12th April, 2015. Selcuk, Turkey. 36 hours after we left home, we finally arrived at our hotel in Selcuk. The driver met us at Izmir airport, then drove us to Selcuk and dropped us in a back alley somewhere. I saw what looked to be a hotel reception area from the bus, so when unloaded I grabbed our bags and headed that way, so discover that the driver was going in the opposite direction. He lead us though a plain (in the dark) door into the courtyard of the lovely Nilya Hotel. From the outside in the dark, it’s not much too look at, but inside was absolutely lovely. Lots of traditional ceramic (seramik) and other decorations. Really felt like I was not only in a completely foreign country, but a foreign time as well, the atmosphere was wonderful. Or it may have been the lack of sleep. After a quick dinner we collapsed into a comfortable bed for an excellent nights sleep.
We were woken just before dawn by the prayer call from the local mosque, but still managed to doze for a while until it was a sensible hour to get up. Daylight proved that the hotel was every bit as charming as it seemed the night before, even more so. Had a simple but delicious breakfast in the hotel lounge, with excellent coffee. I was still a bit tired so it took a couple of them to get going.
Today we visited Ephesus, the virgin Mary’s house (where John brought Mary after Jesus’ crucifixion), the local mosque ( I think the one that woke us up ), and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the wonders of the ancient world. Not much left now, but you can see how it would have been an amazing building for it’s time.
Ephesus is an amazing place. It was a bit surreal to be walking down a actual 2000 year old street. The oldest man made structure in Australia is less than 200 years old. Only less than 20% of Ephesus has been excavated so far, and it’s already more than can be completely explored in a half a day.