Oh dear! It's been a very long time since I shared a travel adventure. Better cure that up, right quick, as my Gramma used to say.
Last week, the DH made reservations for our holiday getaway. For the past three years, we've gone on a cruise, but this year we are going on an escorted tour of Turkey. We have been to Turkey once before, but that was twelve years ago. We had a wonderful time and I'm really looking forward to going back! The Turks are lovely, friendly people, always willing to help even if they didn't speak English (and we definitely didn't speak more than about two words of Turkish).
On our previous visit, we were limited to the west coast of Turkey. This new trip will revisit some of our favorite places and take us farther east into Cappadocia and Ankara. We will start in Istanbul, of course, a beautiful, exotic city that I can't wait to see again! The Blue Mosque (pictured), the Grand Bizarre, and the Topkapi Palace are all fantastic sights!
We will also go back to Kusadasi, which is now a cruise ship destination, so I doubt we recognize it. Of course, the whole reason to go to Kusadasi is to visit the ruins of Ephesus, and they are spectacular! On our last visit, we had just been to Athens and seen the Acropolis, saw Ephesus, then went on to Naples and visited Pompeii. Of those three I can unequivocally say that Ephesus impressed me most!
Don't know if things have changed (HOPE NOT!) but at that time, you were allowed to walk in, around, and over the ruins of that fantastic city. I kept thinking how Antony and Cleopatra walked the same streets (or more likely were carried on elaborate litters), of how the most intelligent and sophisticated denizens of civilization lived and worked there, and naturally St. Paul's letters to the Ephesians.
One of the more memorable things that happened when we were at Ephesus involved a photo. It was quite chilly the morning we arrived via dolmus (hired van) at the ruins. I am seldom bothered by the cold, rarely wear gloves, and a hat almost never. However, on this day it was cold enough that I sported both gloves, a hat, and about three layers of both tops and bottoms under my jacket. Basically, I resembled a homeless person wearing everything I owned.
I was snapping photos of everything, including DH, when I was approached by a lovely Turkish lady with a camera. I thought she wanted me to take a picture of her and her family, but after much gesturing and halting words, I figured out she wanted to take a picture of her family with ME and DH! So DH and I sidled up to her husband, two children and mother (or possibly mother-in-law) and smiled. This was in the pre-digital days, so I don't know what the final product looked like. But somewhere in Turkey, in a family photo album is a picture of me and DH bundled like the homeless and grinning like fools. I imagine the caption underneath reads: Us with a pair of weird Americans we met in Ephesus.