Our last few days in Turkey we were on the go from Fethiye to Pamukkale, to visit Hierapolis, to Seluck to visit Ephesus and then to Bodrum. After countless kebabs, many glasses of salted yogurt and 18 days, we have now said goodbye to Turkey to catch a ferry to the Greek island of Santorini. Protests in the news have caused tourism to suffer here and we are here to tell you Turkey is an amazing country that is easy to travel around and is safe. It has such rich history and culture, friendly people and tasty food. Being an Islamic country sometimes scares people but the government is secular and they are trying to progress and fight the common stereotype. Many people have been so excited to meet us as American tourists as they say not many visit this area. If this place is not on your bucket list you should add it!
In Pamukkale, the ancient city of Hierapolis lays above a strange natural landscape of calcium deposits on a mountainside called the ‘cotton castles’. The surface was hard with hot water rushing over it and blue water pools hanging off the sides of the hillside. Again in Turkey, one of the most bizarre landscapes we have come across. Once we walked up the calcium tavertines we entered the Hierapolis. This ancient city has one of the most preserved theatres from the Roman times. It also has ancient pools with broken columns, which is called Cleopatra pools. Aspawa Pension was a great little place we stayed where the family cooked a delicious homemade meal for us.
Moving onto Selcuk, just a 3-hour bus ride away, we visited another ancient city called Ephesus. Being one of the oldest cities in the area it is a very famous site to take in. Instead of taking one of the overpriced tours we took a local dolmus (mini-bus) to the Ephesus entrance and wander the ruins on our own for the day with a pack full of snacks. We spent our first hour dodging school kids armed with iPhones and Asian tourists dressed in beekeeper suits to protect themselves from the sun. Once the crowd thinned we strolled taking in the enormity of this city. The Celsius Library was the most amazing section. Paying extra to visit the Terraced Houses was well worth it as they are making a valiant effort to puzzle together millions of pieces of marble to reconstruct this housing section.
From Ephesus, we walked back to town along a shaded pathway and stopped at the Temple of Artemis, or what is remaining of it. This temple was one of the ‘7 Ancient Wonders of the World’, which was destroyed and only has 1 reconstructed column out of the once 127 columns. Amazed, we sat in the presence of this ancient column, as we didn’t even know it still existed since technically the Egyptian Pyramids are the only lasting structure from the ancient wonders list. Another allure for our starring was an enormous bird nest on the top where we watched a stork feed its babies.
Next we moved onto Bodrum, a port city to catch our ferry. The hospitality we received at our last hotel in Turkey, Hotel Princess Dilatua, was the perfect way to wrap up our time in this country. Ugur, a Turk who lived in London for 12 years, recently bought this hotel and renovated it. The love and care he has poured into the place is so apparent. He guided us to an amazing seafood lunch in the port and best local Doner Kebab for dinner. Great conversation over a complimentary Turkish coffee and a ride to the port in the morning was the icing on the cake.
A short 30-minute ferry ride brought us to our 17th country of our trip, Greece!
More Pics: Unfortunately, our start up disc on our computer was full and it didn’t save any of our pictures from Ephesus but luckily we took a handful on the iPhone.