Sunday, 23 November 2008

Inland to Ephesues ..... November 2008

10-12 November 2008

I'm off home to Auckland for a month to help Mum and Dad shift from their home of 27 years to a lovely new apartment in a brand new retirement village complex. My Emirates flights are booked from Istanbul so we decided to do a little sightseeing up to Epheseus, then for Mark to drop me at Izmir Airport for a flight to Istanbul.It's the first time we were spending such a length of time apart so trying to think of what I need to take and what he needs to keep was quite a mission.

Finally bags were packed and we collected our hire car and headed north to Kusadasi. We had intended to stay the night here then head on to Epheseus the following morning but it was a big busy port town and didn't seem to hold much appeal from what we saw, so continued on a short distance to Selcuk.

We stayed in a great little hotel in the centre of town and the 60Lira room rate included a great breakfast, a lovely rooftop lounging area with free internet and a lovely big fire (well it's winter now) and a return transfer to the nearby Epheseus ruins.We went out for a walk, tucked up in more clothes than we had worn for years, and wandered around the cute little old town area of Selcuk, with ancient ruins and a huge old aquaduct dominating the city square. This whole area boasts more ruins per square mile than anywhere else in the Med, and they do have plenty.

The following morning we got our transfer to the ruins around 10am which in hindsight was a big mistake, we should have waited and gone later, just look at those crowds in the photo. We found out later there were 3 Cruise ships in Izmir and Kusadasi and all the passengers were at Epheseus for their morning sightseeing tour, busy busy busy. So we just walked off the beaten track and waited and waited until the bulk of the tour groups had moved on and then enjoyed this amazing old city in a little more peace and quiet. I came here years ago when backpacking around Europe and remember them as being outstanding, since then we have seen many a ruin, and somethimes feel "ruined out", but these truly are worth it and some of the building structures are still in very good repair. We spent over 3 hours there then got our transfer back and went into town for my last pide "Turkish pizza" for a while.

Mark dropped me at the airport early as we wanted him to get started on the 300km trip back to Marmaris while it was still light, as it turned out it was a very good thing I was early. I was too early to check in for my flight so waited a while until a counter opened. My e-ticket was checked, my credit card checked and my passport was also asked for, strange I thought this is only a domestic flight, but thank heavens they checked it.
We have a problem. Problem? what problem I ask, my passport is valid, oh dear this is not my passport, this is Marks passport, we certainly do have a problem!!!!! After a very frantic phonecall, which thankfully Mark heard while driving he confirmed he did have my passport, all I had to do was sit and wait, and wait. Unfortunately he was already back on the toll motorway, next exit 30kilometres in peak hour traffic. Izmir is home to 2.2million people, we are not talking small town provincal airport here. But if there is one thing Mark loves, that is a challenge and he got back to me waiting on the footpath, we did a superquick exchange of passports and final goodbyes. I tore back in, ofcourse having to do all the security checks again, ran to the closed checkin who were waiting for me, got told Gate 4, Run and run I did, last onboard, door closed and we had pushback 10 minutes early!!!! and I think sailing is stressful.

The thought of missing my domestic flight, then the flight to Dubai, then onto Melbourne and Auckland was just dreadful, how we ever switched passports I have no idea, I also had my EU passport which was mine (not Marks), but would have never got out of Turkey on it as my entry stamp was in my NZ passport, thank heavens Mark thought to take the other (my)passport with him - my hero, hate to think how we would have solved it all otherwise. Anyway, no harm done just a few more grey hairs. So now its the Admiral in Auckland for a month and the Skipper unsupervised in Marmaris, mmmmmmm.
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