Cruise: Kusadasi, Turkey

I’m slowly catching up! I’m half-tempted to just post all the photos from Turkey and make you guys guess where they were taken and what was happening. But I guess I’ll be nice tonight and at least tell a story or two :)

Kusadasi was awesome. In fact, Turkey made it’s way onto the list of places we definitely want to come back to along with Israel. That’s the great thing about cruising I decided. You can use it as a sampler of sorts. You only get a day or two in each port, but it’s enough to weed out the places you don’t care to see again and to wet your appetite for places you discover you definitely want to explore in depth. Turkey wasn’t even on our radar before this trip. In our minds it was just an incidental stop on the cruise that took us primarily to Egypt, Israel and Greece. But by the end of our day there we loved it!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Sunrise over Kusadasi Port

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

What made a HUGE difference for us in Turkey was the fact that this time, instead of booking our tour through the cruise ship, we booked a private tour with Ekol Travel. Kolie found them after we couldn’t find a cruise tour that had what we wanted for an itinerary. The private tour for the four of us cost only slightly more than an excursion run through the cruise line and we had our own bus with our own tour guide. We could basically tailor the tour to our wants all along the way. It was fantastic! Plus, our tour guide knew the answers to every historical and cultural question we could throw at him, which we had a lot of! If you go to Turkey and need a guide, I would highly recommend these guys!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Outside the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary supposedly lived out the rest of her life after John brought her to Ephesus after Christ’s death.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Prayers written on scraps of paper and tied to the fence outside Mary’s house.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

The main event of our Turkish excursion was a tour through Ephesus. If I had had doubts about picking time travel as my super power before, they vanished as we explored Ephesus. It is only ruins now, but you can tell it was a fantastically GORGEOUS port city in it’s hey day. I mean… the streets were all paved with glittering white marble!! Pompeii was cool and all, but Ephesus was beautiful!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Evil Ephesian kitty.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

The library.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

After Ephesus, our tour included a private garden lunch of traditional Turkish foods. (Did I mention this tour was awesome?) I wish I kept a better record of what we ate, because it was delicious!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

We got a lesson in silk production and were taken to a workshop where they still hand-weave traditional Turkish rugs.

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

We were taught all about the production of these rugs from start to finish, as well as the different materials used and different patterns created. In a world of factory-produced knock offs, I couldn’t believe the beauty of these handmade versions! (I’ve used that word a lot this post. Beautiful. It pretty much sums up Turkey in a nutshell!)

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Trying not to step on these works of art, even though our host kept insisting, “Go ahead! They are rugs and are meant to be walked all over!”

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

Someone seriously wove this BY HAND out of silk made from those silk worm pods earlier in the post! Absolutely mind blowing.

After our tour of the rug workshop, our guide said goodbye and dropped us off outside a Turkish bath at our request. That was on Kolie’s list of must-dos in Turkey so we gave it a shot. Let me tell you… it was an experience and not for the modest or faint of heart! I won’t go into details now (I might give it its own post one of these days) but I can say I don’t think I’ve ever been so scrubbed squeaky clean in my entire life! Definitely one of the many highlights of our time in Turkey.

And now, I will leave you with a Turkish “Evil Eye.” It hangs over almost every doorway we saw in Turkey to ward off bad luck. I hope it brings you as much good luck as it did to us this trip!

Shashin Error:

No photos found for specified shortcode

NEXT STOP: Athens!

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
One Response
  1. […] if we ever go on a cruise again, we will book all our port excursions through private tours like in Turkey, or just venture off on our own. Cruising lesson […]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge