Kusadasi to Ayvalik

Kusadasi is a normally a busy tourist resort which is a regular stop for cruise ships, with approx 600 ships visiting annually, so this gives you an idea of how rammed it would be pre Corona Virus.  Whilst here we were asked on many occasions “where have you come from?” we clearly didn’t “look local”. Since then we’ve had to repeat the story many times, that we come from London (no-one knows where Canvey Island is) but we’ve been in Kas for the winter.

One of the reasons to go to Kusadasi is to visit Ephesus an ancient Greek city which later became a major Roman settlement.  It attracts about 10,000 visitors per day, yes per day.  This photo is the Street of the Curetes, which is 210 metres long, with not a soul to be seen.

There must have been possibly 50 people wandering around the whole site it was wonderful for us, but not for the local economy.  The Library of Celsus is magnificent.  The ruins also has public toilets, how civilised you would think, yes and no, they are open air and very public!

The House of the Virgin Mary is also at Ephesus, but unfortunately this was closed so we’ll call in there on our way back down to Kas. 

We also visited the Ephesus Archaeological Museum where there are two statues of the Artemis.  The first the Colossal Artemis dates back to the first century and the second, known as the Beautiful Artemis was made in the second century.  The signs of the zodiac are shown on her neck, symbolising her power over the heavens. 

The name Kusadasi means bird island and the small island that is connected to the mainland by a walkway is called Pigeon Island and has a castle that sits on it. 

The Caravan Saray, no it’s not a caravan park, was built in the 16th Century and was a place for travellers to stay.  Travellers would stay in the rooms on the first floor and the animals and goods were accommodated on the ground floor.  This particular Caravan Saray was also a fortress.

After a week here, time to move on.  We anchored in a couple of different bays one of which was an inlet where the boats for the fishing farms which were along this stretch moored.  Very pretty and sheltered.

Ayvalik

Ayvalik was in a bay that was reached by a narrow waterway.  It reminded us of Poole Harbour but on a bigger scale and it was much deeper.  Ian, who constantly wants tea, Cay here in Turkey, spotted a café in a little square.  I thought it looked like a working man’s club, but he insisted it wasn’t.  The clue being there were only men sitting at the tables.  I translated the sign which is behind Ian’s head and it reads “Brothers Challenge Tea House”! I rest my case.

We spent just a few days here, we would pop back but as I mentioned before we wanted to get as far north as soon as we could before the prevailing northerly winds came in.  Ian had been looking at Google Earth looking for places to anchor/moor.  Babakale was one of those such places.  It was a fishing port and due to the pandemic didn’t have many boats in it.  An interesting fact we discovered is that Babakale sits on a cape that is the western most point of mainland Asia. 

Just one night here and we were headed to the Dardanelles strait which separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey. 

June 2020

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