OK, time to break the silence again. The last days have been busy with preparations for India and French wine.
Though this seems a distant past right now, we have to pay tribute to the beauty we saw in the rest of our trip in Turkey. After Istanbul, we made our way to the west coast of the country. We went to Ephesus, Pamukkale and Afrodisias.
Ephesus is very touristic, known for its ruins of ancient Greek/Roman city. It's quite interesting (and full of cats), but a better option for enjoying ruins is Afrodisias. With way less people and better conserved ruins, Afrodisias was a very good experience (except for the scourging sun - and as ruins usually don't have roofs, it was quite unpleasant in this sense).
One nice thing that
|Ephesus as seen in most pictures in travel agencies.|
|Pointing to the rubble - I mean - Temple of Artemis.|
|Ephesus, the favourite city of the girl from the eHarmony video.|
|Smashing tourists in Afrodisias.|
|Theater in Afrodisias.|
Pamukkale was definitely something. Its carbonate formations make it deserve its name ("cotton castle" in Turkish, according to Wikipedia). After walking around the immense white, we went to a enclosed pool with water from a thermal spring (supposedly a place where Cleopatra used to bathe). Though a bit expensive for a pool (30 TL entrance), it was very interesting to find out that the water had gas (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, among others) - it was just like swimming in sparkling water.
|Carbonate reflection (Pamukkale).|
|Amazing carbonate formations (Pamukkale).|
Although it was already late October, it was indeed really hot in Turkey - hot enough for us to take a cruise on the Blue Coast after frying n ruins. This was definitely one of the highlights in Turkey. We were on a very cozy boat with about other 16 people for 4 days and 3 nights. We basically went snorkeling, had Efes beer, explored islands with goats and graves and swam to a pirate cave. We spent every night on the deck, looking at the stars (and shooting stars, very nice ones) - we even went to a middle-of-nowhere-night-club! The people we met were simply amazing, some of our conversations even contributed to our route plan. We would definitely like to meet them again, let's see how this goes. Here are some pics of this cruise:
|Busy sailing days.|
|Island near the place where we spent our first night.|
|Good food for the good people.|
|The pirates' cave.|
After the cruise, we stood for a while in Olympos with our friend Rodolfo (always with us in Tukey) and a couple we met on the cruise (Doug and Akemi, also doing a round the world trip). Olympos was a nice city for resting (from what?). Not a lot to do, except for visiting mount Olympos (one of the many with this name), a mount once mentioned by Homer and now a place for Turks to grill sausages on the fires that come out of the ground due to an everlasting flow of natural gas.
From Olympos, we took an overnight bus (yes, those ones) to Göreme, in Cappadocia, which deserves a separate post. Now that we are moving to India, where less busy nights are expected, I'll try to write about Cappadocia soon.