Monday 24 June 2013

Greece: Day Five: Kusadasi, Turkey and Potmos, Greece.

This morning the ship docked in Kusadasi, Turkey. I wasn't sure what to expect from Turkey, but I was pleasantly surprised. What a beautiful place! I can't really describe it - but the buildings mixed with the sparkling ocean, palm trees and bright flowers was a wonderful sight. I actually found it different from Greece, and maybe even a little more beautiful then what we have seen so far. 

We had to be up early at 5:30am as we needed to eat breakfast and be at the shore excursion meeting point for 7am. The entire family had booked a guided excursion/tour to 
Ancient Ephesus and the Terrace Houses.  This is a site that has been found though excavation and archeological digs, and was an ancient town/grand homes of the wealthy back in the time of Roman and Greek empires. 

(Photo: Leah, Todd, Mikhali and Brian)

(Photo: Kusadasi, Turkey)

Once we left the ship we were assigned to a bus and guide that was just for the 20 of us. This was awesome and it made a huge difference to the tour as we all knew each other and weren't stuck with any strangers. As the guide - George - took us to the site, he explained a lot of key information about Turkish sights we were passing and facts about the country. One thing that made me happy was the part of Turkey we were in is part of Asia. I have now been to a new continent!

(Photo: Father/Son photo - Nate and Charlie)

(Photo: Brian and Alex)

(Photo: Ancient Ephesus)

(Photo: Leah and Todd)

(Photo: Charlie and Me)

(Photo: Leah and Jenn)

"Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which served to make it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world" (From Wikipedia)

It was amazing to look down at the floors/stones and realize that people from ages ago - Famous emperors and warriors walked on these same steps. We saw were shops would used to be, the theater and other areas of this ancient area combined with its history. 
"Ephesus was the residence of Marc Antony and Cleopatra shortly before they were defeated at the battle of Actium by Augustus in 31 BCE, the decisive battle which is often pointed to as the beginning of the Roman imperial era." ( - A great site about the history) 

(Photo: Me)

(Photo: Brian and I)

(Photo: Ancient Ephesus)

(Photo: Alex, Mikhali and Charlie) 

(Photo: Ancient Ephesus - ancient toilet facilities)

(Photo: Brian and I) 

We went onto the Terrace houses which would have been the grand homes of the powerful people at the time. They have been enclosed, but a walking area built around it. Steps and pathways led us through the homes, and plexiglass flooring allowed us to see below - what it looked like and the restoration process. We even saw a woman working on restoration which was fascinating. The amount of time she spent using these super small tools delicately scraping away was unbelievable. The terrace houses were interesting to see, as they reflected modern amenities for the time period. The bath tubs and facilities were amazing. My on,y complaint was that they went up a bit high, and the height combined with the see-through floor wasn't my thing. 

(Photo: Terrace Houses)

(Photo: Chris and Eva)

(Photo: Leah, Sydney and Ally)

After finishing here, the guide took us to a area where they make Turkish carpets by hand. This was a silk mill and it was also very interesting. We leaned about silkworms and what they do/how silk is formed. Then we saw how the silk is extracted from the cocoon. Next we met two woman who were working on carpets. The level of detail and meticulous work was incredible to watch. It can take anywhere from 1 to 5 years for one woman to finish a carpet. We got to go inside and have refreshments while the owner showed off some of his various carpets. Each time he had us come up and feel it - either with our hands or feet. There was one Brian and I loved, but it was €700.00 (actually cheap compared to many others) and we don't have any place for it, but it was beautiful. There was also a tapestry I saw that I loved. My dad has a nice one from Italy and had asked us to keep an eye our for another one for him. This one was stunning, but over €6000.00 due to it taking 4 years to complete. So we passed. 

(Photo: Silk Spinning)

(Photo: Turkish Carpets) 

(Photo: Magic Carpet) 

(Photo: Pam in Kusadasi, Turkey)

Our next stop was supposed to be Samos, Greece at 2:30pm, but the winds were too bad they couldn't dock there. They ended up going to the island Potmos instead around 5pm. We had to take tender boats to get into town, which was a small village. Not at all the usual tourist areas we have been going to. There were 13 of us (including Brian and myself) so we has some drinks and then wandered down the main road until we found a restaurant. There was a wedding going on so every hour or so a progression of cars would circle the Main Street honking their car horns like crazy. The restaurant we ended up picking was right on the water, so we had an excellent view of the ocean. It was a wonderful dining experience, and the closest to the ocean that I have ever dined at. 

(Photo: Potmos, Greece)

When we were back on the ship we hung out for a bit, and I won €100 on a slot machine! That was very exciting. Again, I likely stayed up too late as Brian and I had an excursion booked for early the next morning that I needed to be up for. But we were hanging out with Charlie, Mikhali and Alyssa and catching up/having fun. I would have gone to bed earlier if the boys hadn't come to my room at 3am wanting Starburst because they were bored. But I'm now known as the awesome aunt, so it worked out well. 

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