I am a lazy cow. Really. I spent another day in Bergama, compliments of the hostel owner (he erased everything on my iPod on accident and felt terribly guilty about it), then headed off to Selçuk and Ephesus. I decided to stay at a hostel a little outside of the town, called Atilla's Getaway for a night or two to avoid the gazillions of people on the tour buses and relax for a bit. I was meant to stay one, maybe two nights... I've now been here 5. I am officially leaving tomorrow, but I am so glad I found this place. It's run by a Turkish-Australian family, meals are included, there's a pool and volleyball courts, and I can't say enough about the people. Alex, Lisa, Donna Lee and Carlos have been like family this week. We're having a ball - I was going to leave today, but Alex and Carlos "swore" there were no buses running today. I didn't really need an excuse to spend another lazy day.
So here's how my week went: The first day I lounged by the pool and read a book. The next day got up and went to Ephesus for the day. A word or two about Ephesus - STUNNING. You could almost feel what it must have been like to live in the city. In it's height, it had a population of 250,000 people. The marble streets are virtually intact. The houses had hot and cold running water, there's a complete underground sewage system, and many of the major buildings, like the library, have been carefully restored. If any of you ever come to Turkey (which I highly recommend), this is an absolute MUST SEE. That night danced and drank at the bar all night. Spent the next day lounging in the cushioned area, swimming, sleeping by the pool. Day 4, whıch just happened to be the 4th of July, I got up and went to Pamukkale for the day. I've been here nearly 2 full weeks now, and have hardly run into a single American (lot's of Aussies and Kiwis tho). Somehow, all 10 of us on the shuttle to Pammukale were American. I ended up spending the day walking around with two girls around my age, maybe a little younger, and their mom, on a "last chance" girls' trip as the daughters live on opposite coasts, and mom lives in Chicago. They were truly delightful company, and it felt really nice to be a part of someone's family even if was just for the day. One of the girls lives ın San Diego (and speaks 6 languages!), so we swapped emails with promises of exchanging the photos we took all day. Pamukkale itself was pretty spectacular, even though many of the mineral pools no longer have water in them. You're driving along in the middle of no where on a dirt road, then suddenly you turn a corner and the whole hillslde looks like it has been frosted for a wedding cake. Thousands of years of calcium deposits from the natural spring have turned the hills into a blinding white terraced sculpture dotted with small blue pools whose waters are touted to have healing powers. Pretty damn cool. Next day, lazed by the pool all day. I'm getting quite a tan at this point and I've got nothing but beach ahead of me. Yeah! Today, I'm just hanging out in town trying to catch up on email (the internet has been out all week at the hostel). I'm about to head back and take a nap by the pool. Life is realllllly rough.
Tomorrow I'm heading out to Dalyan, where loggerhead turtles come in to nest, and from there... not really sure yet. I'll keep ya posted. :)