A visit to ancient Ephesus from Kusadasi, Turkey

Photo: Ephesus, Turkey. Credit: Lisa Borre.
A visit to Ephesus was a must while stopping over in Kusadasi. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 4/19 -4/23/10
Distance: 60 nm
Sailed from: Gumusluk
Lat: 37°52.4’N
Long: 27°15.7’E

We made a long passage today so that we could get to the Setur Marina in Kusadasi ahead of some stormy weather in the forecast. Once again, the forecast was fairly accurate — we had rain and thunderstorms in the early morning hours and passing showers the first day in Kusadasi.

We ventured out of the marina in the early afternoon for a long walk through town which included a visit to the busy fruit and vegetable market. We couldn’t resist buying a mix of fresh herbs (mint, dill, and parsley), salad greens (arugula and red leaf lettuce), ripe salad tomatoes and fresh peas. For the moment, we passed on artichokes, strawberries and green peppers. Before returning to Gyatso, we stopped in at Bül Bül, the first of two Turkish restaurants that the marina staff recommended, for a tasty and reasonably-priced early dinner.

After the weather front passed through, we had a glorious spring day with no cruise ships in port for visiting Ephesus, a coastal port in ancient times but now located 12 miles inland. Rather than paying 40-50 euros for a taxi, we took the dolmus (minbus) instead. It stops at the entrance road to the site just before arriving in Selcuk, the modern-day city.

A pleasant 10-minute walk brought us to the lower entrance gate, and we walked all the way through the site to the upper gate and back again. Most tours begin at the upper gate and end at the lower one. Every now and then, a tour group would come through and then continue on, leaving us with sections of the site, including the large theatre, completely to ourselves for a brief time.

We took our time winding our way uphill, but got a much better sense of how large the ancient city was on the stroll back down. Much of the residential area has not been excavated, so it takes a stretch of the imagination to understand where 200,000 people lived in Roman times. We were really impressed with the site itself and with the collection of statues and art found there, especially the statue of Artemis, displayed in the archeological museum in Selcuk.

We returned to Kusadasi in the evening and found Lezzet evi, the second recommended restaurant just a block from the dolmus station. Here we enjoyed several mezes (starters), including marinated green beans and mushrooms, spinach salad, and water cress and yogurt salad. For the main course, we shared an order of green pepper stuffed with spicy ground meat and a spicy kabob — another excellent Turkish meal.

Kusadasi is a convenient place for laundry and shopping, so we spent an extra day getting caught-up on these tasks before getting underway again.