Day 12 Ephesus and the rest

Not quite an early start today so I have time to write my blog on the deck. Not a bad idea as I am near the coffee machine however I am in sight of the Joggers on the deck above and they keep crossing my eye line. The normal group going at different paces all except one who is Jogging backwards, yes backwards. What one earth he thinks he is doing. I move away so I can concentrate and end up near one of the doorways. Like yesterday I greet each person passing with a cheery “Hello there, nice day, enjoy” with mixed results. I am even greeting the crew which I think is unnerving them. It takes around 30 minutes to complete then back to get Judi and a quick breakfast.

10:30 sees us in the lounge with our stickers E-1 today. A small bus so only around 20 people for this tour of Ephesus. The guide is young and a little nervous. This ability to use the phrase “you know” more than one in a sentence is remarkable. The People you know used to live here you know and you know they were very you know sophisticated. He gets better as he settles into his rhythm. The site is 30 minutes away so an easy drive. It used to be a small port but it silted up however it remains an iconic name amongst ancient ruins.

It is impressive but a little ragged, I think it could do with a little more organization. It does have some impressive mosaics and frescos but these are not generally on view they are in a part sectioned off. We get in because we have paid they little extra. They do show how detailed people were in those days. A swimming pool kitchens, bathrooms. All quite well preserved, all of the archeological work being done by some Austrian university. There is a two story library which was at some point supposed to rival Alexandria but of course fate is cruel and everything was lost. There is an extremely impressive amphitheater which seats 25,000 so by far the biggest I have seen. Shame they have been using it for rock concerts and the acoustic vibrations had a detrimental effect on it so there are repairs going on. I say going on I could only see two workers both asleep under a tree but there was a big crane.

I am not actually disappointed in Ephesus but I have to say they could do a lot more with it. There are many stones with inscriptions on just lying around and you can tell some of the restoration work was poorly thought out. columns change shape half way up, cornices do not match so it looks more like some form of leggo set. That said the physical size of the amphitheater and the mosaic floors (if you can get in to see them) are possibly worth the entrance fee and it is only a stones throw from Kusidasi where we are docked and we are soon back there for a little retail therapy. I have to say the place is very neat and tidy and a welcome relief from the harassment we have suffered at some other places. It is possibly only the culture difference but I don’t appreciate being bullied into buying something. There is a repetitive nature to the shopping, Jewelers, tiles, clothes, cafe, jewelers, tiles clothes, cafe. so it becomes slightly monotonous but the streets are clean and nobody is grabbing hold of you (I really hate vendors grabbing my arm). We make a couple of minor purchases for the flat, Judi says it needs some stuff to make it look like ours as right now it looks bare. Bright tiles and hand painted bowls should do.

Back for an hour or so lounging around. The two piece band is hard at it although nobody notices. They play on deck in the casino lounge and in the upper cabaret lounges every day and I am in constant amazement at the singers fortitude in standing on deck in the full sun and have watch as she gets more and more of a tan.

Dinner is interesting as we comment on the American Open Tennis championships which started this week. The provokes a debate on players and interestingly the English couple really seem to dislike Andy Murray because he is Scottish and the Irish couple do not like Roger Federer because he is Swiss. Now neither have met them and of course it is of no consequence what these tennis players do. They just play tennis they do not dictate Governmental policy or actually do anything bad or are troublesome about anything they just play tennis every now and again. What I found fascinating was how someone can form an opinion about another person based only on conjecture. How can you hate someone for no good reason. You can “Prefer” someone else and even support someone else but there is no reason to violently dislike. I point this out because over the last few days we have met lots of cultures which hate other cultures for things which did not happen to them themselves and on occasion may have happened centuries ago. In fact some may never of really happened or may have been distorted through the telling of the stories and yet here we are 2009 with the same thing. Maybe we have not moved on very far at all.

This got me thinking do “I” dislike anyone. Well there was a man I said I would never work with again (a long time ago) that was because I always had the impression he was a little violent. I added another a while back because it seemed he could only be right by making everyone else wrong which got tiring after a while. I have never met anyone who was “always right” and probably never will but we live in hope.

An easy day tomorrow Patmos a Greek island not much there so only a gentle stroll planned.