Priene, Miletus and Lake Bafa
Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
68Trip End Nov 08, 2007
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Paul and Carol are heading south to meet with friends in Bodrum in 2 days, so the 4 of us decide to travel to these sites together. But before we get out of town, Paul and Carol want to go to the Isa Bey Mosque and a couple of other sites (since they won't be coming back here again)
Isa Bey is just up the road from the hotel
A short walk took us to the ruined hamam (Turkish baths), then back to the hotel.
Carol and Paul wanted to go to the reputed (the Vatican has verified it so guess its real....) last home of the Virgin Mary - supposedly she accompanied the Apostle John here (when Ephesus was at its peak - remember the letters to the Ephesians....) and died in a small house located outside the city. Turned out it was way outside - about 7 kms up into the hills. The cost to get in was extortionate and the tour groups had already started accumulating, so the 2 of us decided to leave Paul and Carol there and head to Priene. We all agreed to meet there and have lunch together. The views from the road down were well worth the drive anyway.
Priene has a magnificent site, high up on a steep hillside overlooking a huge alluvial plain. It used to over look a major harbour, but this has long since silted over - which is why many of these once important cities were mostly abandoned and died
We arrived back down at the entrance gate to find Paul and Carol's car parked beside ours, so we sat in the shade and waited for them. Sown in the little village we had lunch together, then they left to head south to Bafa Lake, where they were going to stay the night in a small pension.
On our way back to the car, we were waylaid by a nice young man who owned and operated a onyx carving business. He showed us his (very basic) operation and demonstrated a small carving, which he gave to Tina. After the previous day in Sirince, we had made a decision that we needed to spend more with the local economies where we go - not just in the hotels and restaurants, but with the small businesses here - even if all we do is leave the stuff behind in the car. So we were happy to buy a small onyx vase from this man - besides it was very interesting!
Then we headed down the road to Miletus, which in Hellanistic times (remember - 2,500 years ago) was an even more important city than Priene
On our way through the ruined Faustasian baths, which are huge and must have been magnificent in their day, a man in a dirty suit jacket and pant approached us and offered Tina a sprig of lavender from a bunch he had picked
We were so hot from our wandering around ruins, that we decided to miss Didyma and head instead for Lake Bafa, to see if we could find the Aussies and have a last beer with them. The lake was easy to find - it's huge. The Aussies proved more elusive. However it was really interesting driving around the little local roads and through the tiny villages - it is a dairying area and it was late afternoon and people were bringing the cows home from the fields back to the stalls in the town, plus there was all the local activity going on in the streets, because this is a little backwater that probably only sees Turkish tourists and then only for weekends and over the summer school holidays.
By then it was time to head back to Selcuk - about 90 minutes away and dinner back at the hotel again (it was so good there hasn't been any point in going anywhere else). And who sould turn up to have dinner at the same place but a nice young couple we'd met in Capodoccia. So we had a great dinner together, with far too much Turkish red wine - but definitely a good night!