What’s that in Euros?

The Celsus Library at Ephesus

The Celsus Library at Ephesus

Oh you’re back…

Well, hello again… You are a glutton for punishment, aren’t you?!

I’m wondering if I should explain the titles of this pair of blogs… Would that be an insult to your intelligence? Ok, very briefly then… We were advised before we flew out to convert our Sterling to Turkish Lira when we got there as we’ll get a better rate… So we did, only to find that everywhere we went for the first three days everything was priced in Euros… and that some of the people serving us weren’t too happy about receiving Lira… Something to do with the exchange rate probably… So yes, practically everything was 3Euro… Wanna coffee? 3Euro… Wanna Photo? Only 3Euro… Beer? That’ll be 3Euro… I’m sorry, what’s that in Lira? Oh I see, so 3Euro here is 9Lira but over in that shop it’s 11Lira… or in that one it’s 12Lira…

So anyway, the Lira soon ran out so to the ATM we go… why thank you Mr Money Machine I would rather get Euros s opposed to Lira because nobody seems to like Lira in this country… even if it is the state currency… and now we don’t feel like we are causing people problems in the shops… until the day after Ephesus that is…. Because now everywhere we go the prices are in Lira!!! We just can’t bloody win :/ 🙂 Oh the joy of trying to pay for something priced at 2Lira with a 50Euro note…

Oh and absolutely everywhere had a tipbox… not a subtle little plate discreetly next to the till with a nice “thank you” card… No, a bloody great big box with TIP BOX emblazoned across it in bright letters… even the WCs had them… and some people got quite miffed if you didn’t “contribute”… But honestly, it got silly… I’ve just paid 2Euros for a cold “nescafe” and you want me to pay half as much again to let some of it out again? Yes, I know I sound like a grumpy old git… You have read these things before haven’t you?

Well there you go, that got the rant out of the way… Shall we get back to the trip? I know, whadya say we have a photo or two?… yeah I thought you’d like that… Here you go then…

I can't remember who's temple this is...

I can’t remember who’s temple this is…

It was this one where the urge to shout "Splitter" became overwhelming ;)

It was this one where the urge to shout “Splitter” became overwhelming 😉

The Odium/theatre from the distance

The Odium/theatre from the distance

So where did we get to? [Oh I don’t know… Maybe you should look at the photos… Might give you some idea…]

{Oh, So you’ve decided to contribute to this one have you?}

[Yes well, I think you need the help… Did you read the last one? Honestly it was like a Jacob’s Cracker for the eyes…]

{Are you trying to suggest it was a little dry?}

[Dry? Dry?! No, not really… not when compared to… I don’t know… maybe the Sahara… but then it has been known to rain in the Sahara]

{Why do I put up with you?}

[Because I’m cheap and you’re tight…]

{Mooooving on…} Did you like those shots of things around Ephesus? Good, I highly recommend a visit… We are going to have to go back… There is a covered area in the centre of town that we didn’t get a chance to go into… for a couple of reasons… one, it cost extra and it was a day when we were between funds… and two, we were running late and knowing what was inside would’ve meant they would probably had to leave me there…

Right, so we did the whole Romano-Turkish bit with Ephesus (and believe me, I took a lot more shots than just those shown here) and so we back onto the coach for a quick trip to the other side of town to visit the Basilica of one of the St Johns (don’t ask which one… I know I can look it up but really, there are so many of them and considering they were all pretty much “pagan” shrines/temples appropriated by the early Christian churches as a way to increase their numbers, I’ll leave you to “ProprietarySearchEngine” it yourself if you wish)

I must admit though, the trip wasn’t without incident…  First I found this…

It's a game of Nine Mens Morris carved into the doorstep

It’s a game of Nine Mens Morris carved into the doorstep

and then we witnessed a tractor-driver gouge a groove into the side of a pillar with his trailer… Admittedly he didn’t mean to do it but he didn’t seem that bothered by it either… Nor did the official that was supposed to be supervising his work… Alanis Morrisette would’ve said it was Ironic considering the trailer he was towing was filled with cement and marble sheets that were being set in place around the bases of pillars and the bottom of walls to prevent further damage by the elements and tourists… Suffice to say, our tour guide was NOT happy, the gouge and the driver are now reported to the relevant offices…

Oh yeah, and I got pestered around half the site by a local chap trying to sell me something… Most annoying!!! But not for the obvious reasons…

Anyway, moving[*Cough*]

{What?}

[Well?]

{“Well?” What?}

[Reasons? You can’t just leave your reader hanging… They want details… They’ve given up on coherence and narrative structure but you can at least give them conclusions to statements]

{Yeah, but if I give all my reasons some people might get offended or upset}

[Not your problem… ~*ahem* please be very careful how you phrase this… Legal ~ Wellll, what I mean is, you are trying to be honest with these things and ]

{Oh doesn’t he go on? If you want the reasons I’ll give them but I warn you, it will only be me ranting again…}

Actually the most annoying thing about it was the way that he kept claiming to be an archaeologist working on the site and that he had permission to sell the “trinket”… Well you can imagine my reaction to that… Secondly, in trying to sell it to me, he described what it was incorrectly… “look mate, if you want to sell this thing, know what it is you are selling and don’t make up attributions to it simply because it came from this site…”

Besides, it was a figure of a dead bloke attached to some sort of man-made tree… Not very inspiring if you ask me…

Just a stones throw away from Johny’s place is our next “attraction”… The Mosque of (If we were told we don’t remember…) Quite nice actually… peaceful like…Which, when you think on it, is what you want from a place of worship… I mean, I’m not saying the Invisible Beard In The Sky can’t hear you when it’s noisy~Quick, get in here!! He’s gone into his anti-religion mode~[Can’t you do anything?]~No. He know’s it’s not illegal to challenge religious beliefs~[Oh Alright, let me through… I’ll sort this… Now how does this work?… Ah this goes here… that does that… and…

Voila!!! ]{Surely you mean: Viola!}[No, I mean; Voila!! It's French for... er... Voila!!]

Voila!!! ]{Surely you mean: Viola!}[No, I mean; Voila!! It’s French for… er… Voila!!]

Right… so… yeah… After lunch and we find ourselves in what has been described as a medieval village that was “discovered” in the 1960s by the “Artistic” community… In our heads on the way there are images of Bohemian cafés, interesting people and some unique artwork, sculpture and/or clothing options… What do we get? See above… Say’s it all really…

Oh and we had a “wine tasting” which was nice… if you can call a surgical spirit and cough syrup blend “wine”…

We don’t really mind that this is only a short excursion… and so back to the hotel…

What day is it now? Where are we going today?

Oh yeah, today is the hidden gem of our trip… Aphrodisias 🙂

For those that are interested in these things Aphrodisias was the centre of excellence in the Roman world for marble carving… and believe me, the evidence is there right in front of you as you walk through the turnstile…  Wanna see some?

Our Hero getting up close and personal with the marble

Our Hero getting up close and personal with the marble

 

Look at the artistry on that!!

Look at the artistry on that!!

For those that call the little island off the Eastern edge of Europe "home" this image may be quite upsetting... It's to commemorate the defeat of Britannia by Claudius Ceaser

For those that call the little island off the Eastern edge of Europe “home” this image may be quite upsetting… It’s to commemorate the defeat of Britannia by Claudius Caesar

I mean, honestly, look at these pieces… they truly are sublime… If you take my advice ~careful!~ you’d go… When you do go, take the time to explore the museum on site… Yes the stadium there is beautiful and awe-inspiring…

Aphrodisias Stadium

Aphrodisias Stadium

and the baths are also pretty nifty, if not as complete as the Agora… But the museum!!! Oh yeah… In the museum you get to see this…

This is just a tiny part of the collection...

This is just a tiny part of the collection…

Again, we didn’t have nearly enough time to fully appreciate even half of what’s on offer…

But before we head back to the coach there is just time to nip into the little shop…

I always make time to visit the little shop… well, you never know if you’ll bump into the mad-man with the blue box…

This visit does lead to our Hero’s second “KickYourself” moment, as well as purchasing LSA’s latest favourite earrings, a selection of fridge magnets are included in the “How much is that in Euros?”

Said earrings are admired and attached while fridge magnets are glanced at and popped into man-bag without a second thought…

That little unconscious gesture will haunt me for the rest of our trip… That evening, as I am preparing for bed I find that my eReader has thrown a wobbly!!! Oh Glod! No!! Oh By The Great God Om! Please Work!!! Anoia!! Blind Io!! OFFLER!!!! NOOooooooOOooooo, my book is dead… it’s dead… my lovely book thing is no more… (see what happens when you put a selection of decorative fridge magnets right next to your fancy electronic library? Word of advice… Don’t do it!)

Let’s see… Three days of left trip… eReader dead (or, at the very least, going slightly mad)… phone with about 19% power… no access to English language books… This could all go horribly wrong…

Oh well, onto the Pamukkale Thermal Pools… which are very pretty but not really on my “must see” list for this trip… even if it does have the ruins of a Roman Era town on the upper plateau…

Our Tour Guide has gone above and beyond this evening and arranged an evening at a local “Whirling Dervishes” performance… Not that it’s real… welllll when I say that, the whirling was real but the Dervishes are now ordanary blokes who perform an Islamic inspired version of a Shamanistic meditative technique… Spiritually calming is the only way to describe it…

OK, the next couple of days are spent doing the “Right, you’ve had your fun, now it’s time to pay the piper” thing… And we do… We visit a Rug Making Co-operative, A BIG jewellery store and a leather fashion house… we spend money in each… Things are winding now… We’ve covered quite a few miles over the Turkish countryside… and now we traverse the Taurus Mountains on our way back to Antalya… Beautiful scenery, nice coffee breaks and we are back into the metropolis…

Actually I used a little poetic licence there… we visited the jewellery and leather “houses”  after we got back to Antalya… And then we had a couple of hours to kill in the Old Town… though honestly this next photo is my favourite view of the area…

Believe me the place looks much better from up here...

Believe me the place looks much better from up here…

Though you could get some interesting purchases within it’s winding, ramshackle streets …

Speaks for itself really...

Speaks for itself really…

And there you have it…

That was I final day…

All there is left for us now is our Turkish Night Out…

But first I’ll just sit in the lobby of this airport hotel for about an hour waiting for my phone to charge in one of those “charge your phone here stacks of cable filled boxes”… There is no way I’m going to be flying back to Blighty at 5 am without some music to drown out the sardine packed humanity…

Our Hero and Lone Support Angel showing off their geek cred

Our Hero and Lone Support Angel showing off their geek cred

I absolutely love this piece...

I absolutely love this piece…

We enjoyed our night out a lot more than the 1 am wake up call…

We enjoyed our 1 am wake up call more than our four and a half hour flight… We got a free “nescafe” on the flight… We got a cab from the airport… the same driver that took us to the airport a week before…

Within an hour of stepping over the threshold of our little flat I am full of tea and memories… My phone on charge and my eReader rebooting… And that’s it…

Thank you for your patience and endurance… As usual, say what you like in the comments, though any questions asked may be ignored or dealt with in a flippant manner dependant on my mood 😉

Peace y’all

 

 

 

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