Day 6 – Ephesus, Sirince, Turkish Carpet Makers and Selcuk
My family travelled around Western Turkey & this site tells our first hand experiences.
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Ephesus was the main attraction today. It is a word
synonymous with ancient Turkey and is visited by many hundreds of thousands
of people every year. As an ancient port, there is still a modern harbour
only a few kilometres away and huge cruise ships dock daily to allow their
passengers the opportunity to see what is surely one of the most complete
ancient cities in the Mediterranean area. The original port no longer
exists sadly as the silt from the neighbouring hills has long since clogged
it up leaving a huge flatland valley between a the horseshoe shaped hills
on either side (Andie: I am sure you can tell me what the correct technical
term for this is!?). As we walk down the main street from the upper agora,
an open space which might have been used as a market or meeting place
and make your way down first the Curetes Street there are crowds everywhere.
With the exception of the Grand Bazaar and Spice markets in Istanbul,
this is the most crowded place we've visited. Indeed some of the other
places such as Troy and Pergamon have been halve deserted.
The silks also have the wonderful quality of changing hue when viewed at a different angle. We were provided tea and drinks and then there was the moment when the demo was finished and silence fell. In this case I was actually interested in a very simple design - pale cream colour like my own carpets but with a colourful but simple pattern. I asked for some general prices and they seemed pretty reasonable. One that to me looked like the one I wanted was around £190 (we didn't get this far but I don't like it when it is quoted in UK pounds as you never know what exchange rather they've applied is. However a good way around this little trick is to then offer to pay in sterling so you get what has been quoted!). However the one I was interested in was actually more than £400.
Initially our friend said they don't 'bargain' as they have a mechanism to price based on what they pay the weavers and what the cost of the materials are but after I explained politely that I couldn't pay this amount he did manage to shave his margin and offer it for £320 but as I was not prepared to pay more than the £190 we agreed we couldn't find a deal. I offered to pay for the drinks which he politely refused and I agreed to rate him on trip advisor which I will do because his carpets were excellent, they seemed well priced even though I couldn't find the one I wanted at the price I wanted, I like the cooperative idea and be wasn't pushy - he was very nice when we decided we wouldn't buy anything.
To round off our last busy day for a while we took a short trip in he evening into the main centre of Selcuk with Bayram our driver for the last few days. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Tim. He has been a fantastic guide but this is the end of this section of our holiday and he's heading back to Canakkale via Izmir. If you're reading this Tim, good luck with the house move! In Selcuk town we had a very enjoyable meal at the restaurant that Tim had booked for us. The owner was very friendly although we were slightly embarrassed that we could not answer all of his quiz on Turkey! (Although we didn't do that badly!).
After dinner we explored a little of the town and did some shopping. In the central park there was a music concert in progress in front of a large set of pillars that looked to be part of some ancient monument. There was a large crowd surrounding two singers on a low make-shift stage and a large crowd was standing around. We stayed an listened for a couple of songs. Kate finally made a decision in the Turkish lamp she has been mulling over for a while. After asking the poor seller to try multiple different combinations of colours and holders she eventually settled on one for 65 TL but with a little persuasion we managed to get it down to 50 TL.
Meanwhile Tom and Callum who were sitting in the town square had an unusual encounter with a colourful local. They are used to having some attention - lots of men ruffle Toms blond locks as they go by but in this case a man came over and introduced himself as Marvo. Rather than wanting anything from them, he simply insisted that they take a picture of him! They obliged and have spent the rest of the holiday so far imitating him!