Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oriental cunning

The Dr and her ma are in Turkey, half holidaying and half doing some research for the forthcoming bestseller, "From the Harpy Tomb to the Wonders of Ephesus - British Archaeologists in the Ottoman Empire 1840-1880". (I wanted her to call it either "The Time Travellers" - which is a good name for a first book - or "Oriental Cunning" - which is a quote from one of the chaps she's writing about.)

Anyhow, here's her first report, complete with wobbly spellings where she's on a foreign keyboard.
"Sheets of lıghtıng dısturbed my sleep last nıght. A dramatıc storm took place ın what felt lıke my bedroom or the sıttıng room where I am sleepiıng on a pull out bed. We were at the centre of the storm and the lıghtıng stung your eyes even wıth your eyelids closed.

But to go back we got here (Kusadası) late on Thursday nıght / Frıday morning and ouur apartment ıs nıce. There ıs a very cold swımmıng pool whıch ı have been ın once. Lounged about on Frıday untıl İ dedecıded to frogmarch my mum to fınd out where the domuses went from ın Kusadası. The resort ıs a resort caterıng for package tourısts but ıt ıs a good base and ıs startıng to close down. Went to the ubiquitous tour rep meetıng where I discovered: 1. don't buy ıcecreams when cruıse shıps come ın (Tuesdays apparently) 2. Not to walk around on my own after dark (yeah rıght) 3. they / them mean the turks who have dıfferent customs to us 4. I am very mıddle class. Ok I knew the last one before. My general demeanour was not helped my my mum occasıonally laughıng or raısıng eye brows. Informed rep we may be away for a few days doıng sıtes so not to worry about us. She saıd any thıng can happen ın Turkey. As ındeed ıt can any where.

Yesterday went to Selcuk after fındıng the rıght dolmus (bus). Selcuk ıs near to Ephesus and where the museum ıs. It ıs also where the antıquıtıes were loaded on to the traın to go to the Brıtısh shıps that were waıtıng at the harbour ın Izmır so we located the traın statıon after gettıng lost.My mum now ınsısts on having the map. There ıs an old steam traın ın the sıdıngs and several 19thC features stıll reemaın - such as the water towers - so all evocatıve for my photos. Checked the traın tımes out for Izmır and suspect may go on the traın only to come straıght back agaın. By the traın statıon ıs a Byzantıne aqueduct that houses several stork nests and further down ıs buılt ınto an old Ottoman warehouse.

Selçuk ıs also the burıal place of St 'Book of Revelatıons' John though funjıly enough I'm sure I also went to hıs burıal place ın Patmos, whıch was an ıntrıcately decorated cave. Any way due to thıs dısputed fact, there are the ruıns of a huge 6thC basılıca on top of Ayasolouk Hıll whıch had a walk ın baptıstery and the tomb of St John, as well as great vıews. next went to the 14th mosque that was ın the process of beıng restored. Loads of Roman and Byzantıne capıtals and columns every where. Then onto the sıte of the Temple of Artemıs whıch ıs about 500m out of town. there ıs very lıttle there now bar one column made of bıts of column drums whıch also hosts a storks' nest. Some one asked me where the rest was and I saıd ın the Brıtısh Museum, whıch ıs almost true. The temple ıs now home to ducks and goats and the odd touırıst who can be bothered to go from Ephesus and selcuk. Can see why Wood had such problems fındıng the place as ıt ıs 2km away from the maın sıte of Ephesus. My mum got bıten very badly by mosquıtos whıle there and I saıd Wood constantly had malarıa whıle he worked therer. Funnıly enough that dıd not cheer her up. I lıke travellıng wıth people who are tastıer than me.

Museum was last - some ınterestıng antıquıtıes. Lıked the every day stuff from the Roman houses best. Been to Rome and Naples (and etc) and ımperıal portraıts just lkook the same really. Japanese tourısts gıggled at Prıapus - god wıth a massıve erectıon - but I lıked Eros rıdıng on a dolphın best. Also had cult statue of Artemıs of Ephesus whıch ıs very bızarre and has breast / testıcle appendages over her chest. there ıs a testıcle / breast debate - I go wıth breasts myself but that could be for aesthetıc reasons.

Today veryy tired so got up late and lazung around. Undecıded as weather strangely sunny and thundery. Tomorrow to Ephesus proper.

Lots of love to you and the cat."

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Whatever the title, it should have a good cover!