Black Sea Cruise: Kusadasi

Day 12, Kusadasi

One of the pleasures of a cruise is to wake up each morning in a
different port.  Yesterday, upon leaving my inside cabin, I went up to
the breakfast deck to find myself back in Istanbul.  We were just
passing through this time, cruising on the Bosporus.  From the boat,
watching the city go by, I realized how enormous it is: houses after
houses, buildings after buildings, mosques after mosques, and more
houses and buildings.  Once again, it struck me how the natural beauty
is undermined here by the ugly construction and an almost total
absence of greenery.  Washed out scenery floated by, making room for
more washed out scenery.  To add insult upon injury, the beautiful
bay was studded with gloomy work ships.   As we were coming out of the
Bosporus and the miserable structures started to fade into the horizon
blending with the shoreline into the misty morning, thus restoring
the land behind us to its original beauty.
Today we arrived in Kusadasi whose main claim to fame is that it is
the gateway to the ruins of the ancient Greek city, Ephesus.  Since we visited Ephesus some 10 years ago (and it was spectacular) we decided to get off the beaten track and tour some
local villages.  We started out with a typical Turkish village of 600
inhabitants in some Turkish mountains.  After a magnificent assent, we
exited in a village where we visited a school in a local mosque,
peeked into a courtyard of a local dwelling, and had Turkish tea in a
café normally designated for men only.  The dumb American tourists
were excused and allowed in, the gracious hosts made an exception
citing, no doubt, American ignorance of truly good manners.  Fully
aware that we provided the food for gossip for weeks to come, we stole
glances at the locals while they openly glared at us.
The next stop was another spectacular and formerly Greek (do you get
my drift?) village.  The Greeks were excused from the town some 90
years ago and their houses are now occupied by the Turks (nobody calls
it “an occupied territory,” though).
The town is all crooked in the most delightful way: crooked
houses on crooked streets paved with crooked stones.  From the
restaurant where a Turkish woman in native garb was cooking our lunch
on an open fire, while talking on a cell phone (21st century meets the
middle ages), we looked out at the jumbled tiled roofs below, valleys
and mountains rising up behind them.
Back on the ship, after dining on caviar and fois gras, we watched the
sun sinking into the sea and the islands behind us firing up its
electric lights.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s