We didn't think that a day trip to Turkey would really give us a taste of Turkey so we decided to stay overnight a few miles from Ephesus in the town of Selcuk. Our choice of accommodation at Nazar Hotel & Pension could not have been better. A lovely courtyard garden and wonderfully cooling swimming pool provided an oasis of calm and tranquillity during our hot visit. Our breakfast and dinner was served on the roof-top terrace, overlooking the citadel and gave us a birds eye view of this regular, residential neighbourhood.
Most of the homes seemed to have buntings of drying peppers and aubergine heads draped across balconies or rooftop living areas. The children had the run of the streets and could be seen chasing each other around until late into the night. Opposite the hotel, a lady moved her living room into the street in the evening, as it was much cooler there, and sat on a carpet surrounded by her comforts. Our 'real' taste of local life came at 4am when we were woken by someone walking around the streets banging a huge drum. I thought it strange that no one was leaning out of the windows, telling the drummer to stop, but all was explained to us in the morning. It was Ramadan during our visit and in the residential areas it is the custom for a drummer to wake everyone up an hour before sunrise so that they could eat and pray before the days fast started. He did a very good job, and we were glad that we were only going to experience it for just one night!
Selcuk is home to the Ephesus Museum which was unfortunately closed when we were there as it is being extended and refurbished. Instead, we visited St. John's Basilica, built upon the alleged site of St. John's tomb in the 5th century AD. St. John is said to have come to Ephesus twice, once between AD 37 & 48 with the Virgin Mary, and again at the end of his life when he wrote his gospel on Ayasuluk Hill in Selcuk.
Next door to the Basilica is the mosque of Isa Bey Camii, built in 1375 and undergoing restoration. The interior garden of the mosque was a very tranquil and shady place to rest while we admired the building and Islamic stone tablets.
Running east west through Selcuk is the impressive remains of a Byzantine aqueduct, which today serves as handy nesting spots for storks, who return to the same spot year after year to lay their eggs.
After one last dip in the pool, we collected our bags and caught a dolmus 'minibus' back to Kusadasi to catch our ferry back to Samos and reflect upon all that we had seen and done in just 2 days.
For photos CLICK HERE
1 day ferry Samos/Kusadasi 38 euros pp. Open return 40-45 euros pp.
Kusadasi port entrance tax 10 euros pp (you have to pay this again to leave if you stay overnight).
Turkish Visa 15 euros pp. (not needed for a day trip)
Organised trip from Kusadasi to Ephesus with entrance ticket & guide 20 euros pp.
Nazar Hotel 45 euros per night including breakfast. Evening meal 10 euros pp.
errraced Houses entrance 15TL pp.