At the beginning of May we went for a whistle stop tour of south western Turkey with a couple of friends who were visiting.
First we drove to Efes (Ephesus), an early Roman settlement. We parked at the top car park which meant we had a downhill walk through the site which was full of poppies in full bloom and many other wild flowers.
Pete, Chris and I visited the “hanging” houses which was fascinating. The ruins of these hanging houses have still to be fully excavated.
These houses were constructed as “insulae”, literally islands, and were the forerunners of apartment blocks with courtyards. The ones being restored belonged to upper class Romans. They were abandoned in AD 272 after an earthquake although some of them were occupied by “squatters” for a while afterwards.
The workers in this picture are working on the “largest jigsaw puzzle in the world” and are attempting to piece together the decorated marble wall panels.
They were decorated with beautiful black and white floor mosaics and wall frescoes.
The colours were still vibrant, presumably due to their having been covered up by earth for so many years. One room was decorated with birds,
another had delicate outlines of fences, swags and trees.
Another had panels of solid colour. There was a fabulous mosaic of a lion,
a large one of Neptune and a woman, and two womens heads (the muses, I think).
The great library of Ephesus
the great amphitheatre, holding 24,000 people in its heyday!
pale purple irises, some of my favourite flowering plants graced the entrance to the complex
When we had finished our tour we took a horse-drawn “faeton” carriage (from the English “phaeton”) back to the top carpark thus saving ourselves a long walk back.
We thendrove across country to Denizli and finally to Pamukkale.View from our hotel bedroomwindow of the escarpment showing the white calcium carbonate deposits which have given the place its name of “cotton castle”
(the ugly cyclindrical objects on the house roofs are water tanks)
We had been hoping to watch the sunset and see the colours of Pamukkale changing but by the time we got to the bar at the bottom of the escarpment the sun had already set. We ordered some drinks and started to order our food only to discover that they didn’t have any of the food that we wanted left. It would have been quite funny if we hadn’t all been tired and hungry. We eventually managed to choose something to eat and shortly thereafter returned to the hotel and a welcome bed.