Thursday, July 26, 2012


After we finished with our exhaustive tour of Ephesus, we returned to Kusadasi for a carpet demonstration.  
Some pictures of the countryside on the way back...Kusadasi is a beach community, a lot of northern Europeans go there for sun vacations.

We went to a carpet dealer for a demonstration of rug making...there was a gal who was making this silk carpet.  She had a computer print out of the design, and she tied the knots according to the designated color.  I tried to figure out where on the pattern she was, but it was Greek to me.  Her hands worked very quickly...amazing.  She took the scraps and put them into bags..I asked what they did with them...stuff pillows.  I would have bought a bag and put them in a clear vase.  

We were led upstairs, and we were offered apple tea and pastries...were we being drugged?  Just kidding...this picture is from their website, Sakkara, and we would buy from them again!

They pulled out at least 50 carpets...starting with wool tribal rugs, the most inexpensive, and ended up with silk.  The handlers spun the carpets, all with a flourish.  When we planned this trip, we had decided to purchase a rug.  So, we were fresh meat.  We bought 2 rugs, one is 18 x 36 inches, a wall hanging, a Hereke, 

this one is about 5x7, and blue is much prettier than the photo depicts.

I had no idea that as you look at silk from each direction, the color can become more vibrant.  Hopefully, we'll receive these soon.  We instantly became special customers, and were entitled to all sorts of special discounts.  They brought Robert Turkish coffee, and arrack for was tasty,  I do like anise.  We were able to leave with our shirts on our backs!  It was great fun, and educational.
I had never seen a mosque, or heard the minaret call for prayers.  We asked Kurshot where we could see a mosque, hear the minaret, and he told us.  We walked for a bit, taking in the local sights, and found the mosque.  A man saw us looking, and invited us in.  Chris and I were given head coverings, since I had on shorts, I was given a skirt, and we all removed our shoes.  He said it was okay to take photos.

No religious symbols or icons.  Beautiful in its' plainness.

This is a short clip of the call to prayer...sorry, I don't know how to use the video on the camera.  Robert thinks that the man who helped us at the mosque was the iman, and this is his voice.

Nearby, there was a fountain where we saw men washing their hands (and feet), before going into the mosque.  Beautiful tile work on the fountain.

Who can resist a Turkish bazaar?  It was great fun!

We were supposed to leave Kusadasi at 4:30 p.m.  Nothing happened.  I went out on the balcony, and there were a couple people bustling around the gangway...all the shade tents, water, etc. were packed away, we were ready to go.  The captain gave a few blows of the whistle, and Turkish officials were looking anxious.  The tug boats kept circling.  At about 5:20, the purser went onto the dock, and gave a Turkish official a persons' picture and American passport (I was watching all this using Robert's binoculars).  Oh my  gosh, we were going to leave someone there.  At 5:30, a girl comes running down the pier, people on the upper decks start clapping, and off we go.  She almost got left behind.  We had played trivia with her and her sister the day before...she suggested our team name to be The Dancing Flamingos.  We came in second.  And did I mention that I won $76 playing bingo?
And speaking of watching the day I spent 1 1/2 hours watching the crew pull up the tender platform...I held up happy hour, but it was too interesting to walk away from.  All parts fit together so neatly, and it became part of the ship!

Kusadasi as we left.

We had to back out of our docking area, so these two boats formed a "wall", for the boat to pivot around.  More maritime fun!

Ataturk, overlooking the city.

An old island fort.

We decided that we definitely liked Turkey, and would go back.  Though only there for a day, we met congenial people, felt safe, enjoyed what little culture we encountered.  The man at the mosque was so nice, as was our tour guide, and the rug dealers.  
Hmm, Istanbul calls my name....a pretty sunset,

 and a beautiful moon rise.  

Our final stop tomorrow, Athens.  Will this trip really end?


  1. This reminds me of my time in Istanbul several years ago. My sister lived in Azerbaijan at the time, and I was traveling to visit her. Isn't hearing the call to prayer magical?

    1. Istanbul is on my list. We were impressed by how gentle the iman was, his willingness to share his mosque with us. The call was magical. We liked that the mosque had plain in your face statuary, etc.

  2. I'm amazed at all you saw and did in such a relatively short time. Your photos are so good I could almost smell the salt air.

    1. That's why we like to cruise...unpack once, the boat moves you around. I keep dreaming about our grand tour, when Robert retires, we'll sell the house, buy a condo, go to Europe or anywhere, for months at a time, return to the places we liked. It's good to dream!