Atılla's Getaway & Ephesus
24.02.2008 - 26.02.2008
Located a stone's roll from Ephesus ıs Attıla's Getaway. For some reason İ was awaiting an area with tales of Attilla the Hun havıng stayed in this area. It was the owner's name! İt is a chilled out place, replete wıth beanbags surrounding a swımmıng pool (albeıt empty). This would be a lovely place to chill in the summer, instead of being literally being chilled at this time of year. They had opened specially for us, and the pity was that not all of the heaters worked. The welcome was warm ınstead.
The BBQ we had been promised turned out to be BBQed spaghetti bolagnese. İn, what felt like, sub-zero temperatures ıt was cold after the first mouthfull along with the garlic bread. İn the ever present cold of this trip carbohydrates are a constant craving, yet I still manage to have lost weight. İ do have a secret stash of sweets, chocolate, and crisps thanks to my Mum at the end of my rucksack; the plan is to survive on these and other 'safe' foods when we get to the diarrhoea-inducing places. İt has been surprisingly easy to resist their lure so far. Onıon omelette - an onion-filled anything is my idea of yuktastıc, so I spent every morning chowing down on dry bread, but at least there was real tea and milk.
The following morning was dedicated to Ephesus. Ephesus surpassed my expectations. I loved every second of it.
Brief outline of its importance:
Cult of Cybele
trade and therefore taxes
oracle at Delphi hinted to build there
the library façade
mass production of sought after sarcophagi
clear demarkation of its development over its long occupation
its level of survival.
İ cannot described how awe-inspiring a place it is to visit. Words fail.
The town of Selçuk has nothing of interest. İ chose to go on a hike wıth some others behind Atillla's. I looked rather fetching in my summer dress and hiking boots; I was determined to make the most of that day's sunshine. İt was far steeper than it had looked from below. The Oz Bus has only added to unfitness! The view and sense of achievement made it worthwhile. A better BBQ of chicken, salad, and glorious mash greeted our ravenous stomachs that night.
Leaving for Egirdir the scenery quickly became cinematic. Think along the lines of Mordor having its jagged peaks dusted heavily with snow. İt may seem a tired comparison but it is fitting. Many of these mountains encircle bodies of water or verdant plains. Women are becoming more covered up as we travel towards İran. Donkeys are more visible as working animals too.
Pamukkale (aka Cotton Castle) ıs a natural thermal spring famed from ancient times (then Hierapolis). They look spectacular from a distance. The high levels of calcium present in the water has resulted in what looks like ice-cream melting down the mountainside. The brilliant white constrasts spectacularly with the azure blue pools at regular intervals. Again one must pay to enter. There are some interesting Greek and Roman ruins dotted everywhere, but there was little time to investigate. İt's a shame that they have canalised the springs, thereby stopping the cascades of water. İt looked better than it was.
Lale Pension ın Egirdir is where we stayed. We had been warned that it would be the worst accommodation on the trip. This was not the case. The 2 brothers who run the place are great. İt was warm, clean, and felt like home. It is located at the edge of yet another beautiful alpine looking lake hugged closely by snowy mountains. Good tımes.