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Wednesday, 7-Jul-2010 12:00
...Turkey's delights...5 - Izmir / Ephesus / Seljuk



D tour that we hopped on will take us to visit some of d western as well as d central parts of Turkey. It is a tailor-made 5-day tour that will take us on a flight from Istanbul [1] to Izmir [2], then a bus to Denizli [3], followed by an overnite bus to Cappadocia [4] and finally a flight back to Istanbul. Interestingly d buses used in transporting us between d cities are normal public transportation bus...n not a tour bus. Our tour started early today @ 5.15am with a transfer service from Nippon Hotel to d airport


this is Izmir, our 1st stop after our flight from Istanbul...a nice town situated right next to d Aegean Sea...but no time to frolicking on d beach as we have a full day ahead of us to visit a number of historical attractions...


we 1st headed to d House of Virgin Mary [Maryam] located in a nature park between Ephesus and Seljuk...believed to be the last residence of the Virgin Mary. A Christian shrine can be found attached to d house n this is considered as a sacred site for them.


U can see d 'prayer wall' behind us on the way to the House of the Virgin...basically they write down their doa on a white paper n stick it onto d wall


d house is located @ d top of a hill n on d way there a statute has been erected...probably as another tourist attractions...or for a foto op


our next stop is d ancient Greeks/Roman city of Ephesus established in 3rd/4th century. As u can see...there r many many tourists on site so u really need to manoeuvre nimbly between d bodies. We r on d former Main Street of d city n in d olde days they must be lots of businesses operating along d road...kalau ada kedai mamak kan best!! BTW...d streets r made of marble as this material can be found in abundance locally n it is long-lasting.


another advanced feature of d city was d availability of d proper drainage n sewer system. D above is a common public toilet...where businessmen, politicians n whats not would discuss contemporary issues and gossips while buang air...hhmm...must be one smelly meeting...huhu


one of d main features of Ephesus is d facade of the Library of Celsus...this could be an example of ancient green building as it faces east so the reading rooms receive the morning light


in addition, they also some sort of planning guidelines...as each city must have a theatre that can accommodate at least 10% of d city's population...n d one above served d people of Ephesus


it was quite a walk from one end of d city to another...penat gak la n must be lots of calories burned. Anyway, as in any well-known tourist attractions world wide, u can also find d above right after exiting d ancient city of Ephesus. But...at least they r thinking green by using low-energy bulbs...hihi


after a lunch break @ a local restaurant [included in d tour package...yey!!], we went to visit Artemis temple next...but most parts of d building has been destroyed in one of d wars many centuries ago...n now only 1 column left intact [in d background]


then we visited a silk carpet factory...with a demo by a local girl on how to weave d carpet...


...n later to a pottery factory...everything was hand-made...including individually painting each piece of d pottery


our final stop on d tour was d Isabey Masjid.. a beautiful example of Seljuk Turkish architecture in an atmospheric location n oldest known example of a Turkish masjid with a courtyard. D masjid was built in 1375 at the direction of the Emir of Aydin with columns and stones from the ruins of the city of Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis were incorporated into the building...talk about recycle!! D lady in red was our guide, Gonja, who was quite lively n has done her homework well on facts of d sites we visited


n d dewan solat of d masjid...u may notice that d top of d columns r of different designs as they were recycled from elsewhere. Afterwards both of us were taken to a bus station for our onward journey onto Denizli. Unfortunately d bus was air-condless n only small top windows r openable...paneh den.

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