The Wheels on the Bus . . .

Trip Start Nov 20, 2012
Trip End Dec 02, 2012

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What I did

Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today was a long day on the bus, but with very beautiful scenery. We drove through the mountains where Paris deemed Aphrodite the best (most beautiful?  Most something, but I can't remember now) goddess, and was thus granted the most beautiful woman in the land.  Which happened to be Helen, an already married woman.  It’s interesting to drive through the country where legends you’ve heard all your life took place.  Then we entered the land of the olive groves.  Nothing but olive trees for miles around. 

We stopped at an archaeological site today that was a former hospital called Asklepion.  You can see the ruins of the town, Pergamum, up on the hill, but we explored what may better be described as a wellness center.  Here they wanted to make you better, and preferred you died somewhere else.  Because people were in this hospital for long periods of time, there was even a theatre.  There were also underground tunnels from the lodging areas to the baths.  One of the original structures here was a replica of the Pantheon in Rome.  Perhaps most interesting, a patient who was there for about a year kept a journal of his time spent there.  The doctors had him run/walk laps around the area (exercise), focused on eating healthy foods and on the mind/body connection.  Amazing how what’s good for us doesn’t change in 2000 years but we still suck at it. 

Tonight we are in Kusadasi (Kush-ada-shy), which is a beautiful resort town on the Aegean Sea.  It’s a rocky coast though, and there aren’t any beaches handy, so thus far I’ve only had my feet splashed by the Aegean.  We’ll be here for two nights so it will be nice not to have to pack the suitcase in the morning.  The first thing I did upon arriving was try and catch the sunset and get a good picture of how amazingly teal the water is.  The pictures won’t do it justice, but its unlike any water I’ve ever seen before.  It’s a very dark teal, nothing you see even on tropical beaches.

One of the reasons I came to Turkey was because I have a thing for ancient ruins.  Three major empires ruled here and I thought that was fascinating.  What I forgot about was how many Biblical sites there are in Turkey as well.  We’ll go past three of the seven churches mentioned in the Bible (Revelations I believe?), go through the area of Galatians, and today we drove past St. John’s church.  Or tomb?  Something of his.  Tomorrow we’ll see where allegedly the Virgin Mary is buried.  I say allegedly because there is no proof that this is her gravesite, however apparently most believe this is where it is. 

A couple days ago I wrote how ugly and eclectic and unorganized Istanbul was.  On our way out of town, Ender mentioned that they’ve experienced rapid growth.  In the name of about 13 million people in under 20 years.  No wonder the place is a complete hodge podge – you can’t predict that kind of expansion.

Since we’re staying put for 2 nights, I figured this was a good opportunity to do a load of laundry before it got out of control.  One of the least sexy things about travel abroad is doing laundry in the sink.   But who doesn’t appreciate clean undies? 

I’m pretty thankful that I’m on the orange Gate 1 bus.  The first obviously being that it’s orange and go Beavs!  The second is that the people on it are great.  Everyone is friendly and now my biggest problem is I’ve had multiple conversations with people and I can’t remember their name!  No need to worry about traveling alone, there is always someone to talk to or eat with.  In fact, our bus usually closes down the dining room each night.  Everyone else has retired and we’re still down there chatting and laughing away.  It’s a fun group. 

Tomorrow we’re headed for Ephesus, which is the best-preserved Roman site in the world.  And we don’t have to leave until 8:30 a.m. which means I get an extra hour of sleep!  These types of trips are not meant for relaxing, you get up and go every day but you see some absolutely amazing things.



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Jennifer M on

Heidi, I love your travel diary. Pix are amazing. What a cool thing to do. Have a great time!

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