Thursday, August 13, 2009

After Ephesus

The above (or, rather, below) isn’t to say I didn’t appreciate Ephesus. Because, as you’ll see in the photos, just DAMN, it’s a pretty incredible site. The restorations were done over the past, say, 80 years -- and even though they vary in quality, it’s still awfully impressive to have a vague outline of an actual Roman city. And when we saw the 7 private homes (a separate museum within Ephesus), the homes gave us some clue of the massive amount of work the archeologists were up to -- as some of the rooms contained, say, hundreds of pieces of broken cornice, and someone was painstakingly trying to figure out what had gone where. The scope of the ancient city is impressive, but the scope of the undertaking to recreate it is even more so. (All of this will make more sense with photographs, which will be supplied once I get back to America and have slept for about a week.)

After Ephesus, we were returned to a “carpet demonstration.” Basically, we saw the methods by which weaveable silk is obtained from the silkworm cocoons, and how it is weaved. This was followed by a free cup of apple tea (yum) and a rather lengthy display of the wares in the Windstar Approved Handmade Turkish Carpet Shop. About which I can only say that I am amazed (and, I guess, flattered?) that there is a person on this planet who can look at me and, with a straight face, think that I can spend $22,000 on a carpet.

This is largely the end of my cruise. We’ve got a full day at sea tomorrow (I expect to spend much of it packing) and will end up, early the following morning, in Istanbul. I’ve got about 24 hours in Istanbul, and then (probably) a similar amount of time spent traveling home. I’m told that I should leave for the airport some FOUR HOURS before my flight. As my flight departs at 7:00 a.m., this thought does not thrill me.

Oh! And, since this was a different tour guide, I got to hear my second Turkish dude speak English. He didn’t have the same emphasizing-the-wrong-word issue, although he did share a habit of repeating an entire sentence for emphasis. Where they other guy said “Before Jesus,” this guy said, “Before Christ.” However, this guy also made a point of identifying himself as a Christian, while the other guy was a Muslim. I wonder if it was a religious thing -- maybe the Muslim preferred saying “Jesus,” as his faith sees Jesus as a prophet, but not the messiah? Dunno exactly, but it’s interesting. There will, I’m sure, be further data after my tour in Istanbul.

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