like we should have done more homework before going there so that we could have gotten more out of the visit, but it was still a very good experience. I'm also not sure how much more didactic conversation Alex could have taken. Luckily, he could run free and I brought snacks and drinks along to keep his blood sugar up.
One interesting diversion during our visit was the filming of a Bollywood movie scene while we were there. At one point along the path, the crew roped off an area so that they could get their shot and we couldn't pass. So we watched. From what we understood, the actress getting kissed by an actor to music that sounded very much like Alvin and the Chipmunks is very famous in India. We got many pictures of her while we waited, so perhaps one day we will learn who she is. Bollywood in Turkey, who'da thunk it?
One of our last stops for our stay was at another, smaller amphitheater that had two exit tunnels on the side. Josh and Alex played The Lady of The Tiger. Alex got the Lady, Josh got the Tiger in the guise of a stomach pain that made him want to go to the car. We were about done, so I walked him out.
At this point, we decided that getting a hotel for the night sounded much better than heading back, so we opened up our guidebook and picked a place. I think it's called Kaleman, but I'll have to check that (Josh and Alex are sleeping right now, so it's too dark to go look). We found it, got two rooms, changed clothes and headed to the hotel pool to take a quick dip. Nanny and Grandpa introduced the boys to the concept of charging drinks at the bar to the room
Addendum: Kate: Yesterday we drove to Ephesus. We stopped for lunch at a family run gozdeme place located at a peach orchard. The food was fantastic and there was a mother and her kitten that lived there. They were named Sugar, (the kitten) and Rose, (the mother). After lunch we took a horse carriage to the top of a hill were we went on a ruin walk. There was a coliseum, an ancient library, and other ruins. We also saw Bollywood stars shooting a scene of a movie or music video. That was really cool. The woman movie star had her makeup crew and attendants that would shade her from the sun etc. When we were done with the ruin walk we checked in to a hotel for the night. It was a long, fantastic day.
Alex: Today we went to the Basilica of St. John (the St. John who wrote the Gospel of St. John in the Bible). When I went to the bathroom, a lady gave me some grapes.
I keep having flashes back to Monty Python Life of Brian. When we were in the amphitheater yesterday I was thinking about Brian selling snacks in Rome and today we were looking at some ancient graffiti and I was reminded of the soldier grabbing Brian's ear when he wasn't conjugating his Latin verbs correctly.