Ephesus: a look back into the past.

We slept well but the call to prayer at 5am and the local roosters crowing made it an early start.

Breakfast of ripe tomatoes, an egg and delicious fruits in the lovely garden was a good start to our day. It’s such a healthy breakfast.

We got a ‘taksi’ to the top gate and started our tour. We decided we wanted to move at our own pace and had an audio guide – which is always a good way to go.

Amazing view of the ancient city

There were a few tour groups there but not enough to bother us. It got very hot as we moved around so we hovered like cows under any available tree as we listened to history being brought alive.

What a story is Ephesus. It’s truly amazing to see. The Temple in Agrigento Sicily was great, as are the Roman forum, the Parthenon, Pompeii – but this is altogether amazing. A walled city being rediscovered. The way people lived was described and you could see evidence of the houses, the spa, the latrines, shops, library, amphitheatre, workshops. Everything.

This was one of the most important cities of the ancient world. It was on the Silk Road which made trade so important. It was ruled by Roman, Greek, Byzantine and taken by the Arabs who destroyed it.

We walked for around 2 hours and exited along the promenade of trees to the car park.

Back to Selcuk and the bus station to plan our trip to Canakkale tomorrow when sadly Betty leaves us. It’s been wonderful having her along on this swim trek adventure but she’s heading home to LA.

We returned to yesterday’s restaurant for lunch as it was so good.

Then the Ephesus museum gave respite against the middle of the day heat. It’s a wonderfully curated museum with many examples of the items people of Ephesus used in everyday life – pottery bowls, utensils, weapons, coins along with statues and busts of famous people.

The carpet men of Selçuk.

Walking back to our hotel we passed a carpet Emporium. It looked good and quiet so we went in and met a very nice man who explained the techniques of weaving – .they are keeping these traditional ways of weaving alive as they are a centre for weaving workshops. It was so interesting.

We got talking about styles – Kilams, wool on wool, wool and cotton, silk.

I started thinking about our house and where I could put a Turkish rug. We have one already but to buy a beautiful one here and get the story would be special.

Betty has a kilam hanging on her wall at home. She’d bought it for $US259. She had a photo of it and the master historian was able to explain the meaning behind the symbols.

We ending up loving a hall runner. It has stripes, running water and tree houses – which really appealed as Steve is about to build one for Oliver! It also has tied off fringing which indicates it’s a dowry rug.

So we bought it – to be shipped home. Hopefully it arrives. But I did feel confident. The men were not at all pushy. – not like when we’d been in Istanbul! We accepted their hospitality and had drink with them.

We had another BBQ in the garden at Paradise. Such a great day, our last with my wing woman Betty.

Sunday in London

We woke to grey skies. Well hello London! Where is the blue sky of yesterday.

The man on the door assured me that there was just going to be a sprinkle.

I took his advice and left without an umbrella just a light jacket. Mmm

We walked to Hyde Park and strolled whilst others cycled and ran.

We passed the new Queens Gates.

We passed the Australian Memorial and walked toward Buckingham Palace. The crowds were out and so were the umbrellas! But not for us!

It started to rain. There were only trees to shelter under so on I went getting wet.

We headed for Guards’ Chapel for the Sunday morning service. It has beautiful singing and a band who look as good as they sound. Beautiful red uniforms!

I sat and dried out and shivered. Steve kindly gave me his jacket to warm me up.

By the time we left the sun was out so we made our way across to St James Park and wandered along in the sun looking left toward Buckingham Palace and right towards Horse Guards.

Coffee at the cafe in the park warmed us and gave plenty of opportunity to people watch. There are many tourists from all over the world all strolling peacefully through the beautiful gardens.

We then zig-zagged our way back to the hotel passing some familiar sights.

The sun was out but it was time to catch a train to the airport for our next adventure. A swim trek in Kas, Turkey.

The train was fine, the airport busy but our flight was something else.

I have never been on such a noisy flight. English families going on a beach holiday. Steve likened it to a school excursion! The noise!

Two rows in front of us were two big guys with more tattoos than teeth. They and another mate and children, the odd wife, and newly made friends stood in the aisles or knelt on their seats facing the rows behind telling jokes that only they thought were funny.

It went on and on for four hours. There was a wedding announcement which everyone applauded. There were multiple drinks and crisps purchased, a baby being passed around like a parcel and constant loud chatting! It was funny and awful all at once.

Four hours later we landed in Dalaman (to applause from the passengers!) and one of the men – Mr Yellow t-shirt –  gets up while the plane is still taxiing in and starts handing out luggage from the lockers. The hostess asked him over the loudspeaker to sit down and put his belt on so he joked around and sat in the aisle!

When we finally were allowed off, he pushed and ran to immigration and then called all 12 members of the group to jump the queue to be with him. What happened next was just and fair!

He went up to the immigration window. Next thing the officer is on the phone. The last we saw he was standing on the side waiting for someone to let him into Turkey! . Hopefully they sent him home!

We met up with Lesley, another swimmer, and Betty our friend and found our driver and made it down the coast to Kas by 2am!

A big sleep-in is called for before swimming starts!