Sep 03, 2011
I headed south from Istanbul on a bus to Selcuk where the ruins of Ephesus are located. It was another long eleven hour bus ride but it was a very nice bus with great service. It had a great wifi connection along with Turkish tea and a sandwich including other snacks along the way. I met a really awesome Christian group at the hostel and they invited me to join them for dinner. Many thanks go out to them. As I mentioned on my profile for this blog I backpacked through Central America in 2007. I traveled with a young lady by the name of Jordan Jones. We had a great time and she made an awesome travel partner. It just so happened she was going to be traveling in Turkey with 2 other guys at the same time I was there so we decided to meet up and see some sites together. They were on a train that was going to Pamukkale passing through Selcuk with plans for a day trip and later returning to Selcuk for the night and seeing Ephesus the following day. So I hopped on the train with them and visited the ruins and calcium springs of Pamukkale. It was definitely a cool place to see and we were even able to get our feet wet in the warm flowing water. Not a bad way to spend Thanksgiving 2011! We got on the train and headed back to Selcuk for the night with plans to see Ephesus the following day. We walked around a few hours checking out the amazing and super old ruins then returned to Selcuk for lunch. After lunch it was time for us to part ways, they were headed to Istanbul and I had to start working my to Athens, Greece. I hopped on a mini bus that took me to Izmir then I had to get me a bus ticket to Cesme, Turkey where I would be able to find a ferry headed to Chios, Greece which is a Greek island off the coast of Turkey. I didn't make it to Cesme in time to catch the ferry so I started searching the backstreets for an economical place to stay. With lots of luck I found a great place for $15 a night. The next day I just walked around Cesme and got me a good Turkish shave. I didn't shave my beard...just needed to clean myself up a little bit since I will be landing in Ethiopia on Saturday morning! That's right Ethiopia...things are about to get really exciting so stay tuned! The next day I was hanging out on Chios island which was pretty dull I have to admit. But luckily I met some very nice French girls that let me join them, we tried to find some interesting sites and with no luck we decided to just have lunch instead. They boarded their ferry at 5pm to go to Turkey and I had to wait around until 10 to board mine. I arrived in Athens the following morning at 7am with directions to Apostolis' house. I met Apostolis while traveling through Croatia and he insisted I stay with him whenever I reached Athens. It is truly amazing how many awesome people I have met throughout my journey. When I got to his house he was at work but his mother gave me a warm welcoming and fed me breakfast. I so wish I could speak to her, she is the sweetest lady ever we just can't understand each other. She is 83 years old and gets around the house like you would never believe...waiting on me hand and foot. She thinks the more she talks to me in Greek I will eventually understand what she is saying but I am afraid it is not going to happen in the short five days I will be here. It is going to be nice to be able to stay in such a warm welcoming place the week before Africa meets Trenton. I will be able to get lots of rest and have clean clothes before I head to an unknown continent and it's going to be great. I am super excited and can't wait to see what Africa has to show! If you are just starting to read my blog feel free to look back at previous entries to get caught up and thank you for all the comments!