Tour to Ephesus

Trip Start Jun 03, 2006
Trip End Jul 05, 2006

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Friday, June 16, 2006

A private tour to the House of Mary and Ephesus costs US$120. Still, Ephesus is the city that I've just GOT to visit if I spent 48 hrs travelling to Turkey from the other side of the world! At 8.30am, we set off.. but MAN, the trip to Ephesus in that mini-van took over 3 hours! Made friends with Armand, a marketing lecturer from Slovenia, who came to the conference with the same purpose as me - a "business holiday". We agreed that many of the conference participants wearing suits, sitting on the verandah, carrying their conference bags and files, trying to look important just didn't fit our type. This was one of those conferences organized by universities for the purpose of money-generation - it's only the 2nd one in the series, it's organized by a very new university and it was held in an exotic beach resort with stalls set up to sign up "conference participants interested in sight-seeing".

Finally, we arrived at Ephesus. The guide (who spoke surprisingly good English) left us to roam the few shops close to the entrance of the ancient city whilst he went to get our entry tickets. Decided to buy some postcards since there were so CHEAP (TYL1 for 3 postcards). Yet for some reason, that guy at the shop refused to let me go. he kept holding my hands when I paid him the money and said to his friends that i wasn't leaving - that I was going to stay on with him. Everyone on the tour had already gone and I kept saying I had to go. He still refused to let me go!! He eventually agreed to let me go only after I left him my email address - so that we could keep in touch over MSN. Ok.. whatever.. I didn't want the rest of the group to leave me alone in Ephesus!!

The guide was pretty good though - he actually came looking for me BUT only after the guy at the shop finally decided to let me go. Too late!! After a picture with the shop guy taken with his mobile, I was on my way to explore the ancient city of Ephesus.. now, i can finally visualize Paul trying to spread the Word in Ephesus..

It was a really hot day, but Ephesus was soooooo beautiful. It's hard to imagine how rich people were then. Buildings and sculptures carved out of marble.. you walk on marbled streets, signs denoting "hospital", "pharmacy", "nike" were still in great condition. Then you have the library - the centrestage of Ephesus. The great architecture doesn't stop at the pillars and walls... they were built with complimentary CEILINGS to match.

After Ephesus, we had lunch at this nearby eatery which didn't really serve very impressive food (considering what I had last night). Still, it was heaps better than the best cuisine you get in China. I ate so much that Armand commented "I can't believe you've finished everything!" I wasn't even 3/4 full. Of course, the restaurant didn't go by without some compliments from their waiter. This waiter kept coming to my table and whispering "you are very beautiful". I probably heard this from at least 10 different Turkish men since I arrived yesterday morning - whether it's true or not, I still enjoy it. Think positive.. and allow myself to be spoilt for a few days.

AFTER food, the guide took us to some really boring places - a place that sold Turkish leather products, a place that sold hand-woven Turkish carpets, a place that sold hand-painted pottery. The typical "try suck your customer dry" tactic that comes with EVERY BLOODY TOUR. Only one place caught my attention. Next to the pottery place was this shop selling Turkish sweets. Yes! Turkish delights!! I bought all 6 flavours available - the usual rose flavoured, orange, mint, hazelnut, almond and lemon. Also bought apple tea and pomegranate tea.. and FIGS!! How could I NOT buy dried FIGS?

Good thing it was the end of the tour.. I was getting really tired - and Cagatay said he was going to take me to the hub of Cesme in the evening.
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