Looking back at my blog posts, I would like to reiterate that I am typing this on my iPad, usually half asleep, and in a hurry. I will go back and edit and format everything when I get home, on an actual computer. For now, my spelling and grammar fiend self sincerely apologizes for every typo herein. Especially the misplaced apostrophes. Those hurt my soul.
Also, the news has just come in that Turkey has closed its border to Syria. Good to be here for that.
Gotta love my timing.
I am currently sitting at a lovely desk in our Izmir hotel, drinking orange tea, (and cinnamon… and sage… have I mentioned I drink a lot of tea?) just a few blocks from where my grandad went to high school, and where my grandmother worked during the first years they were married. Her passport after they were married still had her maiden name on it, and so the hotel would not let them stay in the same room, nor would they let them be alone. “Some honeymoon,” says my grandmother. Though given my aunt was not born too long after they were married, it would appear they did in fact manage to elude the protective hotel keeper.
Anyways, family history aside for the moment, our day began bright and early at six am, as Daghan informed us that, as our hotel is on a port, the sites around us would be busy with cruise ship passengers early. We were out by 7:30 this morning, and the very first group at the ruins of Ephesus when the gates opened at 8. Thanks to Daghan’s wonderful planning skills, we had a unique opportunity of seeing the ruins without having to climb all of tourists (besides ourselves, of course). Before we entered, right by the gate, were KITTENS! The ruins were crawling with meowing cats, and the shop keeper was feeding the kittens. I presume to keep them around so they will keep the vermin under control (as well as being super adorable). After squealing with cuteness overload (I miss my cats, I think) we entered the city, which dates back to the Bronze Era. It is massive, and archeologists are working on rebuilding it, piece by piece, down to the mosaics. I believe he said only one tenth of the place is uncovered, and we spent over two hours exploring and did not see it all.
Aside: Just took a break for supper. Our captain’s name is, “Mesut”. As I mentioned, it means “happy” in Turkish.
And now back to our regular programming.
Which I will complete on the bus tomorrow.