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Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
135Trip End Ongoing
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We wanted to stay in the same place we had in 1998 but the prices were a bit steep (ANZ Pension). So we decided to try out the opposition - All Blacks. Bargin price with brekky. The young guy's name was Leonardo. He was really friendly and kept saying 'Sweet As.' We walked around town and visited some shops we had been into the last time and also visited the ruins in town. Rumoured to be where John the Baptist is buried. Well there is a tomb for him. Apparently Mary lived out her days out in the area too (you know, THE Mary). It was good. There were hardly any tourists. Probably at the beach or in the shade - smart. The obligatory suspects tried to sell us fake roman coins - no thanks. We had the best pide for lunch - lamb meat and egg. Have to have another one of those before I leave! Then we went in search of the carpet shop we had bought our carpets from all those years ago. It had gone but there was another in it's place (of course). It was actually the original guy's step-brother and they had lived in Australia when they were younger and still had a really strong aussie accent. We chatted to him for a while and drank tea and he showed us more carpets. Still no sale. Then we went to re-visit Artemis Temple. It was just as crap as last time. One pillar remaining in pools of stagnant water. Mmmmmmmmm nice. More excitingly, there was a huge pond with loads of turtles (or they could have been terrapins) plopping into the pond then sticking their heads out to look at us from the safety of the water.
I was really looking forward to visiting Ephesus again as I had quite enjoyed it the last time. The amphitheatre had been really impressive. The pension organised a driver for us and he hit us up with the old - my son has a carpet shop. You can imagine our response! He was a bugger though and dropped us at the back gate - the arse end of the site. We were a bit lost for a while and the guide book we had borrowed from the pension was useless. I pulled out the trusty Lonely Planet and placed us. It actually had more information than the full guide book! There were a million other tourists there and lots of groups too which was a huge disappointment. It really destroys the flavour of the place. Also alot of areas were closed off this time for restoration so we couldn't see as much as last time. The Latrines were interesting. They say they were only for men and that the slaves would go in winter an hour before their masters to warm the marble slab seats up!! But the holes were a bit close together for my liking! The Library is still very impressive although all the information plaques are German because the restoration money was donated by Austrians. Earthquakes have taken their toll over the centuries which is a real pity. It's a huge site. We looked for the brothel which was also closed off but spotted the one of the first forms of advertisement. It is an crude engraving in the marble pavement slab of a bust of a woman, a left foot and a heart. The left foot meaning on the left side of the road, a heart for love and the woman indicating you could find love from a woman at that place!! We went to the amphitheatre and took some pics. It is still the most impressive part of the site. They have't done such a great restoration job on it though!! There is a massive amount that has not been excavated and also large sections that are closed off to the public which is such a pity because they look really interesting from the outside.
I'm glad I visited Ephesus again but I much prefer the ruins of Tunisia. They had far more WOW factor for me and less tourists.
Our man was coming to pick us up soon so we wandered out. He tried the - my son has a carpet shop - again but David diplomatically declined.
We were really hot so jumped on a Dolmesh and headed for Pamucak beach. There has been a couple more dumpy camp sites built there and also a huge area with loads of blocks of flats about a kilometre from the beach front. They were really ugly. The water was great. Not too warm and not too cold although it did seem really salty. Little like when we swam at the Dead Sea. Brine, but refreshing all the same.
We decided to leave the next day and had to hang around for our bus to Göreme.
We visited a few people we had met during our stay and some we had met 7 years ago.
We also saw a few boys that day at various times on horse back, dressed in capes and furry hats with feathers in them being followed by their families dancing round with a band. We discovered they were off for their circumcision!!! No wonder they looked unhappy!
We had another overnight shocker bus journey to look forward to. David went and bought a takeaway pide to take on the bus which was an immediate winner with the bus boy (old man). We offered him some and he was at our beck and call for the rest of the journey!!