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Selcuk, Turkey

After checking out of our apartment and saying good-bye to Mamut, we carted our belongings about a half a mile to Taksim Square where we caught a taxi.  Due to our lack of Turkish we mistakenly told the driver we were headed to America when we thought the driver was asking where we were from.  This small error almost resulted in us being dropped off at the international terminal instead of the domestic terminal. Luckily, the signs at the airport are in Turkish and English so we figured it out; it only ended up costing us few extra liras to correct the situation.

Waiting to board our flight to Izmir

Waiting to board our flight to Izmir

Once we checked into the airport we headed to our gate but only after Marc botched going through security twice.  He forgot to take his laptop out of the bag and belt off.  The plane ride was only 40 minutes long and we entertained Ezra by reviewing the emergency landing card.  At the Izmir airport it took us so long to use the bathroom, change Ezra and gather our bags that we appeared to be the only passengers left.  After wandering around, a security guard helped us find the bus station that would bring us to the otogar, or bus station, where we would take one final bus ride to our final destination, Seluck. So, after a taxi ride, plane ride, two bus rides and another taxi ride we determined that Ezra was an amazing traveler and we would elect to tackle a more aggressive travel itinerary.

Since we are visiting Turkey in the shoulder season and there appear to be few tourists we were a bit cocky with our travel plans and did not make a hotel reservation in Seluck.  Marc picked out a place called Niyla and we were able to book the last room available (although there were plenty of options elsewhere).  Hotel Niyla was a bit more than we are used to spending while traveling but it was worth it.  The place was beautiful, the staff was friendly and it was so comfortable.  Due to the cost, the other travelers tended to be older but we still made friends with a Welsh and an Australian couple.  The staff was enamored with Ezra and grabbed him from us a few times to hold him and make faces at him.

All that remains of the Temple of Artemis

All that remains of the Temple of Artemis

After checking-in and freshening up, we decided to visit a few other sites Seluck had to offer and leave Ephesus for the following day.  First up was one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis.  After some unclear directions, we eventually made it but not before I mistakenly took a picture of Marc and Ezra is front of a random column on the street. At the Temple only one column remains (out of 127), which is topped by a stork’s nest.  I was surprised at the lack of infrastructure and security surrounding the Temple given its status.  Next up was a small mosque and then we walked up a hill to the Basilica of St John. Most of the Basilica that remains has been restored but it was still a beautiful place.

Now that our stomachs were grumbling we began the search for dinner.  We settled on a local koftecisi overlooking the Roman aqueducts, where we tried kofte, a Turkish lamb sausage, for the first time.  In the video you can see Ezra gobble it up.

The evening ended with us relaxing in our quaint hotel and chatting with a Welsh couple named Kathleen and Peter. The couple had done a fair bit of traveling, including Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. When not traveling, they run a homestay/bed-and-breakfast in Bangor, Wales, called Tregarth Homestay Bed & Breakfast

Lodging: Hotel Nilya

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