Izmir to Selcuk

Trip Start May 07, 2010
Trip End May 22, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  , Izmir,
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hi Everyone,

    This morning we left Bergama early for Selcuk. Unfortunately there were no direct bus to Selcuk, so we ended up taking the small transfer bus first to Bergama Otogar then transfered to Izmir. We met a nice couple from Japan who are also travelling around by themselves. After a quick chat, they showed me their itinary. The are actually travelling around for 2 1/2 weeks but at a slower pace. They are so organized that they have the hotel already reserved.  We found out they are using Izmir, which is a much bigger city and transportation hub,as a base then explore the area. As for our itinary, we are just going from ruin to ruin where transportation may be more difficult. But then again, travelling from Canakkale to Izmir is about 8 hours and a whole day is wasted on the bus, so our choice has its own merit. At Izmir Otogar, I bought a gyro sandwich for lunch but the server dumped too much salt on the Doner chicken and the whole thing is not even edible so I asked the server to give me a new sandwich. That same server later started yelling and cursing at a man standing at the next souvenior stand, I just don't have a clue waht they are arguing about, its all Turkish to me. I also bought this Turkish cotton candy that is white in color with drizzle of pastachio nuts,Yummm.

     Upon arrive to Selcuk, we checked into the hotel that is in the guide book instead of listening to touts crowding around our bus pushing us to go to their pension. After we checked in, we also signed up for the local tour for 80 lira per person including guided tour of Ephesus, Virgin Mary's final resting place and temple of Artemitis. Our hotel staff told us to go and visit the Greek cityof Sirince, but looking at the brochure, it doesn't looked all that attractive, so instead we decided to spend the rest of day visiting Ephesus since it is the premier attraction of this area.

     Ephesus was built back in 600 BC, it failed to build a protective wall and was attacked by Lydian empire and soon fell to it. It later swtiched hand between several rulers until it became the capital of the Asia minor due to it proximity to the ocean as a port. The city prospered with lots of wealth, they build gigantic temple, and housed one of the largest ancient library of the world second only to great Library of Alexandria.  The city of Ephesus was abandoned in 6ht century due to its port silted up the mud and the ocean became much futher away. Ephesus is one of the best preserved Roman sites. The best landmark is the reconstructed ancient Libray, complete with marble and beautiful granite. Angela and I lingered the rest of the afternoon here. We also visited the Terrace House where the former rich Roman royalties used to live. The Houses' floor has beautiful mosaic tiles and walls are covered in colorful marbles. Now the Austrian archeologists are taking on the project of reconstructing the Terrace House interior, the earthquake damaged wall tiles are reassemble back to its original looks as the world's largest puzzle. The admission to the beautiful terrace house is an additional 15 lira but it was worth every lira. We spend 2-3 hours visiting the interior because the tour next day won't even cover this place.

     After visiting the terrace houses, we went up the steps to visit upper Ephesus. This is where the smaller amphitheatre, more beams, ruin are located at . I found a white mulberry tree and follow the locals and picked some to eat, mmm  delicious.

     We had dinner  at our hotel but the internet was too slow, we bought some fruit for dinner and call it the night.
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