Date: May 2, 2004
Cities: Patmos, Kusudasi, Ephesus

2004Patmos 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.

2004The 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.

2004The 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 trip.

cookie by
Allan West and
Jane Dominguez