Şirince

Şirince is a little town near Selcuk known for its wine tastings. The idea is to visit for the day. Maybe do some shopping, maybe try some wine.

Şirince is where I was almost kidnapped. I joke but I was once again in an uncomfortable situation. I agree to a wine tasting at an outdoor bar. I try to be nice and smile. I am told the building is old and there is some old decor upstairs. I agree to go see it. Then it gets uncomfortable. There is no one else up there. The guy wants to sit up there with me and drink wine together. Because I am uncomfortable and don’t want to give him the wrong idea I tell him I want to go back down. I drink my glass of wine on the lovely patio downstairs but quickly because I don’t want to stick around any longer.

Downstairs at the wine Lair

I do not have the knack for tasting. I walk into a tasting room and are given many to taste. I guess I am supposed to walk out at that point because what am I going to do with bottles of wine; I leave for Cappadoccia the next day. But I feel guilty. Even though there is no markings of expectation of purchase for the tasting (that I can read) I feel quilty and awkward. I am talked into buying two bottles after the insurance that the airline will allow them (note: it is a lie). I drink as much as I can while I am still in town…is my first travel hangover coming? The other bottle I secure in my backpack to bring to Cappadoccia. I needed more weight in that backpack like I needed a hole in my head.

Actually loving a Chardonnay and a Merlot, go figure

I meet a Turkish girl and her Swedish Fiancé. They are marvelous. They notice I am alone and converse with me. I end up spending the afternoon chatting with them instead of wandering to more tasting rooms. It is just what I needed when the only interaction I have had in days is the unwanted advances of Turkish waiters. Truth be told I am mostly ok with being alone but I have been lonely. These are what another traveler friend refers to as backgetters (visit her website, it is inspiring). I soak up her knowledge on everything related to Istanbul (I plan to return) and then we wish each other well. I hope I meet more people like this during my travels.

Ephesus Archaeological Museum

One nice place to enjoy some air conditioning and look at artifacts from local ruins ( at least the ones they were able to get back from other countries) is the Ephesus Museum.

The mother goddess is big here due to the artifacts from the Artemis temple.

There are many statues and pieces from areas nearby. Some are very phallic in nature.

Worth a stop by for a couple hours.

Around Selcuk

I got to visit the 6th century Basilica of St. John the Apostle. John spent his last days in Selcuk/Ephesus and it is rumored that he is buried here. The Turks destroyed it during the 10th century.

In the background you will see the fortress nearby.

On my way out I took some time to admire some of the plants that were along the pathway.

The next two major sites in the area I did not visit: Virgin Mary’s house and the Artemis temple. Virgin Mary’s house I didn’t visit because there is no public transport to get there and cab rides were very expensive. I didn’t have it as a high priority to visit. I chose not to visit the Artemis temple due to it being mostly destroyed. In lieu of visiting the temple I chose to visit the local museum which provided a good overview of the temple. I’ll talk more about that later.

Random musings on travel

Turkey Mid-way

One month and 3 days in and I am tired. My shoulders (both now) hurt. I never want to lift a heavy backpack again. Also my anxiety is creeping in. I want to do nothing instead of going out and sweating in the heat. Also I should go to Pamukkale but don’t want to for some reason (it could be the three hour commute plus crowds).

I guess I have traveler fatigue. I am thankful for the extra rest days I planned on certain cities. I just wish I planned even more.

Makes me rethink my Vietnam plan since I have yet to book anything. I might be skipping SaPa this trip. I am also mailing my jacket home since it is useless and takes up too much space.

I am heading to Egypt in a week or so I hope I get my energy back.

A nice dinner out

While in Selcuk I decided to have a fancy night out to dinner so I went around the corner to the upscale hotel that had a rooftop restaurant. I enjoyed the sunset views (forgot pictures) and view of the pool.

I can’t remember what I ordered as an entree but this meze platter (see above) was marvelous. I tried for the first time sea beans and I love them. Growing up in Florida it seems like I should have had them before but I have not. I am going to seek them out when I return home. Also in the platter is hummus, yogurt sauce, eggplant and beets; all are excellent.

My only regret from the night is that I did not purchase this lamp that was at my table. It was the only battery powered one I saw in turkey. I really wanted a lamp but the power supply (European plugs) always kept me from buying one.

It was a great night out and I am glad I treated myself.

Ayasoluk Restaurant

Ephesus

Ephesus is an important Greek and then later Roman city. It was an active river city for commerce but over time diminished due to receding waters. It was also further destroyed by invaders and earthquakes.

I’ve been to Greece, I’ve been to Rome, and I have seen all kinds of ruins elsewhere but Ephesus is up there in impressiveness.

I ended up downloading Rick Steves Ephesus audio tour and I am glad I did because the labeling and descriptions weren’t the best.

I catch the minibus from bus station in Selcuk which is not far from my guesthouse. They drop you off the opposite way you logically want to go. Once I entered the gates I pushed through the crowds of tour groups to get to the start on the other side.

It is a hot and crowded day but I don’t let that get in the way of admiring this town.

Everything in Ephesus is impressive but my favorite is viewing the terrace houses which is a separate ticketed entrance.

Not only is it covered from the sun and less crowded but you can get an idea on how the people (rich) lived back in the days. For them to be so close to the commerce they were probably pretty wealthy.