Day 25 – Istanbul

I woke up at 6AM.  I couldn’t believe today I had to be at the airport.  WHY!??!!  I need just one more day to say good-bye properly.  As I plotted ways to miss my plane, to figure out a way to wash dishes and afford an apartment, I said my goodbye’s to the lucky remaining students bound for Greece and Italy, and boarded the shuttle to the airport.

Luckily, I had company on the bus to talk to to keep my eyes from wandering off to look out the window at the Bosphorus, Mosques, Palaces, Businesses, and people.  I think now in hindsight, I would have teared and went into a mad frenzy in order to be deemed un fit to fly so that I could have another day or two there.  :-p

At the airport, I checked my bags.  It was official, I was leaving and had no other way out.  I hugged our tour guide Deniz, telling her not necessarily goodbye….

Somehow, I know I’ll be back…


Day 12 – Seljuk

We started the day in Ephesus.  It seemed as though it’d be a cool day at first.  It was cool, but it was hot as heck!  Masses of people lined up to see this Holy site. Many of them were cruise ship patrons as they noticeably weren’t dressed for a spiritual pilgrimage… bikini tops and swim trunks for some reason just don’t scream I want to be close to Jesus.  But then again, it was hot and I’m sure there’s even a swimming pool in heaven.

Ephesus, Turkey

The name Ephesus has no meaning whatsoever.  It became Ephesus because no one could pronounce the name of the city… After admiring all it’s grandness, it’s hodge podge of history including Roman gods, Greek gods, and Christianity, it’s my belief that it was called Ephesus because it was a city of several meanings.  I imagine it was a place where people celebrated and it’s people celebrated several differences among each other… regardless of their beliefs… Or maybe, Ephesus was better than saying I can’t remember the name of that city.  Seriously, I can’t remember what it was called before Ephesus.  I just know it was the city of Bees.

Pillars in Ephesus

While in Ephesus, we spent 4 hours visiting the partially constructed sites and got a much better picture overall of what it was like living more than 1,000 years ago.  Things haven’t changed much, just the public bathrooms now have partitions and no longer have fresh running water in front of the pot for you to clean yourself.

Ancient Latrine in Ephesus

After Ephesus, we made a short stop at St. John’s Basilica.  At St. John’s, we were able to see a map of how Ephesus evolved over time.  The city stayed in the same area for the most part, but moved around the same central area so there are multiple Ephesus’. 

Entrance to St. John's Basilica in Turkey

Then, it was off to Melissa’s Leather Shop where a few of the girls cleaned house – literally!  Melissa’s Leather Shop gave us an excellent and unbelievable discount on leather purses and coats.  They even started it with a fashion show featuring various reversible silk leather coats and jackets.  If you come to Turkey, you have to stop in and check it out at the very least.  Just don’t drink the white wine.  I’ve never had a wine that tasted like cod liver oil.  Yuck!

Melissa's Leather

The day finally came to a close and we grabbed a late dinner at Captain Jack’s fish house.  The food was ok and the prices fair.  A lounge act accompanied dinner.  The singer wore a collar shirt open and openly shared his taco meat chest hair and beer belly with the crowd.  If that wasn’t enough, his pointing gun hand gestures and corny winks made Turkish music seem like it was stuck in a bad episode of the Love Boat.  Either way, it made for an interesting evening. 🙂

So far, Turkey’s been fun and amazing.  I’m enjoying every minute of it!  See you tomorrow when I’ll be off to Pergamum.