2012 m. rugpjūčio 26 d., sekmadienis

Luxury of relaxing in Ephesus

Sometimes you don’t need any words. It’s not enough to say or describe. It’s better just look from the distance, take a deep breath and try to remember as much as possible.

Being in Turkey I finally realized that the only person you can rely on is you. It may hurt but that’s truth. It was really ironic situation when I and my Chinese friend Qianqian were making jokes at someone, and one friend told: “You both will die alone, if you behave likes this”. I just smiled at him and thought: “Darling, we all do, no matter what”.

Then I came here I had a lot of situations when I started to think ‘why the hell I’m here?’, but the next thought I always had was whatever happens in the end it will be OK. And I have to say it’s working. Actually I noticed a saying on the web “If it’s not OK, it’s not the end”. Well, it sounds a bit trivial, but like my photographer teacher used to say every cliché comes from the real life.

While being here I realised that I won‘t have any more luxury likes this in the next year. So I am trying to experience, to try myself out as much as possible. In these two months I finally started to feel relaxed, full of energy and after two years again being myself. But like I said I came here not only for fun like everybody thinks if you tell them that you are Erasmus student. And it‘s not a cliché anymore when it‘s real.
Such thoughts are roaming my mind time after time, but everything comes together when you least expect it.

It was a dark night, we were swimming fully clothed and lying on the boards. Some people gone to night club and several of us stayed on the beach. Tired of playing, a little bit sleepy I went for a walk by myself and everything became much clearer.

Of course Ephesus is popular not only for the magical senses and ideal beaches but for ancient history too.

Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre Had, Stone carving of the goddess Nike – there would be no information about these buildings if not the few railroad workers who found the pieces of marble/granite this city may still be underground and lost forever or at least until someone else started to dig. Today, roughly only 25% of the ancient city has been unearthed and will take an estimated 100 years to unearth the rest.
If you are religious person you should go to Bulbul Mountain to the House of the Virgin Mary. This is the place where Saint John took the Virgin Mary to live (and eventually die) after Jesus’ death. It is believed that she is buried under the house and is one of the places of pilgrimage for Christians. Virgin Mary is a common link between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

I was greatly impressed by Turkish carpets representing. It was around 11 o‘clock in the morning and they tretated us with apple tea, wine, beer and coffee. They made show by represnting a huge variety of carpets and explayning why Turkish are better than Chinese, even made some carpets fly. Turkish people really have talent when it concens interaction with tourists.
Also, they told that the best way to clean one is with Ivory soap and cold water and that the average lifespan of a Turkish carpet is three generations. Carpets are made by old ladies working in that factory by hands or in families who still know how to make it. Then it‘s factory‘s choice to buy it or not. Before making carpets some designers use graphics, some just do it from their memory.

Guess what is the price of the most expensive carpet? 43 000 dollars, hah. Actually they are becoming more and more expensive each year because there are less and less people who can make them. And small secret: if you really want something and you think that you bargained and pay less it‘s not true. Turkish people see then you really want to buy something, so they just will make price bigger at first.
Şirince Wine Village is also worth visiting. The name Sirince means "pretty" but previously the city was called Cirkince meaning "ugly" in order to keep the inhabitants from being bothered by foreigners and sharing the village's beauty. You must try out wines here. Personally, they are too sweet, but it depends on your taste. For me it is to more like juice with alcohol.

What really made me an impression was place named Pamukkale. In Turkish it means “cotton castle” which is exactly what it looks like. The whole place is covered in white, calcium carbonate deposits which harden into travertine. Hierapolis means “Holy City” and is situated just above Pamukkale for its abundant supply of water and hot springs. After long day it‘s perfect to go through this water. Of course we tried to go to the forbidden area, so after some minutes police came. Good for us they thought that we were just a bunch of stupid and distracted tourists.
There is a legend about Pamukkale:„There was a young girl who was unmarried and ugly. As no one wanted to marry her, she decided to commit suicide and she threw herself off the travertine and fell into a natural pool but did not die. Because of the water in the natural pool she turned into a very beautiful girl and caught the attraction of the lord of Denizli while he was passing by. At that moment, the lord fell in love with this young and beautiful girl and they soon got married.

So, in addition to the curing effects of the water, people also believe in the beautifying power of the water. As the water is useful, this land has been a place people would visit periodically for beauty and health since the ancient times. So the reason for Pamukkale to be an attractive place is not only the natural travertine, but also the healing waters.
The mineral water of Pamukkale helps recovering the high blood pressure, kidney stones, stroke, rheumatism, nervous and physical exhaustion, eye and skin diseases, circulatory problems, digestive maladies, nutritional disorders and chronic disorders. Pamukkale became a spa resort today and the center of a pagan cult in antiquity.“

Thanks for the reading!

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