(We're almost at the end of this trip, so next week the blog will be back to normal .. thanks for reading and accompanying our adventures these last two weeks. Have a great weekend !)
The next day started with early breakfast at the Venus Hotel, and the opportunity to take some photos by daylight. I particularly loved the little cosy corner with all the rugs hanging down.
Leaving Pamukkale, we went in the direction of Selçuk, but first we had planned a few stops on the way. The first stop was at Didyma, where you can see the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Here we had lunch and checked the ruins, but apart from that the village itself is disappointing.
From Didyma we had planned to go to Miletos, but it was getting too hot so instead we decided to stop by the Migros market we'd seen on the way. We wanted to buy some Turkish tea to take home - the smaller size we could find was of half a kilo which just goes to show how much tea is drank around here (we got two different packs).
We skipped Miletos and headed out to Priene instead. These ruins are also quite worth seeing, especially the Theatre and the remains of the Temple of Athena.
Back in Selçuk, we went in search of our hotel in the nearby village of Sirince. This quiet and peaceful village is located in a beautiful mountain landscape, and it is perfect for a relaxing vacation.
We had made a reservation at the Nisanyan. This lovely establishment includes a five room inn but we stayed at one of the Ilyastepe cottages. I really can't recommend this place enough, the cottages are amazing, the location is stunning and the food is to die for (fabulous dinner and the best breakfast we had during the whole trip)
Melissa at the Nisanyan had advised us not to go to Ephesus until the afternoon, due to all the cruise groups that usually come in the morning. So the next morning, after a walk through the village of Sirince, we also went to explore downtown Selçuk for a while. We shopped for some souvenirs and even purchased a small carpet at Black sheep Carpets. This was another recommendation from Melissa, and Aydn, the owner, was really nice and very patient with me while I took my time deciding.
After that, we were ready for lunch, so we followed Aydn's suggestion and went to the restaurant at the Seven Sleepers site. The specialty was gozleme, a sort of pancake filled with whatever you want (mine was aubergine and meat, A.'s was spinach and cheese). It was delicious, of course, and the setting was also very relaxing, as you can see.
Finally it was time to visit the famous ruins of Ephesus. I'm glad we followed Melissa's advice, because the site was not very crowded so we were able to visit everything at ease. The most known attraction is the amazing library of Celsus, and the paved road leading down to it, but the whole site is pretty impressive.
Leaving Ephesus we drove to Izmir, quite a large city compared to the other places where we had been recently. Traffic at rush hour was chaotic but we eventually managed to reach the city centre and find the rental car office to drop it off (very conveniently located behind the street of the bus company office). After dinner nearby, we took the Varan night bus back to Istanbul, where we would spend the last two days.
More photos at Flickr: