Wife and I are now in the little village of Kirazli outside the town of Kusadasi (there should be a little squiggle under the first 's' which makes the sound 'sh' but I can't find how to do it on Blogger. We are at the Ephesus Lodge Boutique Hotel which sits among a region of incredible fruit and produce growing and is a skip and jump from the historic city of Ephesus. We are going to be here for a week. The couple the run the hotel are also guides and are going to be taking us all around the Aegean area of Turkey.
Wife and I have been looking forward to returning to Turkey ever since our first, passionate visit to Istanbul three years ago. But the turmoil in the region, and security concerns caused us to avoid doing so. Then my partner in travel, The Count, went back a year ago and pronounced all the fears of the past as dead on arrival. So we added Turkey to our list for this trip.
In anticipation of coming after our experience in Jordan, I thought it would be prudent to find out what protocol was for being a good visitor during the Ramadan fasting season. I was told to not worry. Most people did not fast and there would be no problems eating or interacting with people.
We flew this morning from Thessaloniki the the nearest large city, Izmir flying on Turkish Airlines and connecting through Istanbul. Hats off to Turkish Airlines. Efficient on and off boarding. On time departure and arrival. Got to use my Star Alliance privileges to both get on board early and use a club. There was real honest to God food on both flights even though they were just over and hour long.
The Istanbul airport was nothing like Jordan. There was hardly a head covered woman in sight. Nor when we got to Izmir did we feel we were in a conservative, Islamic place. Our hosts when we arrived to the hotel treated us to a glass of wine when we arrived and were unpacked which they partook of as well. So much for expectations.
We ate dinner at the hotel and had our first 'kebab' of the trip. Kebab, as I've related previously just means 'grilled'. In this case it meant grilled meatballs. Wife and I have a love affair going on with real Turkish 'kebab' and this reminded us of why.
We start touring in earnest tomorrow. The internet at the hotel is not particularly good so pictures may be a bit sporadic.