Our ride today was from ruins to ruins. 50kms from Ephesus is Priene, which isn’t as big but has the best preserved Hellenistic theatre in Turkey.
We left early because there was anther cyclist, an old German man, staying at Garden Camping who was also riding to Priene. He was going to the museum before he left and we really didn’t want to be overtaken considering we would have had a 2 hour head start. It sounds easy but this guy had been every where man and he’d done it all by bike! He didn’t see hills in the same way we did. Last year he’d cycled through India and just because he could cycled a mountain up 5000 metres! We haven’t even come close to doing a mountain half that size!
So by 8 we were out of town cycling the same direction as we rode to Adaland yesterday.
Even though it was early the heat was intense and the humidity was high but after three days off we were feeling pretty good.
Our first stop was at Kuşadası, the cruise ship capital of the world. The city itself wasn’t all that nice but the beach was great.
There we met a bus load of French retirees who were more interested in us than Kuşadası 🙂 They were from the Moselle and a couple were into cycling.
Off again and we had a couple of tough climbs to get past the hills behind Kuşadası but then a downhill that we all broke the speed limit on and set new speed records for our bikes. I got 78, Jordy 82 and Dad’s speedo wasn’t working but it must have been at least 90 because he was well out in front of Jord.
A little bit further on we stopped for lunch in Söke which, unexpectedly, was a really really nice town. The waiter we had was really helpful with directions for the next few days and road conditions all the way to . The best part was he said there were hardly any hills at all!
It was a really quick 15kms to Priene where we found the pansiyon we’d planned to camp at. The owner was a really lovely old guy that didn’t speak English but had a few French phrases. He told us not to worry about the tent because his room prices were ‘très economique’. True to his word we got a great deal; dinner, rooms and breakfast the next day for 120 lira.
An hour or so later the German cyclist arrived and though he’d caught up time a bit we were happy considering we’d had two long stops.
Just a short ride from the pansiyon was the ruins. At first it was a little lack lustre after Ephesus and we just walked around taking photos of dad looking like he was explaining things because the signage was poor and the small pamphlets that are normally handed out at museums here weren’t forthcoming. We had a good laugh each making wild stories about things we found. “Yes, you can see the different sized circles carved into the stone here. These were so chefs in the pizzarias had a standard size for small, medium and large pizzas”.
When we found the theatre it was certainly impressive. It only had 6500 seats so wasn’t all that big but much more was intact and detailed than we’ve seen. They had brilliant VIP chairs we lounged in while being fed imaginary grapes from our imaginary slaves.
The temple of Athena was also impressive because it had four columns still standing and had a great view of the countryside. It was set in front of an amazing rocky mountain and the sun was starting to set so the effect of the light was brilliant. There was also a really strange flower we’d never seen before just nearby.
Back at the pansiyon there was a funny Turkish couple we talked to for a bit who had a son that had married a French girl so they spoke French but no English. I managed to translate back and forth between them and dad but while I’d thought my accent was strong it was nothing compared to a Turkish French accent.
Aside from a couple of Mosquitos it was a really great night!