17 Sep Monday - Bodrum to Kusadasi Up around 8. Beautiful, still cool, morning for breakfast poolside. Took off around 9, driving up the coast, with several stops - Letmos lake, formerly part of the bay, but now mostly freshwater. Stopped for tea. Then also, along the road where there were honey sellers. Koray, the driver, needed to get some pine honey for his boss and relatives. We got some great pistachios (5 million for ˝ kg). On to Didyma, at times on a really poor road. Built between 750 and 550 BC this is the second largest Apollo temple (after the one at Delphi). Present site features reconstructions from Hellenistic times 4th c BC, uncovered just over 100 years ago. Doric columns originally of marble, some of the restorations used a marble paste in molds to form the fluted rims.

Drove on, past cotton fields, with migrant workers just setting up their tents. These were not ‘proper nomads', Lutfi informed us. Lunch in the cotton manufacturing town of Soke (SIEUR-key) - past a tea house packed with men doing little but watch us pass. Pide, kebabs and lamacun for lunch. Then another ˝ to the Hotel Ozcelik in Kusadasi. It's located right on the beach. We've got a suite, with sitting room and balconies directly over the beach. Nice breeze eliminates need to use the air conditioning. Went swimming for a short time, lazed out on the beach for a bit before coming up to catch up on captioning and this journal. Water here is really hard - almost impossible to soap up, and then as difficult to rinse, leaving the body feeling sticky. Somehow, shampoo did an ok job. 7 pm now, dinner downstairs in 30 minutes. Pretty sunset, then watched bats flying around catching (hopefully) mosquitoes.

18 Sep Tuesday - Kusadasi Ok breakfast, then leave around 9 for drive to Ephesus. The founding myth is that the Delphi oracle told Andropolus to found a city where there were jumping fish and running pigs. After many travels, his boat had caught some fish and his party was cooking it ashore one night when one of the fish, not dead yet, leapt off the spit and into some bushes where it frightened a local pig who ran away. What better omen than that on which to found the major port of Asia Minor? In any case, we visited our 3rd Wonder of the World in 4 days, the Temple of Artemis. Like all the others, not much remains, and it takes a lot of imagination to reconstruct the temple from the handful of restored columns. (Other 2 were sites of Colossus of Rhodes and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, of which even less remains today). Behind the temple are a Byzantine Basilica of St. John, and a 7th c Seljuk castle, along with a later mosque. Quite a range of history captured in one shot. Good tour of Ephesus,(about 1 ˝ hours), very crowded, then visited a ceramics factory.

On to Sirince, once a Greek village, abandoned in 1920's but taken over by Turks from Greece who kept the Greek character. Had a good lunch - mushrooms baked with cheese, cheese pide, lamacun, beer. Also starting point for an 8 km hike down to Seljuk. On way back, pleasant surprise at the Cetin Doll Museum - a wonderful collection of exhibits by a retired teacher who made over 600 dolls from papier mache, and created scenes from life in a village of his childhood. Harvest, summer grazing, wedding, town scenes, etc. ending with a series of scenes from tales of Hodja.

Quick walk thru Kusadasi, tourist shops in wide pedestrian streets; stopped at an internet café, but it was so slow as to be unusable [one of the few times this happened in Turkey]. Back to hotel around 5 for another dip in the ocean. 19 Sep

Wednesday --> Pamukkale 9 am start, driving thru cotton fields, eventually reach Sardis, the Lydian capital from 680-547 BCE when captured by the Persians who made it the capital of Asia Minor. Lots of tumuli in surrounding hills, some real, some false to deter grave robbers. Croesus was last king of this rich area. Impressive ruins, large entrance gate, remains of a 3rd c synagogue, Byzantine shops. Lunch in town, Odun Kofte, excellent lamb ground and cooked on skewers, yogurt, grilled whole tomatoes, grilled peppers. Arrive in Pamukkale around 3 or so, time to relax around the pool.

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