It’s Wed AM, April 22, as I write this, and we are in Ku?adasi, a port city west of Ephesus and South-west of Izmir, which is the big city in the area.

Every time we have asked in the smaller (50,000 people here in Ku?adasi, less than half that up in Selcuk, where we stayed Monday, which is much more manageable and typical for us) places where we can purchase something—a lens cap, Sudoku books, etc., we are directed to Izmir.

Yesterday we went to Efes (Ephesus) which is another Greek, then Roman, city here on the coast almost 2 Km long. There weren’t the cemeteries that dominated the lower part of Hierapolis up at Pamukkale, but there were some great ruins and (here’s the down-side) maybe 75 tour busses by the time we left.

In spite of the tour busses and the little tour groups they issued into the place, often with some distinctive clothing: hot-pink rain ponchos, yellow or red hats, bright-red shirts, and local guides using any of a half-dozen different languages, we were there early enough to get some pictures of the big sites (library, theater, the main street) with almost no people in them.

If you go there, go early, hit the upper gate when the place opens, and stroll along all the way to the bottom. The majority of the busses park at the top, so if you can get in ahead of them, and stay just ahead of them, the place is yours, which is pretty special.

The light wasn’t all that great: pretty total overcast skies, so the light was pretty flat— flattering for some portraits (no shadows), but not as good for market shots where you want more, rather than less, character in the faces.

There are, of course, the normal poppy shots, although I will report here officially that I was not the only serious photographer at Efes yesterday lying on the ground or walking off through the weeds to get good close-up shots of poppies. . . . .

And here’s a pictures of one of the more important municipal buildings— but I had to quickly walk to the upper end of the site (emphasis on quickly), temporarily turn in my little audio player (“Push 123 to learn more about the library”), arrange to come back in through a special gate, go out the upper end of the site, and pay about $.31 (damn happy to pay at that point), rather than just scare the hell out of the clutch of German tourists with their bright green scarves. . . . .

And with parking for 100 tour busses at the top end of Efes, and 40 or so at the bottom (people generally get dropped off at the top and picked up at the bottom) there is the normal gauntlet of souvenir stands at both places.

No Native American bows and arrows or headdresses, as at Troy, but they do have some really great stuff.

Here’s the sign for one of the stands:

Originally written for Two Minutes in Turkey

posts by Robert