1471-72: First Turkish Delights

1471:  No Bad Luck in Cesme

Friday 13th March 

We both ran – the first time for quite a while that we both had the urge.  Well, we urged each other on … slowly.  After breakfast in our very quiet parking; only one car where a chap came to admire the sea for all of 5 minutes before disappearing.  We made friends with the local wild dogs, and fed the skinny girl dog, who had obviously recently had puppies.  She then joined us on our run.  

We parked just outside Cesme and walked in … the main purpose was to pay for use of motorways and toll bridges. We don’t particularly intend to use them, but you can so easily end up sucked onto one before you know it … and there are a few we may end up having to use around Istanbul.  In the PTT I presented the V5 and J’s passport , 3 people translating the V5 … a form duly filled in and TL65 (just over £8) was paid.  I am not sure how long the credit on this will last. Being 2 axles, we are Class B.  When we have free wifi from somewhere, I will see if there is a web site so we can track the credit.  

We are being VERY cautious with our data. Both my phone and the mifi are with Three, which does not cover Turkey in its free roaming destinations.  I’ve cancelled the mifi contract.  With the ability to hotspot abroad, it is no longer needed.  This is 40gb we now don’t have to use.  James’ Vodafone contract is 60GB for £20 … their T&Cs state that this is capped at 25GB … so this is what we are using.

Business done, we wandered the streets, socking up the flavour of a new continent and country.  Before we knew it, it was time for lunch.  So we had a meatballs, salad and chicken kebab … served with tomato rice, a few chips, tomato and a grilled green pepper.  Tasty and the total bill was £12.55 – we think that this was tourist prices too!

I was delighted to be back in a country where ice cream seems to be available all year (Greece does not facilitate my ice cream addiction).  So pudding … nut and coffee flavours was ordered … 2 big scoops in a cone for £1.10.  I dived straight in … weird texture … slightly chewy.  Salep, the powder of a common orchid bulb gives it an elastic texture and it doesn’t melt as quickly.  I found I had to bite into it.  When J and had an ice cream the next day, we ordered it in a cup, but found it hard to use the spoon to cut into it … I managed better than J, who gave up … no prizes for guessing who finished his!  Flavours good though, but easier to eat in a cone.

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Near the marina in Cesme.

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Overnight in the bus turning circle with a sign that we risked being towed away!

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Oscar slightly suspicious of the girlie.

1472:  Selcuk

Saturday 14th March 

We had an easy day … we parked up just outside the town by the Basilica of St John … free we were told by someone trying to sell us a guide book.  I wandered around the massive Saturday market; household, tools, carpets, head scarves and rows of super fresh food.  Honey from an elderly leathered man, who carefully wrapped the large jar in newspaper … this is one fo the best I’ve ever tasted.  Someone else told me we should always buy from old people as it is the genuine article from villages.  An abortive search for a laundrette … apparently these are pretty rare so we also bought a large tub with a lid … looks like I’ll be back to hand washing and using the twin tub more sparingly as it uses a fair amount of water.  Though we did fill up at the petrol station – diesel and water.

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The wide sandy beach where we will have spent 3 nights.  Busy with locals picnics and BBQs.  We’d read that rubbish is a problem and recycling a VERY new initiative (still to find a recycling bin) and in the mornings, all to picnic rubbish was neatly left in piles or tied up in bags on the sand … and yes that is a bin you can see.  And the bins are emptied daily.

After lunch in the van, we (and CO2) explored St John’s Basilica and the Aysuluk Fortress.  A combined ticket includes these, the Ephesus Museum, Ephasus itself and its Terraced Houses … £46.40 for both of us. 


We had to wait for this fellow to cross the path … CO2 fascinated by its progress.  A chap trying to sell us Roman coins, laughed that the Turks like to eat them as a kebab … LOL


The fortress by the Roman site.


Basilica of St John: c.527 was destroyed by earthquakes and attackers.  The Apostle John is believed to have visited twice, once with the Virgin Mary, as Jesus had entrusted his mother to John’s care.  It is also said that he wrote his gospel whilst on this hill.  This tomb C4th supposedly contains some of his relics and is why the basilica was built here.


Full immersion?


Lots of signs that the work was undergoing restoration, but wonder if they know where these and lots of other piles fit?  But a certain charm as a site as it had not been over restored!


This Church was given money to become a small museum of artefacts on 2007 …. think the money might have run dry – still no entry.


Looking down onto Isa Bey Camii.

We had our first proper Turkish coffee and got chatting to a Frenchman.  He was on a sabbatical for a year and coming to the end of his pilgrimage to walk, yes – walk, to lots of religious sites.  He only started using transport when he was in Greece.  We bumped into him again in Ephesus and he plans to visit the museum, when we are too.

A knock as the door when we were back at our sandy over night spot.  Lisa and Danny are several months into their year off to travel to Mongolia in their Landy with a roof top tent.  Coffee led to wine, and then some more … both J and I felt a touch poisoned next morning, but we drank more than they did!  When will we learn?

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