And bartering with the locals.....
12.05.2011 - 12.05.2011 10 °C
Sorry for the delay in posting the blog today. I know you are anxious to hear about our next adventure. We spent the whole day touring with little time to write so we tried to get a bit done before dinner. Then it was off to the thermal pool and to bed….more about the thermal pools later.
While we may have started out slow as far as shopping, things heated up a bit today – shopping wise anyway. We are getting bolder with our bartering skills. I think that by knowing what other pay for something helps you with a starting point. There are opportunities to buy at each place we stop, including our lunch restaurants.
And what do you think our intrepid travelers have purchased so far? Let me tell you!
Pashmina scarves seem to be the most popular item. The scarves come in varying degrees of quality and, hence, the differences in prices. The evil eye is the protection against evil so you see the evil eye on everything; pendants, shot glasses, beads and even a Pandora bracelet charm or two. We are all very well protected.
Some have chosen to buy the harem pants and tops – they truly look like they fit it. No-one has ventured in to the purchase of a scant belly dancing outfit, just yet but Sue was eying one today! We all think that would be a great (if not chilly) Halloween costume! Some of the other items purchased are Apple and Pomegranate tea sets, glass clocks and leather jackets.
We are starting to see who the best barterers are and those that aren’t are seeking out those that can! The funny thing is that if you pay too much they feel obligated to offer you something else, followed by more bartering and then you come away with more than you want but at the price you should have paid at the start.
Enough about our purchases! We headed to the House of the Virgin Mary located high on a hilltop, close to Ephesus. This is a shrine to both Christians and Muslims. We learned that the Muslims have a very strong belief in Jesus and the Virgin Mary. It is thought that she lived into her 90s in this house.
On to Ephesus. The sun tried desperately to shine when we arrived. And what a site this was to see. It is hard to describe everything that we took in today. Ephesus is thought to be one of the three largest and finest settlements, dating back to 3000 B.C. How do you describe something that is that old? We wandered down through Hadrian’s Gate, the Terraced Houses with mosaics and fresco still intact, Roman Baths, Gymnasium, the Bolereum (the Roman version of the outhouse where the slaves sat before to warm up the marble), the Celsus Library, the Brothel and the Amphitheater holding 30,000 people.
The Celsus Library is the ‘showcase’ of Ephesus, standing three stories and in ancient times holding 12,000 books. In addition, the four niches contain the statues of the four virtues; Wisdom, Valour, Intelligence and Knowledge. Unfortunately, two are without their heads! Each arch contains intricate carvings, lettering and designs. I wish I could articulate the intricacies of what we saw. It is hard to believe that these civilizations were able to create such masterpieces with virtually no tools.
And then it was back on to the bus – and it RAINED, and RAINED. We arrived in Pamukkale and the rain stopped just in time to visit our next set of ruins, Hieropolis. A nice steep hike brought us to the top of the amphitheater where we had a beautiful view. This is an amphitheater that is most intact.
A walk down the hill and we were at Pamukkale, best described as a white castle formed over the side of a hillside. If you were looking at it from the road you might think you were looking at a Banff Park Glacier. However, the white formations called Travertines are calcium deposits that form into thermal pools that are layered on the hillside. We all took off our shoes and ventured into the pools. The water is constantly being supplied by the underground pools of water. Many climbed quite far down the hillside. There was only one unfortunate spill landing Sue in a trench of warm water!
We checked into the hotel late (around 7:30 PM), had a quick bite to eat and then headed to the thermal pools at the hotel. Boy was it hot!!! We all felt great after getting out….quite therapeutic!
Off to our 10 hour drive today. Hope to post later tonight….Internet willing!