Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Selcuk and Ephesus, Turkey

My first city in Turkey was Selcuk, which is next to the ancient Greek/Roman city of Ephesus. The bus ride from Bodrum to Selcuk was one of the most enjoyable rides I have been on. On board, there was an attendant who served us snacks and drinks. He displayed excellent customer service. All this puts the U.S. airlines to shame!

Selcuk itself is a small town that has more heritage than I thought. In addition to a Medieval castle perched on a hill, the town contains the Church of St Jean and the Isa Bey Mosque. There are also some Greek and Roman ruins, in the form of columns, cistern baths and an aqueduct.

My highlight though, had to be the visit to Ephesus, the ancient Greek/Roman city. The site is huge and contains ruins and many intact buildings. Of notable interest are the huge Grand Theater and the Library of Celsus. I was surprised at the sight of an old latrine that had running water.

I also got my first exposure to Turkish culture while in Selcuk. First, the Turks are so hospitable and friendly, always asking if they can help with directions and wanting to drink tea with me. For example, my CS host Erkan works in a carpet store and his boss invited some of us foreigners to eat dinner with his family in front of the store. I also got to taste baklava, a dessert of oats, pistachios and honey, which is reportedly the best in Turkey. Lastly, my host Erkan taught me a little about the double-knotted Turkish carpets and kilims. Carpets are so important in the Turkish culture hat every house has several of them. Even though I did not end up buying one, I enjoyed learning about the carpet-making process and observing the intricate designs.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    This is a nice trip report.
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    Let me know what you think.
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