Dreaming of the Turkish Blue Coast
Selcuk, Blue Coast, Turkey
The cold winter rain is drowning Oregon, and I am wrapped in a wool sweater planning how fast I can escape the mud. While Oregon is heaven for twelve months of the year, in the thirteenth month it’s hell. When you live even temporarily in hell, you start planning to go to heaven.
As a traveler, I have my heaven all picked out: Turkey. Turkey, the wonderful land of warm sun, great food, friendly people and lovely beaches. I have traveled enough to fill two passports, I know the backstreets of Rome better than downtown Portland, but when I think about the best place to be, it is the small town of Selcuk, Turkey, near the beaches and the famous Ephesus ruins. Selcuk is located in the middle of the west coast of Turkey, a long day bus ride from Istanbul, or a half-day boat trip from the Greek island of Samos.
I first visited Selcuk in 2002 with my mother and sister as traveling companions. As we left Bodrum on the bus, our pension owner (The Rainbow) said he would call ahead for the Artemis Guest House to pick us up. The cell phone is such a blessing, because that bus did not go to Selcuk, but the driver dropped us in a car lot about ten miles from town. Our van from “Artemis Guest House” was waiting for us.
|Visiting the Ruins|
Artemis Guest House arranged our tour to the ancient city of Ephesus. Bron, the guesthouse owner also arranged for my mother to go to service at Mother Mary’s house, which made her trip special. The local market was the best market I went to in all my travels. The choice of linens and clothes was overwhelming. I crammed even more table linens into my bag. When I heard about a concert at the Ephesus amphitheatre, Bron at the Artemis helped arrange tickets and a driver for several of us. The highlight of my trip was seeing the City of Ephesus by moonlight while hearing the Bolero played by the Istanbul symphony.
We stayed five days on our first trip, and five on our second trip and now I am considering a month at least to see all the sights and enjoy the company. So how can you fill the days and nights? The beaches are ten minutes away by inexpensive mini buses.
The huge harbor town of Kusidasi is about 20 minutes away; it’s a rather high-priced concrete jungle of a tourist town, with far too many of those tedious touts. But the belly dance show at the Caravanasi in the evening is wonderful fun.
The calciumed white cliffs of Pamukkale are a wonderful day trip. We hired driver to take us to the Temple at Didmya, then to the beach. The hill town of Sirence seduced my sister, between the wine cellars and the views, she started dreaming of her own small villa. Five other major Roman/ Greek ruins are in days trip distance. With such an extensive list of fun things to see and do, and all the friendly people, Selcuk is a city that has hijacked many travelers’ plans to move on.
|Dancing in the Belly Dance Music Store|
If you come to Turkey from Samos, Greece, Artemis House will pick you up and bring you to small town Turkish heaven if you just call from the ferry docks. For detailed directions of how to get to Selchuk and what to do while there, visit the extensive Turkish information page at Artemis Guest House.