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Selcuk, our final stop in Turkey

Written on: Sunday May 18th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

Yet another fabulous Turkish bus ride, staying at a hotel run by a Turkish guy and his kiwi wife (the lovely Sharon from Hamilton!)  Stopped at the ancient site of Troy on the way - Brad Pitt wasn't there so we moved on. 
We were ready to face some more ruins - and these at Ephesus were pretty well preserved and didn't need much imagination stretching.  I didn't pick Turkey for having such a strong part in the religious scene, but this place claims to be the final home of the one and only Virgin Mary, where she moved with St John after Jesus died, need I say 'letter to the Ephesians'?
We also made the 2 hour journey out to see the white terraces of Pammukale.  A spectacular natural sight with the bright white terraces visible from miles around, and the ancient city of Heiropolis banked right up against it.  What a vision of tourism at its worst, and russian sunseekers at their most classic.  It is sad they are so desperate for the tourist dollar that they have compromised this natural wonder!  You can see the small efforts they are taking to try and keep a good balance, but at the moment the tourists are winning.   
Our time in Turkey is nearly over.  Panic stations as I realise I have only 12 more hours to eat turkish delight, chewy turkish icecream, baklava!  After our fabulous time in Iran, Turkey had a lot to live up to.  The scenery has really been great and we really enjoyed walking in Capadoccia.  The people here were nice, but some parts were very touristy and had lost a bit of their identity.  Sometimes we couldn`t help but feeling we were being seen as big walking wallets.  We would recommend it though, its like the middle east for beginners!
A tinge of sadness as we leave the middle east for european pastures tomorrow... no more calls to prayer or funny squiggly writing.   But admittedly we are `mosqued outī so Greek Islands, here we come!