Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Istanbul to Selçuk and Ephesus

Sunday afternoon, before leaving Istanbul, I went to the nearby Istanbul Modern and then took a quick trip over to Kadıköy on the Asian side, before getting my bags and going to the ferry station at Yenikapı.

Ship in the Bosphorus that we came really close to while heading to Kadıköy.

I left Istanbul Sunday night on the 6:30 PM ferry to Bandırma.  That ferry isn't like the ones that cross the Bosphorus.  It's more like being on an airplane - with airplane styled seating, assigned seats, and screaming children.  You can't go outside on the deck while the ferry is running, I guess because it's moving fast and the wind could blow you off the deck.  It was jam packed, completely full.  I got to Bandırma about 8:45.

The first thing I did was to go to the train station to buy a ticket to Selçuk.  Unfortunately the station was closed, because there are only two trains a day out of there, and the last one was long gone.  I did look at the timetable posted outside, and I saw that the next train to İzmir (where I have to go first to get to Selçuk) was at 7:00AM.  So I set out looking for a place to stay.  I found one, a kind of dingy but fairly clean and cheap place.  Right across the street from this hotel was a mosque, which blasted me awake about 5:45AM - not long before the time I had set my alarm for.

The Bandırma İzmir train

I got to İzmir a little after 1PM.  The train from İzmir to Selçuk leaves from a different station than the trains between İzmir and points north, so I had to get from one station to the other.  I still had a bit of a wait.  The train to Selçuk was packed, with people standing.  That's the same train that continues to Denizli, where I am going tomorrow.  I sure hope I don't have to stand for however many hours it takes to get to Denizli.

Selçuk is a pretty city.  Yesterday it was raining, but today it was mostly nice.  The first thing I did today was to go to Ephesus.  The Lonely Planet Guide says that you can walk there from Selçuk but they advise against it, as part of it is a long uphill slog.  So I found the place near the bus station where the taxi drivers sit and await their prey.  They tried to get me to to the "Church of Mary" as well, which I gather is near Ephesus, for a lot more money.  I kept saying no and when I started walking away and then they finally said they would take me to just Ephesus.  The taxi drivers in Selçuk have a very nice deal worked out for themselves.  According to Lonely Planet, there is a local law that prohibits businesses such as hotels from giving their customers free rides to Ephesus.

Looking down the street from my lodging.

This is where I am staying.

Lots of orange trees.

In the town center.

Playing tavla.

Ephesus was incredible as you can see.  The Library of Celsus is the most amazing.  I have lots more pictures which I will post a link to later.

After exiting, I was glad to see that coming back to Selçuk I could get a dolmuş (shared taxi) for a lot less than another taxi.  The dolmuş that runs between Selçuk and Pamucak, a town on the beach, stops at the exit from Ephesus on the way between Selçuk and Pamucak and back.  While waiting, the one heading towards Pamucak came first so I decided to go there for a while.  I wandered around Pamucak and the beach for about half an hour and then went back to Selçuk.

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