Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Welcome to Kusadasi

Get ready to Bargain when you start to shop... Bought a shirt and when got back aboard the cruise ship, another person had same shirt but they got it for less.

From the city of Kusadasi, travel back into ancient times at Ephesus (one of the most fascinating archaeological sites available to the modern day traveler.

The beautifully restored ruins are so evocative, it is easy to imagine the days when Ephesus was the capital of Asia Minor and a major commercial center. View teh marvelous facade of the Library of Celius with its graceful columns and porticoes. Climb the steps to the top of the Great Theater and imagine yourself in the audience when St. Paul made his famous speech to the Ephesians.

You can even visit several of Christendom's most holy sites. The house where Mary, the mother of Jesus, spent her last days and teh Basilica marking the tomb of John, Jeasus' most beloved disciple, are held in veneration by Christian pilgrims from around the world.

a few years ago, Kusadasi looked like any other sleepy fishing village. There were only a few buildings of note. Casillo de Santa Catalina, a Genoese castle dating from the 13th century, was later used as a base by the pirate Barbarossa and his brothers.

The local Bazaar has also grown to be one of Turkey's largest markets for leather goods, jewelry and oriental rugs. Only the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is bigger. The entire town has been transformed into a center for tourists, with access to Ephesus and the entire Ionian coast.

A visit to Ephesus will put you in touch with some of this area's most stunning ancient ruins. There is an Odeon, or small theater, with a capacity of 1,400. It was also used for public meetings of the city council. The Magnesian Gate and Town Hall are near at hand.

The impressive Library of Celsus stands at the foot of the main street. Its stately two level facade is being carefully restored. The interior walls were designed to display 12,000 scrolls in niches, which protected them the humidity. The Temples of Domitian and Hadrian are impressive and the Great Theater (which is still in use) seats 25,000 spectators.

Harbor street - also known as the Arcadian Way - connected the port district with the center of town. Beautiful colonnades on both sides and marble pavement made a dazzling first impression on visiting dignitaries. It was one of the rare ancient streets to be lit by lamps at night.

Even in the abandoned state, Ephesus remains an awe-inspiring city, in an amazing setting. The Ionians lived well and wisely. Even those who live in great luxury today must tip their hats to these imaginative people.

Throughout Turkey, bargaining is expected. As a general rule of thumb, start at about 60 percent of the asking price and be prepared to pay about 75 percent. You will find good buys in: Alabaster and Onyx: A wide variety of uniquely carved objects Pottery hand-painted Kutahya pieces
Clothing: Authentic and modern outfits, slippers and leather goods
Jewelry: colorfully handcrafted necklaces, bracelets and earrings
Carpets and Textiles: beautiful designs in all shapes and sizes

The food in Turkey can be a real pleasure, especially if you like seafood. A few recommendations:
Athopot Salatasi: a cold octopus salad, often with shrimps, tossed in olive oil, vinegar and parsley
Dolma: The general name for a variety of stuffed dishes, one of the best being mussels stuffed with rice, pine nuts and currants
Grilled Fish: Try palamut (baby tuna), lufer (bluefish) and levrek (sea bass)

Drink specialities: the national drink is raki, which is similar to Greek ouzo, made from grapes and aniseed. There are also a number of good local wins in Turkey. They are:
Villa Doluca: white and red
Kavaklidere: white and red

suggested tipping is 10 percent for good service

Thank you................Tesekkur ederim

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