Turkey: We landed by in Turkey at the town of Ayvalik and hiked to couple of kms into town looking for the bus station for a bus to take us north to discover that the bus station was a 100 metres from the ferry port in the other direction! After a very ordinary lunch we hiked back to the bus station and boarded a mini van that that was packed to the ceiling and stopped at just about every village along the way.
We were dropped off at a bus station to wait for our next bus, we had a several hour wait and we sat and watched as waiters hurried around with silver trays delivering tea in tiny tulip shaped glasses. Then it was onto Cannakale Turkey just opposite the Gallipoli peninsula. We stayed 2 nights in Cannakale and visited the ancient site of Troy while we were there, it was then back on the bus to Istanbul…I was excited as Istanbul Turkey was one of my ‘must’ see cities.
We arrived at the INSANE Istanbul bus station, Buyuk Otogar, in the late afternoon and made our way to Sultanahmet and our hostel. The hostel was pretty ordinary and we shared with 2 rather rude American balls, we struggled to find any decent food and to top it off I got a really bad does of the flu (I think it was swine flu). So all in all Istanbul was a disappointment so after 3 days we decided to move on. We hoped on a night bus to the coastal town of Selcuk, the bus boarded a truck ferry to cross the Bosporus…it was on the truck ferry I encountered the worst squat toilet I have ever seen, it was enough to make one dry reetch! Truly disgusting!
We travelled over night to Selcuk arriving early in the morning – we made our way to the ANZ guesthouse which we immediate loved. A double storey building surrounding a courtyard with couches and tables – delightful. The guesthouse was owned by a Turkish guy who grew up in Australia, he even produced some vegemite when I jokingly asked if he had any. We ate great Turkish food at a restaurant near the guesthouse and I came to really love the apple tea they serve.
Selcuk is a really interesting town and is close to the ancient city of Ephesus. The 6th century Basilica of St. John the Apostle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostle’s tomb. The House of the Virgin Mary are also in the town.
I have to say I’ve seen a great many Roman and Greek ruins in my travels but Ephesus absolutely tops them all – it is truly amazing. With the ancient marble roads still intact it is an absolute must on any trip to Turkey.
We only had a very brief trip into Turkey, and while Istanbul was a disappointment we definitely want to head back one day and explore the country further.
For Information on Travelling In Turkey Read Our Turkey Travel Guides