Time was short as our daughter and son-in-law (Hannah and Pieter) were leaving Turkey on New Year’s Eve so we crammed in as much sightseeing and cultural experiences as possible in the short time we had left.
One day we went to Bodrum – a lovely harbour town a couple of hours drive south of Didim.
An impressive castle built by the Crusader Knights dominates the the town and with its fabulous museum of under water archeology, is one of the major attractions.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go round it on this occasion although Jonathan and I love the museum and would gladly revisit it again given the chance!
We had a great time wandering the lanes of the old town and had lunch in a quirky little restaurant that we found in the back lanes.
Later we walked along the seafront (known as “Bar Street” for obvious reasons) where we met an interesting character – a very old street dog who has a clever (new?) trick!
A restaurant owner told us that if we gave him a 50 lira note ($5 Australian) he would walk you to a particular store with the note in his mouth and buy his favourite dinner.
So we gave him a note and followed him along the seafront until we came to a grocery shop where he stopped and put the note down and waited patiently for the owner to bring him his favourite snack- a packet of salami.
We wondered if we should help him open it but within seconds he had not only opened it but gobbled up the meat and given the whole packet a big lick!
We met another beautiful dog in a bar/restaurant on the beach. The manager said the dog lived in a good home but every morning took himself off to the bar where he stayed until closing time.
He was absolutely enormous from all the leftover food (including a lot of chips we suspected) and we wondered how he managed to heave his bulk home every night!
We finished our visit with a drink in a small bar in the water’s edge with a magical view of the castle.
The following day we took Hannah and Pieter to another of our favourite places – the wonderful ancient city of Ephesus.
This was our third visit and we were still awestruck by its grandeur and found new things to be amazed by.
We hadn’t explored the Great Theatre on our previous visits. Building of this magnificent structure began in the reign of Claudius (41-54 AD) and was completed around 100 AD.
The entrance to the theatre sits at the head of a fine arcaded street that runs all the way to what was once the harbour.
This imposing avenue, built by the Emperor Arcadius around AD 400, was constructed to impress – and that it still does – most effectively!
As always one of the highlights was a walk round the beautiful terraced houses where the wealthiest and most influential citizens of Ephesus and their families once lived.
The once magnificent homes with their intricate mosaic floors and frescoed walls are sheltered by an amazing roof structure designed by Austrian engineers.
This mighty stainless steel structure supports a modular membrane roof which provides protection for the fragile historic fragments in a way that maximises the view of visitors and enables archeological work to continue.
Inside, a glass-floor walkway winds through the complex, so that you can look into the rooms from above.
Ephesus- another fabulous place to put on your bucket list if you haven’t already been there!