Afyon, thermal waters, Sirince

September 30

From Afyon, a three hour bus ride to Pamukkale, where some went to bathe in the medicinal waters, and others went to view the ruins of Hierapolis.  The waters were warm and soothing.  One can see why the site was chosen by the Greeks: thermal baths, atop a mountain of brillant white calcium travertine deposits.

Another three hour ride, arriving in Sirince at 10 or so, after climbing a precipitous hill. Dinner within earshot of a town celebration, with what sounded like a traditional band. The celebration was for a circumsion (6-10 yr old),  and the band consisted of a drummer and a singer playing a keyboard.  Lots of dancing and good vibes.

October 2

Sirince was formerly an all-Greek town. After the Greek population was removed, Turks who had lived historically in Salonika moved in.  So in a sense, these folks kept a part of the culture of the departing population alive.  They still make wine, though from fruits, not grapes, they grow olives and raise goats, and there is lots of honey.

Our cottage

An old spinning wheel

Nisanyan room

 

We are staying in what might best be described as a paradise- the Nisanyan hotel.
(www.nisanyan.com). It overlooks the town and a valley, where olive trees grow on steep hillsides, and bees swarm the abundant flowers. Donkeys with beaded necklaces bray, dogs have their say, and the muezzin’s call echoes in the distance.  Yesterday,  we went to Ephesus, an amazing site with layers of cultural richness and history.  Again, a tribute to human ingenuity and devotion to beauty. The evidence of daily life, like game boards carved into marble  lining the main drag, serves as a reminder of how communal we are, and of how some things don’t change. The library was built with an insulating wall, protecting the 12,000 scrolls from the ravages of heat & moisture.

Ephesus

Water delivery system, Ephesus

An arena for a few thousand

The main drag, Ephesus

marble detail

Mosaic floors

Latrine

The Library

The Library ceiling

Today is a day of rest for me, as I was felled with a stomach bug yesterday. Larry went off with the group to the Aegean Sea, which I hope will bring great reviews. Last night we sat outside on our porch, watching lightning and listening to the thunder.