We just arrived back in Athens from Turkey yesterday and it was one of the most memorable trips we have been on so far. We started our trip in Turkey where we traveled to see Ephesus on Friday. We spent the entire day going to both locations of Ephesus. (The first location was not as interesting as the second because pretty much everything there was ruined except for one pole in the middle of the field. The second location of Ephesus was filled with tons of ancient ruins to look at. They had the ancient bathrooms, the amphitheater, a money room where people would toss in offerings and on the outside of the building a carving of Medusa was over the doorway. We also saw a brothel building which had tunnels that led to the library so that the men could tell their wives they were going to the library, but really go to the brothel through the tunnels so their wives would never know! The library was the most breathtaking of all of the ruins we saw at Ephesus. It stood two stories high and was filled with incredible detail in the stone carvings of the entrance ways.
We also went to a potter place where we met the "master potter" and he showed us the older techniques of making pottery. Afterwords we went inside and saw how all of the artists made the designs on the pottery as well. All of their pieces were absolutely beautiful. The Turkish Indigo was my favorite of the colors they used on their pottery.
When we made it to Istanbul my favorite part of being there was the Turkish Baths. Once you get past the awkwardness of being naked in front of many women (and by naked I mean topless because you had the option of wearing bathing suit bottoms or not) it was quite relaxing. You lay down on a large heated marble slab while water from the ceiling drips down on you until you get hot. When you get hot you are able to get up and grab a bowl, fill it with water, and poor it over yourself to cool down a bit. Then the Turkish women call you over and make you lay at the end of the Marble slab on your stomach. They scrub you down with exfoliates and then flip you over and do the front side of your body. Then they pour water over you to rinse off all of the dead skin. After that you lay back down and the women take a pillow case drenched in water and soap, fill it up with air, and as they squeeze the air out of the pillow case tons of bubbles and soap come out and cover your body. The women then rub in all of the soap, scrubbing you down on both sides, and then rinse you off. After all of that they then bring you over to the fountain where they wash your hair and rinse you off for the last time. Then they bring you back to the hot marble slab where you can lay down for as long as you would like. It was the most relaxing thing I have ever done and beats a trip to a spa in America any day!
Turkey has been my favorite place I have been to yet and I would go back there in a heart beat!