Saturday, August 29, 2009

Turkish Delights & Medieval Fortresses

Well, I am becoming overwhelmed with the volume of pictures taken on our Europe vacation. This is just a mere smattering of my favorite pictures from two fantastic ports: Kusadasi Turkey & Rhodes, Greece.

I have to say, the itinerary for our cruise was well thought out. It was a really fun combination of history and relaxation. Just about the time we thought we had seen enough ruins for one trip, there was a port thrown in with amazing beaches and shopping, but many of the ports had everything... historically significant ruins, fun shopping, relaxing beaches, interesting new foods to try. Both Kusadsai Turkey and Rhodes Greece had this amazing combination.

First, Kusadasi Turkey is a beautiful port just a quick half hour ride to Ephesus. Ephesus being one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

We have many many pictures of the ruins, however, some of my favorite pictures include the furry residents we met along our travels. In the picture below, Sammy is about to try and pet the kitty, but she was not really interested in human affection at this particular time and she let Sammy know it.
I love the picture below because I was just basically taking a shot of the ancient Ephesus Library and happened to get Michael, Sammy and Joey all in the picture... a happy accident.
I think the below picture is really quite funny. What a strange group shot. I'm not sure who took this picture, but I'm sure they were interested in getting us all in the shot and also getting the detail on the underside of the library above us... what is weird is why is Michael squatting?
I think the sign below speaks for itself.
and it was peach season in Turkey. Beautiful large fresh peaches. Yum!
After our tour of Ephesus and a quick ride back to Kusadasi, we were escorted into a Turkish Rug Store where we were given a traditional Turkish snack and a demonstration on why Turkish rugs are unique, special, more durable, basically better than any other rugs on the planet. Then, a room full of salesmen swooped in and tried to sell a rug to every person in the room. Honestly, the Turkish people are so nice and they are great salesmen. We did buy a rug and it was delivered a couple weeks ago and it is gorgeous. I do not regret our purchase at all. Interestingly enough, our salesmen's brother lives in Vancouver, Washington and a good friend of his lives in Astoria, Oregon. Small world!!!
After we dragged ourselves away from our new best friend, the Turkish rug salesman, we stopped in for some Turkish mixed grill. It was so delicious with homemade pita bread.
and I love how they serve their tea... in a pretty little glass on a pretty little silver tray. I could get used to that.
After a really fun day in Turkey, we made our way back to the ship just in time to see this party boat going by our ship. They have these party boats as excursion options on the Caribbean Cruises too. Basically, they stick you on a "theme" boat, serve you tons of cheap liquor, drop you at a beach for a couple hours, serve you more booze, load you back on the boat, give you more drinks and then drop you off at the pier a nice safe walking distance to the ship so you can't get in too much trouble on the way... except perhaps at the many duty free shops that they make oh so convenient to each ship port. If we drank more... a lot more, this might be a fun thing to do, but since we don't, it doesn't look all that fun and they are expensive because: "free" booze!
We had a lot of back to back port days. After leaving Turkey on Wednesday, we headed on back to Greece for a stop in Rhodes. Rhodes is a really unique city as it is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. It was beautiful and fascinating.

Although we did spend a good deal of time in the town of Rhodes, we are all dressed in beach attire as we knew there were good beaches close to the cruise ship location and on this island, taxis would not be a problem. Oh, and it was really cool that we just happened to run into this medieval guy hanging around the cruise ship ;).

Another sign that speaks for itself:

We all really enjoyed the archaeological museum of Rhodes.
They had so many intricate and unique artifacts from the 5th through 7th centuries BC. Number 1 on the left is smaller than the size of a pencil eraser and perfectly in tact.We did make it to Faliraki beach, a short drive out of Rhodes City. It was an amazing beach just full of people and activities. The water was a perfect temperature and there was some pretty great people watching. It was a top optional beach as many are in this area of Europe and yes, we do have a few pictures but I am certainly not going to post them on my blog :).

I love this picture. Do you think the topless woman with the Hebrew tattoo realizes she is being watched and possibly talked about? Yeah, I don't think she cares either.

Below: back on the ship and ready for dinner...


Michael said...

hey I don't like you taking pictures of my tattoo. Okay I know I have the furriest back in history so this could not be me.

kjlubitz said...

I see you are obsessed with that picture and it is NOT EVEN from the front!