Ephesus is the oldest city in the world (circa 8,000 BC) and the final resting place of Madonna; the mother of Christ, not the pop star (I cannot help myself making that joke). (seriously, I've heard this joke at least 4 times now) Selcuk is the nearest town to Ephesus. We spent three nights there which is 2-3 more than most. Our first full day we spent at the ruins and I spent the whole time (as I have done the whole trip) asking Katie what the Chewa (Malawi's largest) tribe was doing during this time. The crown jewel is the entrance to the library which is spectacular but we were blown away by "The Terrace Houses". This area of the world has been plagued by earthquakes and while it was clearly devastating, it also helped with preservation. The mosaic floors were being painstakingly uncovered as well as the layers of fresco on the walls. The knowledge of all the details of life is incredible. They had crates and crates of broken marble they were reassembling in the world's most insane/OCD jigsaw puzzle. We had a nice picnic outside with sausage, fresh bread, olive tapenade, pistachios and children's yogurt (it was the only one that came with a spoon).
The next day we took a couple minibuses to a nearby national park and spent the warm, but overcast, afternoon on a secluded pebble beach.
Today (5/17) we went to see a 14th century mosque before our train left a little afternoon. On our a way a salesman from a rug weaving co-op stopped us and asked us to come back by after seeing the site. We did, and were not prepared for the tour, the skill, and the time it takes to create each rug. We were the perfect suckers. I took comfort believing that we had no cash and no cards on us and virtually no time to retrieve them, that is until Katie pulled out a Visa she's evidently been secretly carrying around (for emergencies only!). After the creation process was revealed, the show began. Rugs from across the country were brought in and unfurled before us, each with unique styles, colors, symbols, materials and characteristics. The silk shimmered and Katie's eyes got bigger and bigger. Each carpet snapped as it was being unrolled and laid before us, "Smiley" working his greasy magic. We were great customers. We both wanted one and we had a credit card. We hemmed and hawwed and sipped tea. We fantasized about saying "Oh, this rug? We bought it at a cooperative in Turkey on our honeymoon." (Un)fortunately, we didn't pull the trigger. We'll have to save it for our trip to democratic Iran sometime in the future. (Persian rugs)
Can you Find Jake?