and Carpets -
the Adriatic Sea to Selcuk, Turkey
from Turkey! We made our 60 hour sea-journey and arrived in the
crossroads of humanity. Where east clashed with west. Where Europe ends
and Asia begins.
we bought our tickets, we stressed the fine balance between cheap and
tolerable. Could she please get us the cheapest prone seating we could
get. We feared the airline seating accommodations that we knew existed.
Can you imagine for 60 hours! She said she had just the thing... we were
just not sure exactly what we
of Venice, in a grittier port than expected, we found our ferry. We
spent some time outside, searching in vain for
a pedestrian gangplank to board. We were
finally directed to
rear of the ferry where a long line of cars were
driving slowly into the boat. So,
we lined up sandwiched between two cars and slowly inched forward, laden
down with our packs and looking very funny, I'm sure. When
made it into the garage, we bypassed the parking space and heading up to
level. We handed someone our tickets and we
a strange look in return and were told to
wait. Meanwhile, hoardes of
families were being lead to their rooms on the two upper decks. A couple
of times, some ferry personnel came over to inquire, but went away
stumped after looking at our tickets. Finally, someone came to
lead us to our cabin ... via a
elevator straight to the bottom of the boat!
Reception and Dining was on deck four.
Cabins on deck five and six and rooftop deck on seven. Cars
filled decks two
three. And then there was
us, on deck one next to
engine room and bunking with the crew. Turns out
had a few extra rooms and they were cheap, prone, and private with our
own cabin. Clean
and with the soothing white noise of the
I felt like a first class deckhand in the Navy. The
room had lockers and a miniature bathroom.
was fine and we discovered an
fact. That humans can
when we turned out the lights, we were plunged
complete darkness. Not one
ounce of sunlight
that deeply into the hull of the ship.
day, we would wake in complete darkness and have
concept of what time of day it was. We found
sleeping thirteen and fourteen hours a
night, waking and stumbling out in time to catch the end of
The food was decent, three meals a day (in our
two) and we spent our time at the outdoor bar, soaking up the rays on
second day we passed through a canal in Greece.
was so narrow, they must of greased the side of the
to get it through. At one
point, we did hit the
and it started a small rock slide into the water,
which point the entire boat, which had turned out
watch the crossing, broke into cheers.
All these boats passing through must slowly widen the canal, year after
arrival, we immediately headed to Selcuk, our
destination in Turkey. One
note about the bus
in Turkey. Actually this
applies to many
Turkey we are discovering. Capitalism
has a firm
on the people. There are so
many people selling
many things! When we go to
catch a bus from one
to the next, we find ourselves faced with over
private bus companies, all touting for our
where are you going?
can I help you spend your money?
where are you from?
I know you from somewhere?
are you (english, japanese, german,
Everyone trying to
yell over the next
to my bus company. Buy what
I am selling. Just
a bus ticket can take
forever to decide. At
there can be five or six buses all half filled, pulling out
of the station at the exact same time, going to the same place. Like a
caravan of sorts. There
also no such thing as a direct bus. Anytime there
one seat empty and even when there is not, the bus
stop for any joe standing on the side of
road and pick him up. That
can double the time it
to get anywhere but we are learning to be very
But the night buses are a different story. More on those later.
money here is driving us crazy. 426,000
to the dollar. We are
millionaires here. But things
like drinks cost a million lira. But with the currency so devalues and
the notes in small denominations, a small amount is still a brick of
remarkable Treasury building.
based ourselves in Selcuk to visit the nearby ruins of Ephesus, the most important
city in the Roman Empire, home of
ancient Greek philosopher and a city of unparalleled
and splendor. Today, it is
one of the best
crumblies in the world.
out, Turkey has
a ton of ruins and it is easy to get crumbled out. We
spent a day wandering around the remnants and
of ancient Roman baths, colliseums, temples,
libraries, public bathrooms, and even a
is even an advertisement for the brothel carved
the sidewalk down the street with a picture of a
women, footsteps in the direction of the
and some writing, of the persuasive type, we
Turkey, everything is a bit lax and people
all over the ruins. We even
visited the Temple
Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient
Unfortunately today, it consists of one lone
column in a swampy bog and a picture of what
looked like before it was destroyed.
a word of warning here. You always take a chance anytime you choose a
place to stay, but esp. when you follow a tout from the bus. No doubt,
many of them are honest people who desperately need the business and
touting doesn't automatically make it dishonest. But let the buyer
beware. We followed a tout to a quiet hotel, it seemed nice enough and a
good price. Surely we were lax. We left our packs in the room and it was
obvious to everyone in the hotel that we were heading to the ruins and
would be gone most of the day. Well in an inside job, they went through
our packs, found our secret stash of cash, which was unfortunately
bloated after meeting with the parents and stole it all. It was a hefty
chunk of change that shouldn't all have been there. It was an emergency
fund in case our money belts were forecefully separated from us. It
still felt pretty violating and we threatened and huffed and puffed but
to no avail. We spent one last sleepless night, already paid for, haha...and
hightailed the next morning. You live and learn.
and out, good buddies
index | back