Sunday 29 August 2010

Piraeus to Aqaba - Log #002# - (Izmir-Selcuk)

About 50 Km from Izmir on the road to Aydin you find Selcuk an exclellent very laid-back city. Seltcuk can become your starting point for visiting Sirince, Ephesus and Pamucak.

Seltcuk also hosts the Efes Museum which is extremely popular.Other folklor you can experience in Selcuk is Camel and Oil Wrestling (pehlivans).

This is the entrance to the last place where Virgin Mary is supposed to have lived.
For Muslims Mary is Meryemana, Mother Mary who bore Isa Peygamber the Prophet Jesus, so it a place of pilgrimage also for Muslims. The ribbons and rags are prayers and wishes of Mulim pilgrims.

The chapel on the place on the spot where Mary spent her last years.

Ephesus is the best preserved classical city of the Meditteranean basin.

This is Celcus library, built by his son to commemorate him, it used to hold 12000 scrolls. Under the library is Celsus' burial site. The four statues represent the four Virtues.

Ennoia (Thought)

Areti (Goodness)

Sofia (Wisdom)

Episteme (Knowledge or Science)

Camp site in Selcuk nice and green.

Pamucak beach huge and uncroweded.

Ephesus used to be a place of pilgrimage for infertile couples because of the ancient temple of Anatolian Goddess Cybele, that became Artemis during the Ancient Greek times and then Diana during Roman years. This is the statue of Artemis, the breasts represent fertility and the statue is clearly infuenced by the Anatolian Cult of Cybele.

This is the statue of Emeperor Augustus, note the cross that early Christians engraved on the Roman statues to "Christianise" them.

Sunset from the mountains ahead of Sirince. Sirince used to be a Greek speaking village of the 15th century built by Greek freed slaves who named the village Circince (Ugliness) only to be turned into Sirince (Pleasantless) by the governon of Izmir.
Then during the population exchange of the 19th century it was populated by muslims of Salonic.

The old school of the village has been transformed into Artemis Reastaurant with breath taking view into the valley and reasonably priced food.

In Selcuk you will find the tomb of St John we took care o Jesus' mother and brought her with him to Minor Asia and Ephesus when he was assigned the role of promoting Christianism into the Minor Asia Territory.

This is Dino and Nina from Torino, met them by accident in Selcuk after our meeting in Chios.
Daily Distance: 100Km
Total Distance: 250Km
Pros: Dino and Nina
Cons: Heat
Soundtrack: The Talking Heads, Road To Nowhere (Thanks to Yiannos for sending the Html, banned in Turkey)