Monday, November 10, 2008

Turkey: Day 6

We got up early so we could get to Ephesus before the hordes of tourists. We weren't successful, even though we arrived by 9:30am. All the tour groups were German or French--so we couldn't even eavesdrop on their spiels.

Still, we spent a couple of hours looking all around and it was fantastic. Kent and I wandered in to a slightly separate area and somehow got off the official path. Tom was looking for us and, apparently, so was a guard. We were clueless.

We'd gotten a ride there by one of the pension owners but we decided to walk back. The plan was to see some of the sights in Selcuk, take care of travel plans via the internet, and catch the night bus back to Istanbul.

By this point, I'd bought my air ticket to Paris and I was departing from Istanbul on Wednesday. Kent and Tom had hoped to get tickets to London the same day but had run into some snags. In the end, they got to London via Sofia. After we got back to Istanbul, they took a bus to Sofia on the same day I left and flew from there. An exhausting but more economical option than flying from Istanbul.

It was unseasonably warm and we got pretty hot on the walk back to Selcuk. The town was very quiet but everything was open. We got some lunch, did some internet business, and then took a walk around to see the sights.

In the town, there's a big fortress on a hill and some Roman ruins. The fortress, we'd been told, was closed to the public, but we wandered in its general direction anyway. As we walked through the narrow streets of the town, away from the center, we got plenty of stares and were asked several times where we were from.

Quite near the fortress, a group of young guys started talking to us and said they'd show us how to get there. In fact, we were led to a hole in the storm fence that surrounded the place and we walked right through.

Up on the hill, a couple of horses were grazing but it was otherwise still and empty. We had a great view of the town and felt pretty adventurous for getting to see this forbidden place. (Kent took plenty of photos.)

As we were leaving, Tom was talking with our guide, who then proceeded to ask us for five lire each. Fine. We paid. He then tried to get more money from us and I muttered, "We met your price. No more money." We didn't give him any more money.

We hung around town, got some supper, read, etc., until it was time to catch our 10pm bus to Istanbul.

While I worried about the overnight ride, it was one of the easier overnights I had on the trip. I'm not sure why--maybe I was getting used to it?

Grateful for: access.

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