Date: May 2, 2004
Cities: Patmos, Kusudasi, Ephesus
Patmos on a Sunday morning is a very quiet
place. Patmos was given autonomous status as a religious enclave, and
everyone was in church except the launch crews and the bus
drivers. The debarkation for Patmos took about an hour in total, out
of about three hours in port. We were glad not to have signed up for
this excursion. Jane got several shots of the picturesque village,
motor launches, and a sailboat while we were at anchor.
The Ephesus trip was entirely worth while. The site was
extensive and the individual buildings were spectacular. There were
many mosaics to see both on the streets and in the buildings. Ephesus
will soon have a portion of the city under cover in a museum to
protect the buildings and art from damage by the elements. The roofed
structure was nearly complete, but not yet open. It will protect the
mosaics and some extant frescoes in the houses of the wealthy.
Because of the location of Ephesus along trade routes, the city has
been rebuilt at least five times. Our guide Can (pronounced John in
Turkish) told us about the various periods of development and the
natural and political disasters which befell the city. Can was
amusing, and big as a bear, er... Allan. He has been a guide for 16
years, specializing in round-trip tours of Turkey.
The rug talk in Kusudasi was interesting, but the rugs
themselves were about the same prices as at home. The Turks prefer
dollars and euros because they have high inflation. The inflation rate
has made real estate investment quite popular, so there is a lot of
recent development in the city. Kusudasi is a resort town as well as a
port, and has several large water parks along the highway.
Turkish customs didn't stamp our passports, so we only had Athens,
Pireas and Patmos stamps. Patmos authorities stamped everyone's
passports while we were in their harbor. Turkish authorities took the
passorts ashore, but didn't stamp them. Eirini said there is an
agreement between the Greeks and Turks about not officially
acknowledging day trip arrivals.
When we re-boarded the Triton there was a Holland America Lines ship
across the pier from us. To say ship is to belittle the city which was
parked there. There were thousands of cabins visible, and the ship was
at least ten stories tall above the water line. The ship had a
basketball court on the top deck, surrounded and roofed by chain-link
fence to keep the balls from falling overboard.
We were both glad to be on a ship where you could explore the whole
of it in a day, and find your way back to your cabin reliably. Jane
might have preferred the stability of the bigger ship, but Allan
enjoyed feeling the sea as we travelled. We re-packed that evening and
got ready to go, but Jane's anti-grinding mouth piece fell and broke
just before bed time. It was the only real loss we suffered on the