Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ephesus etal

Our next stop on the cruise was Kusadasi in Turkey - my first chance to see anything in Asia. We took a grueling all-day bus excursion that started with a trip Ephesus to see the House of the Virgin Mary and the remains of the city itself.  That part of the expedition was clouded by the plight of the fellow tourist who collapsed in the heat and by the Turkish Delight vendor who circled my sister like a giant wasp, but we enjoyed the ancient library and the plethora of feral cats inhabiting the ruins.  (Apparently it used to be dogs, but when the authorities rounded those up the cats moved in to fill the void.)  We also saw a museum and the Church of St. John, had a fabulous multi-course lunch on the veranda of a luxury hotel where we were entertained by a troupe of traditional local dancers (dressed, despite the heat, in what looked like wool felt, poor dears), and ended at a rug shop in Kusudasi.  Actually, to call the place a rug "shop" is a bit of a misnomer.  The family-owned business occupies a building several stories high and also sells jewelry and other luxury items.  They served us refreshments, let us watch demonstrations by a carpet weaver and one of the last people alive who spins silk thread by hand, and showed us an incredible number of beautiful carpets.  Sue and I both weakened and each of us bought a rug - but, hey, the Turkish government (supporting the local handicrafts) paid the sales tax and duty and shipped them for free, so how could we resist?

House of the Virgin Mary
Church of St. John
Turkish dancer
Spinning silk

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