Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hanging around Sirince and Kusadasi...

On Sunday, I checked out the Basillica of St. John, the Apostle.   Sure enough, in the center of what remains of the huge church is a marble slab with the inscription, "Tomb of St. John."    From there you can still see the one remaining pillar of the famous Temple of Artemis which is still listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.   The Basillica was almost as an imposing a structure as was the Temple.    Unfortunately both the museum as well as the fortress castle on the hill nearby we're closed for renovations.   In the Basillica, I met a friendly guy named Ed who hailed from Ft. Collins, Colorado, and so we set off together  to see what else the immediate area offered.   We walked around (and into) the Isabey Mosque which had also seen some better days.  From there, we headed back into town towards the bus terminal.  Along the way, you can still see the ruins of an old Roman aqueduct system that ran through the middle of town.   Several of the famous storks who migrate here every year have built huge nests on the top of a few of the remaining towers of the aqueduct as well as on many of the local telephone poles.  The good citizens of Selcuk have kindly erected special 6-foot wide circular platforms for the birds to use, and of course, they are protected from rascals who might do them harm.    As I am writing this, I'm listening to one of the wailing and mournful calls to prayer that are regularly piped over the loudspeakers at the mosque downtown.  Before they had audio technology, I understand that four men with strong voices would have to climb the minerets five times a day and sing in unison to the four directions.   Ed and I took a 20-minute ride in a minibus to a charming little mountain town called Sirince.  Once there, we wandered through the many narrow and cobbled streets of the town that twisted past hidden little bars and restaurants, lots of local folks promoting their wares and, of course, many bus loads of other tourists.  Every shop, it seemed sold the same blue and white ceramic circle that represented the infamous "Evil Eye" so often referred to in this part of the world.   The older women around here all dress pretty much the same:  flowery pantsuits, a knitted vest and a scarf tied over their head.   Ed was heading north to Istanbul on the overnight bus, so we bid farewell once we got back to Selcuk.   On Monday, I decided to to take a minibus over to the busy port city of Kusadasi where the cruise ships would disgorge their passengers who were bussing over to Ephesus.   Nothing too much to see here.   Lots of markets, restaurants, bars, and, if you're a shopper, some pretty good bargains to be made because of the lateness of the tourist season.  Off to Cappadocia tomorrow evening.

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