A real Turkish village.
You can book a trip by coach to visit a real Turkish village. It is just nice to go in the country, through the mountains and all to see something else then sea and beach. This village was small and it was real hot there. We drank tea at a local's house and then they show you all sorts of handcrafts which you can buy.
Kusadasi: Gateway to Ephesus
Situated on the coast, this is where cruise ships drop off their passengers for trips to Ephesus. It also has a lot of good shopping--people told me it was generally a bit chearp than in Istanbul. If you're staying the night in the area, this is a good place.
Quick Kusadasi Quips
"A school playground near the port of Kusadasi"
My cruise ship tour guide whisked us from the port straight to Ephesus, so when the van returned to Kusadasi this was the first opportunity for me to explore the town.
I escaped from the carpet factory indoctrination and walked past this school playground near the harbor. Notice the big poster featuring the founder of the Turkish Republic on the left of Turkey's flag. A giant statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk also looks over the port from a hilltop south of town.
See the basketball hoop? There are Turkish players in the NBA, the two most successful being Hidayet "Hedo" Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur. You can say "Hedo" in Kusadasi while simulating a basketball dribble with your hand and little boys will know exactly who you are talking about.
"Welcome Americans to Turkey!"
There's nothing like walking around the back streets of a Turkish town and seeing American license plates welcoming visitors from the good old USA!
Look at this friendly hotel! There are real license plates from New Jersey all the way to Alabama decorating the brick wall next to the front door!
"Another friendly sign in Turkey: HSBC Bank!"
It's so refreshing to walk the streets of a strange land and suddenly see the familiar logo of your bank from the other side of the world. My Hong Kong bank has a branch in Kusadasi, Turkey. That's just so cool!
"Markets and Minaret in Kusadasi"
I only found one minaret in Kusadasi. Here it is! You have to walk around the town's local markets in order to find it. I've seen more minarets on the tiny island of Penyenget in Indonesia. (See my Tanjung Pinang page!)
"Turkish ladies in Kusadasi"
The greatest thrill of Kusadasi for me was finally getting a glimpse of Turkish people. Since we went straight to Ephesus first, I didn't get to see any real Turkish people until the van dropped us off in town. At Ephesus, most of the people you see are foreign tourists just like yourself but in Kusadasi you finally get to observe true Turkish culture.
These were the first Turkish people I photographed in Kusadasi; two ladies sitting on a bench. I pretended to aim my lens at the small island in the background, then shifted my camera's focus to the ladies.
"Springtime in Kusadasi"
These pretty flowers adorn the sidewalk promenade near the port of Kusadasi. You can see my cruise ship in the background!
"Back to the ship!"
On my way back to the ship I stopped and took one last photo of Turkey. Here are a couple of Turkish fisherman doing something with their nets.
I enjoyed my brief stay in their country, and leave with a very good impression based on what I saw in Kusadasi.
"Greece Turkey sandwich, the Samos Strait"
This is the narrowest point between Greece and Turkey. It's called the Samos Strait by Greeks and "Dilek Bogazi" by Turkish mariners.
There is a small islet in the south part of the strait close to the Turkish mainland. It's called "Baytak Adasi" by its Turkish owners. Ships sailing through the strait usually go to the right of Baytak Adasi, staying closer to the Greek island of Samos.
If you sail through the Samos Strait, be on the lookout for illegal migrants from Asia Minor who try to reach Samos Island as a backdoor to Greece and the European Union.