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                               SELCUK  - TURKEY

Izmir

May 21   We spent a half day in the Izmir, a very western city, the third largest in Turkey. Sprawled along a huge bay and backed by mountains we went in search of the main shopping area call Konak to find a camera shop for Chris.

The traffic was nightmarish but we finally managed to reach the heart of Izmir with its large pedestrianized plaza surrounded by bazaars and shops.

Konak Clock Tower,
symbol of Izmir, marks the center of the square
 Konak Mosque adorned with ceramic tiles

Selcuk

Late afternoon we arrived at Selcuk, one of my favourite little towns. Selcuk is dominated by a 6th century Byzantine citadel that stands majestically above the sleepy quiet twisty narrow lanes bordered with old stone buildings and out of the way Pensiyons.

Ancient Aqueduct

I was very intrigued by the mix of old and new...modern architecture amidst the remains of an historic Byzantine aqueduct that ran through the entire city.

The Aqueduct was a handy nesting roost for the huge black and white Storks. Every nest had a family of babies bobbing their heads, beaks wide, in search of a meal.

Basilica of St Jean

This church is believed to contain the 4th century tomb of St John the Evangelist

We sauntered through a colourful local market, traditionally dressed local women selling the usual array of fruit, veggies, spices, nuts and souvenirs.

Even Turkey has a prospering market with their sale of knock-offs!

Sirince

May 22   We drove 8 km east of Selcuk through olive groves and farmland to the former Greek village of Sirince.

We wandered along the rocky lanes past the 19th century stone and stucco houses set among grape vines, peach and apple orchards. A farming community, the locals offered fruit wine, and olive oils along with their crafts and other wares.

 

We climbed up a rocky street past many little shops, one selling unusual dried gourds hanging from string. It was here, way above the red tiled rooftops of the village that we found a delightful restaurant and had a great authentic Turkish meal.


We stayed in another family run Pensiyon on the hill behind the museum. While enjoying our tomato and cucumber breakfast from the rooftop, we could watch the antics of a Stork nesting on a chimney-top close by. Apparently the Storks return to the same nesting location year after year and lay their eggs in April and May.

We stayed in Selcuk 2 days using the location as our base to visit Ephesus, one of the greatest ruined cities in the world.

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