I really had low expectations for Turkey.  I thought it was going to be a nasty, run down place with rude people and cheap junk  for sale.  This was not the case at all.  Well, actually, there was cheap junk for sale, but there was also nice quality stuff available.   Leather goods, gold, and fabrics all make a big showing here.  It does pay, however, to know what you're buying, as you could find yourself buying a "Romex" watch for $2000 when someone else got the same one for $60.   Our tour guide for our Ephesus trip, a native Turk, admitted himself that Turkey was the capitol of "genuine fakes".   

It turns out that Turkey is not what you (or at least I) had in mind at all.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and wouldn't mind going back again.  The place was thoroughly modern, and yet surprisingly inexpensive.  I found it to be VERY similar to Greece, although I enjoyed the food in Greece more.    I found, unfortunately, that not too much of the food was to my liking, but I'm sure many would disagree

More importantly, there were some truly wonderful Greco-Roman ruins in Turkey, and although they weren't as historically significant as Rome itself, I found the ruins to be in vastly superior condition to those in Rome.  And it's not as if Ephesus is exactly insignificant in history. (heck, it's got a book in the bible all to itself).

The ship was moored at the Turkish naval base of Aksaz,  which was about 20 minutes from the tourist town of Maramis.  The Turk navy seems to consist primarily of old US frigates and destroyers, although a half dozen German type-209 submarines were in evidence.

Maramis was a nice enough town, although the salesmen in the tourist section of town were very very pushy indeed.  If you can deal with that, then you'll have fun here.  Everyone seems to speak English, as the majority of the tourists that I saw were English or Australian. 

Turkish rugs are NOT cheap.  Well, maybe they are cheap in comparison to the price one would fetch in new york, but they're not cheap when compared to, say, that new DVD player you're considering.  I saw carpets ranging from $150 (for dinner place setting size) to $35,000 for a silk-on-silk full sized floor carpet.   Be VERY careful that you know how to tell the fakes, because they're out there.  If you do the tours, they will swing you through a "complimentary tour and sales pitch" at a sanctioned carpet distributor.  This is probably the safest way if you're unsure of what's good and what's not.

P9140001.jpg (152187 bytes) The market in Marmaris.  This is where you can buy all the aforementioned cheap stuff, and some actual nice things. P9140011.jpg (119201 bytes) Dan, Tim Wood, and Ron Garner at the old fortress in Marmaris.  
P9140012.jpg (84153 bytes) The Marmaris Fortress again.  Very old, but having been toasted in WW1, was almost completely renovation. P9140029a.jpg (73532 bytes) Some of the very cool teak boats that dominated the waterfront in Marmaris.  
P9160008.jpg (95815 bytes) Some old guy's final resting place.  This was one of about ten billion gajillion graves at the Necropolis of Pammakule. P9160010.jpg (88231 bytes) Carpet weavers.  These ladies get paid the princely sum of 50 cents a day.  That carpet will fetch their bosses $5000 or so
P9160015.jpg (94979 bytes) The Roman bath house at Pammakule,  This was right next to the Necropolis, so one must assume everyone was dying to get in the water.   P9160027.jpg (158791 bytes) A fine example of a Hellenistic theatre at Pammakule, as opposed to the Roman one at Ephesus.  (Yeah, like I knew that before our guide told us)
P9170024.jpg (100328 bytes) Ephesus.  The place is amazingly huge.  Here's just one of many many statues littering the landscape. P9170025.jpg (93719 bytes) The library at Ephesus, or at least what's left of it.  This library has an underground passage to the Brothel.
P9170036.jpg (101626 bytes) Tim Wood again, this time in front of the 25,000 seat  theatre.  This is where the Apostle Paul  faced the mob. P9170038.jpg (85072 bytes) Harbour street, in Ephesus.  this area was still being uncovered and renovated.  My favorite photo of the day.
P9170041.jpg (127942 bytes) The temple of Hadrian (the same bloke who had the wall in England built to keep out Scottish soccer fans) turk girl.jpg (53804 bytes) A Turkish waif.   This was just some toddler that Ron Garner started talking to on the street.  Her mom is just around the corner out of the picture.


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