Turkey, part 3 1998

Turkey, continued

06/02/98

Selcuk

Yesterday we checked into a hotel ($16) and spent the day just walking and hanging about, reading, etc.

Today we visited Selcuk, also called Ephesus V, the fifth and final site of the town of Ephesus.  It is named for the Selcuks, who were a tribe from Central Asia, as were the Turks, perhaps from the area now called Turkistan.  We got a ride here from one of the guys at the hotel, another example of Turkish hospitality.  Part of his job it to meet tourist boats to get people to come and stay at the hotel.

The Basilica of St. John is here. Emperor Justinian is credited with building the Basilica, 527-565 A.D.  It is in ruins but if restored would be the 7th largest cathedral in the world.  You can clearly see the outlines of the building.

Also in this town is the Church of Mary, also called the Double Church.  It is called the latter because two churches have been built on the same site.  Here in 431 the third Ecumenical Council was held. The main issue was whether Mary bore a man or God.  The church decided that Jesus was both man and God. In 449, this position was negated and the position of the Nestors adopted; Jesus was just God.  In 451, in the Council of Chalcedon in Istanbul, the church reverted to the
position adopted in 431, and so it remains.

While we were walking around, a young man offered to sell us some coins, which he said were very old.  I asked him why he did not sell them to the Ephesus museum.  He said they would not pay him anything. We declined his offer.  It is illegal to remove antiquities and we had not way of knowing if what he found was of any value.

There is a Selcuk castle from the early days but it is closed for visits.

On our way out of town we passed children and women carrying loads of oregano on their backs in heavy cloths.   There are lots of tractors in the fields and on the roads.  Grapes, figs, peaches, strawberries, wheat and other crops abound not only in the fields but in people’s yards and gardens.  It is early in the season but we can already seethe small fruits growing.

There are many carpet shops but far less hustling here.  Same with restaurants.  Only one guy approached us, smiling as if seeing a longlost friend.  We know the routine now- don’t look or respond unless you want to have to spend time talking.

We are leaving tomorrow (Weds).  First we fly to Istanbul.  We stay overnight there.  We fly to Bucharest Thursday.  I feel a toothache coming on.

06/03/98

To Izmir and Istanbul

In the morning we took the Dolmus to Izmir Airport.  The Dolmus drops passengers off about a mile from the terminal.  I guess not too many people using the Dolmus go to the airport.  There was a sidewalk part of the way, but the rest of the time we shared the road with cars and trucks whirring past at high speeds, Turkish style (pedal to the metal).

The flight is only about an hour.  We fly over the Bosforo, and are afforded a great view of the whole region, including Istanbul.

The airport bus takes us into the old town for less than $1 each, taking 45 minutes to do so, including time for a traffic jam.  We went to the travel agent to get the bag we left behind and to return the book we borrowed.  They were happy to let us try to connect to the internet.  No luck.  I think that the physical connection into their line was not good.

We found a cheap hotel nearby.  It turned out to be noisy.  No matter. I could not sleep due to the raging toothache.  I know this pain.  I need a root canal.  Our dentist friends Jaime and Maria Eugenia in Madrid told me that I had a suspicious looking tooth that should be treated when we get back to the states.  I figure that they were wrong only in how long it would take before it erupted.

The last (and only other) time I went to Eastern Europe, we were in Budapest when the same kind of pain got so bad that we left after a few hours.  We went to Vienna, arriving on a Saturday night.  Sunday morning, Grandma, in whose room we were staying, found us a dentist. The dentists in Vienna take turns covering the off-hours.  For $250, I got my root canal done.  Well, am I going to have to go to Vienna again?  But this time, I’ll have to go by plane, since Vienna is no
longer just four hours away by train.  Or will I find a dentist who can do the work in the little towns of Romania?  We are skipping
Bucharesti.

I must be nuts for agreeing to go to Romania when I knew I was going to have dental work done.  I knew that taking antibiotics was unlikely to work.  I have tried that before without success.  Lucky thing I refused to go to Bulgaria.

(end of Turkey entrie

About Gary Kirkpatrick

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