We have arrived at Selçuk and it is Saturday night.
As usual, we are ‘winging it’, and don’t have a hotel booked as it is offseason.
We try a couple and they are both crazy prices for nothing very exciting.
But, the minute we walk into the Efes Antik Otel we know we are going to stay 2 nights. We have been going, going, going and now we need a full day to see around this region, which means two nights stay. The owner gives us a choice of rooms and shows us around and allows me to take photos in many places in the hotel.
We head into the little village, and it is three main paved walking blocks of bazaar-style shopping and restaurants, and a lovely fountain at the end.
It is cold, but fortunately, I have my lovely soft wool Turkish hooded cardigan jacket I just bought and it is gorgeous and warm. We are planning a fair part of winter in Turkey, so it is a good investment. We meet some lovely store owners and promise to return the next day. We are tired and it is now time for bed.
We wake the next morning and we get a beautiful breakfast out on the terrace. As we are right opposite the walking mall and the old mosque, and the sky is blue and the breakfast is just 10/10.
The hotel owner and his family are lovely.
It is a low season so we have the breakfast at this time to ourselves and he caters to our every need, even adjusting sun blinds for us.
We talk with the owner and mention how we missed out on a wooden Trojan Horse souvenir in our rush when we visited, and he presents one to Explorason that he has. How kind. That is so special to us now!
The Hotel is decorated with many antiques from around Turkey, yet it is really reasonably priced. I honestly can say the owner was one of the most helpful and kind people we had met, and if ever you know of anyone going to Ephesus, I would say, “stay here” at the Efes Antik Hotel.
We then head off to Ephesus. We miss the turn and go sailing on. So we eventually turn around and find the place. As we are early, it is not crowded, and it is quite cool.
We are glad we brought water and a hat as it soon turns warm. I rip my shirt right at the start on a pillar, and that, combined with my sneakers, I feel a bit inappropriately dressed for the day, as tour buses spill out with designer-clad passengers.
We walk through many an area, but Explorason rally is overseeing ruins – he needs a break.
Here is the great Celsus Library, and it has been restored beautifully.
The workmanship and original statues are just magnificent. You can read more about it here.
Here is Marble Road. It is a smooth and even slippery surface, and this very road is where many of the early Christians walked.
Is this the first loo with a view?
Off to the side, we find possibly the first original toilet. We laugh and ask ” Is this the Loo with a View “? In Australia, we call a toilet a “loo”. Imagine sitting side by side with a stinky drain flowing beneath the marble seat?
I believe a few years ago, you used to be able to sit and take a photograph, but they have stopped it now. Still, we are glad we found it, and it makes for some fun for this nine-year-old.
A few facts – These latrines were part of the Scholastica Baths and built in the 1C AD. They were the public toilets of the Ephesus City. There was an entrance fee to use them (nothing much has changed in 2000 years of using public toilets).
We head back down. It is really hot now and we feel like we are getting sunburnt, and we are tired.
So on the way back, we drive to see what could have been Jesus’ mother, Mary’s last home. But as it is a maybe, Explorason isn’t interested.
We drive into town and park the car by the hotel. We change as we are hot, and head into the village for Pide and Pizza. I love to watch as the guy makes it fresh for me, and I get to choose the fillings.
We sit out by the fountain pool, but the shade has come over, and we are now freezing, and long to go back and change clothes again. We can’t get this season worked out!
We walk around the shops after lunch, and I buy a new pair of winter trousers. It is nice to be getting some new clothes, and the prices here are great. But the cold sets in, so again we head back to the hotel. We are so pleased Efes Antik Otel is central.
Gosh – we realize it is nearly 4:00 pm. Where has the time gone? We quickly change (again), and then walk up the side street and we are at the Basilica of Saint John named after one of Jesus’ disciples.
From http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/stjohn.htm you can read the following: –
‘ It is believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus, and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of St. John, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century.
The church of St John was changed into a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian (527 -565 AD).
St. John or the Apostle John was the writer of the Fourth Gospel and the book of Revelation.
The monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes. Its construction, being of stone and brick, is an extremely rare find amongst the architecture of its time. Raised by two steps and covered with marble, the tomb of St John was under the central dome, that was once carried by the four columns at the corners.’
So there are a few facts for you. Considering we world-school, we try to learn as we explore, and share what we learn.
We then head up to the castle that is being restored.
It was nearly closing time so we didn’t last long here. It is a long way from the front gates, and we don’t want to get locked in. The sun is sharp again and is making Explorason squint.
We pass the old Turkish baths, and again these are being restored very tastefully.
The front gates are indeed waiting to be closed as we walk back down.
It cracks me up that two men are selling “authentic coins – all last ones, found on site from 500 years ago”. They start at 100TL ($50 each) and by the time I walk away they are down to 20TL each ($10). We decline.
But we do head to a lovely fabric and rug store which completely bores Explorason. The salesman is a flirt. He would be in his 20’s and I am in my 50’s. He asks me out and tries to hold my hand, and invites me to sit for apple tea.
It is a pretty cool shop and he has lots of wares I adore. I decline on the sitting, the date, and the apple tea.
I especially like this stitched throw, and actually, his price was great. But being in our third year of world travel I am having to be very careful with my money, so sadly I decline. Very sadly – I might add.
I found this town of Selçuk to be the cheapest so far for Turkish souvenirs and wares. We did by a few of these Trivets and his price was less than half the price of anything I had seen anywhere else.
There are some pretty cool items for sale in this town. If I wasn’t traveling, then I would love a pair of these boots. The guy makes them himself, and the bottom ones are the softest leather.
Here are a few funkier stitched styles.
I do want a Turkish lamp, so we start to check out prices. I also learn about how to tell if they are authentic from Turkey, or outsourced from India and China.
So thus ends our time in this coastal area of Turkey.
We head tomorrow toward our house-sit where we will be for a few weeks.
I can’t wait to explore the local life of the village we will be near and share it all with you.
If you come to this region and want a budget hotel, please come and stay at:
Efes Antik Otel
Main Road 01960, Turkey
Questions and Comments
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