Kusadasi - Beaches, and an Ancient Roman City

Trip Start Jul 25, 2010
Trip End Nov 21, 2010

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Where I stayed
Yavuz Hotel

Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Thursday, September 9, 2010

We've been in Kusadasi for the past 2 nights and have 1 night left before heading to Marmaris.

We caught a ferry out of Istanbul across the Sea of Marmara to Mudanya and then drove down to Kusadasi. Crite rode along in the back seat with the boys. He was a little squished but the boys liked having him back there. When we arrived at our apartment (Tuntas Apart Hotel) we were informed that since our booking was through HCR (a discount booking site I found online) we needed to stay at their "sister" hotel. We drove down the hill to the hotel and were presented with a stinky, dirty, very basic hotel room with 2 twin beds and a fold out couch held up by 2 bricks. I wasn't very happy with this arrangement but when they said Crite could stay for free I went ahead and agreed to stay there. I should have never agreed to stay but you win some and you lose some. That night I went to shower and there was no hot water - I assumed that it was just because it was late at night and that there would be more hot water in the morning - nope - no hot water at all! Ryan went to talk to management multiple times and there was never anyone who spoke English. So between not being able to communicate, no hot water and feeling like we were being taken advantage of by not staying in the hotel we had actually reserved - we decided to check out early and find another hotel. This is the first time in our trip where we have been dissatisfied with our accommodations - so I guess we were due. Anyway - we found a nice tidy hotel (Yavuz Hotel) with a tiny but clean room and extremely nice owners right across the street - so we didn't have to go very far. So if anyone is considering going to Kusadasi - do not book the Tuntas Apart Hotel and don't ever use HCR to book any of your lodging - it seems they give a discount but really they are just booking you cheaper accommodations.

So even after all of that we ended up having a really nice day yesterday. We spent all afternoon hanging out on Ladies Beach. It was spectacular! The weather was gorgeous and the water was pretty warm. It's a nice (crowded) sandy beach with a great shallow swimming area for the boys. Carter played in the sand and waves all afternoon while Ian slept in the stroller. It was very relaxing! That night we ate dinner at the restaurant we had eaten at the night before. It's a nice family run restaurant with reasonably priced good food. They have 2 daughters 8 and 2 and Carter got to ride their trike and watch Cars with them while we ate. The owner was even feeding Carter rice while she fed her 2 year old :) After dinner we went to the restaurant next to our hotel for some drinks and to watch "Turkish Night". It was a blast! Most of it wasn't Turkish - which was pretty hilarious - but very entertaining. They started out with a couple of Vegas-like dancers dancing to show tunes, then a Turkish spoon dancer, there was a belly dancer, the waiters did a traditional Turkish dance and they ended the night with kareoke. The highlight of the night was when the spoon dancer pulled Ian in his highchair into the middle of the circle of dancers. He was pretty curious about it but then got a little scared and started crying. But it was so cute to watch him with his spoon in the middle of the spoon dancers. And of course Ryan did kareoke (I think it runs in his blood). He sang The Gambler by Kenny Rogers and it was hilarious. It was a great end to the not so great morning!

The next morning we drove to the ancient Roman city of Ephesus. It was amazing walking around the ancient city but the heat was a bit much for Ian (97 degrees) so we only spent an hour there. However, we were still able to take some great pictures and hear some of the history by following around an english speaking group with a guide. After Ephesus we drop Crite off at the bus station and we went back to our room for a swim in the pool.

All in all Kusadasi was great! We had good food, a nice beach, and great weather.

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