Monday, June 8, 2009
Turkey – Ephesus and Kusadasi
We caught the morning flight to Izmir and headed out to Ephesus to explore the roman ruins of this major archeological site. This once was a thriving port town, with a covered market, palaces, library and 24,000-seat ampitheater, which had been remarkably restored. After all the sightseeing in Istanbul, however, the kids were getting a bit frustrated and they clearly needed some down-time. We had a wonderful vegetarian lunch in the small mountain town of Sirince, just a few kms outside of Ephesus. They are supposedly known for their local wines, but I found them a bit lacking. I did, however, break down and buy a dessert wine made from mulberries. As we came to learn later, it wasn't great, but it certainly did not suck. Fortunately, we were almost through with the sightseeing and everyone was ready for some serious relaxation. Our next leg of the trip brought us to Kusadasi, a scenic port town on the Agean. We stayed at the Kismet hotel, which had a Cape Cod beach feel to it. The kids collected a whole bunch of rocks down by the water and decided to set up a rock shop in the front driveway of the hotel. They then proceeded to badger every single patron who showed up at the hotel. It was fascinating to watch them work out their business model on the fly as their confidence picked up. Casey and Grace were the greeters and would not take no for an answer. The rocks were pretty ugly, so they relied on 99% charm and 1% product. Emma and the boys would handle the actual negotiation and transaction, ultimately netting the team several hard earned euros after netting out the cost goods for the display (a very dirty hotel towel). It was a great diversion, allowing the adults a chance to enjoy the waterfront view and have a nice quiet meal while the kids honed their newfound business skills. The hotel staff was great with them and did not run them off the property, in spite of their somewhat aggressive sales tactics. Made the shopkeepers in Morocco look pretty tame by comparison – at least in Morocco you could enjoy a tea during the bargaining!