Salacious in Selcuk

Not really, I just like the word salacious.

This is Selcuk, in Turkey.



Here’s what I thought I knew about Selcuk.  Small QUIET town just a short bus ride from Ephesus, the best-preserved Roman city in Asia Minor.

Here’s what I WISHED I had known about Selcuk.

Firstly, it’s not near Izmir.  In fact, it’s 75 kilometres from Izmir.  I wish I’d known that when I bought a ticket to Izmir (the nearest airport) thinking that my hostel in Selcuk would be a mere hop and a jump.  When you get to a place at 9pm, you better hope it is.  Still, I got a taxi there (it took an hour) for 50 euros, which is about the same as it costs me to go from my house to the airport in my home city.   That’s one of the nice things about Turkey.

Secondly, it’s not quiet.  My room in Selcuk overlooks the Sunday markets, so at 5 am the next morning – pandemonium!  The muezzin yelling Allah al Akbar at the top of his voices from the nearby mosque, trucks backing up to unload veges and cheap tupperware, marketeers shouting at one another (Good morning Erzan!  Top of the morning to you too Sheherezade!).  There’s also a guy making a noise like the mating call of a frog.  Maybe he’s the Frog Prince.  Oh and there’s this squeaky, squawky noise in the trees that sounds like a bird-monkey or maybe a monkey-bird…..On this day, Selcuk is LOUD!

Up on the roof, the hostess is drying lentils in baskets.  For breakfast, we eat bread, tomato, cucumber, fetta and a boiled egg (lunch, in other words).  Then it’s off to the Temple of Artemis.  How have the mighty fallen – the temple is just one pillar in the middle of a dusty paddock, with a bird’s nest on top.



Not forgetting the temple geese, who strut around the paddock with a proprietary air.



Nearby is Isa Bey Mosque, which isn’t nearly as ruined as poor old Artemis’ hangout.  It has a quiet feel.  I go out to get some lunch, mostly for a friendly skinny kitten I met in the mosque – but when I get back, she isn’t there.  I leave most of my chicken kebab on the ground in hopes that she’ll find it.




Next day I catch that short bus ride (it really is) to Ephesus, the most intact Roman city in Asia Minor.  When I say intact…hmm.  It’s really big, and you can walk up and down the cobbled streets past So and So’s house, and Such and Such’s house – which are now kind of outlines in stone.



But there’s a small theatre, where St Paul may have said something to the Ephesians, and some nice-looking marble archways.  And the Temple of Domitian, where a mother dog feeds ten puppies, all making squealing noises as they tumble about.  No – really this place is pretty impressive!



On my last day I go to the beach.  Beach?  Not as we know it (in Australia, anyway).  It’s a dishwater blonde strip of sand covered in butts, wrappers, soft drink bottles, seaweed and decayed sandwiches.



The actual sea isn’t bad though.  Afterwards I sit on on a cushion on the floor in a Turkish restaurant, next to a fountain, and drink spiced apple tea.  Nice!




    1. Selcuk’s just a town, but it happens to be near Ephesus. Ephesus is an ancient Roman (and probably Greek before that) city, but not a modern city if you see what I mean. So it’s basically a whole ruined city, sitting in this valley near Selcuk. It is actually pretty amazing – some of the ruins are very intact. It reminds me a bit of Herculaneum, which is similarly intact, although there’s nothing around with a roof on. So you bus out to this place, walk around with a million tour groups, and then bus back. Turkey’s a very arid place, at least the part I saw, so the impression is of this ancient, dry, stony landscape cradling these white stone ruins…it’s quite evocative.

    1. thanks Joel! Actually it’s the second last post in a series about a trip I took two years ago – since I’m going on another in a week and a half, I thought I’d wrap up on that one. It’s almost more for me than for anyone else – a sort of travel diary online.


  1. Rose, am loving these pics & commentary 🙂

    You only learn about the distances when you get off the plane, REALLY, I reckon. All the rest was good though hey 🙂

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