Day 5: To Ephesus!

Woke up late. No surprise there. Breakfast was GRRREEAT. I didn’t have any Frosted Flakes, but they had these cheesty sticks. They looked like eggrolls, but the shell was flakier and was filled with white cheese.

I packed my bags as quickly as possible and headed out to the Otogart (bus terminal). In order to get to the Otogart, I had to catch the Tram and make a transfer on the Metro.

I had no idea what the Metro was, and everyone I asked couldn’t explain it to me. They kept pointing in a general direction, and it took me a little while to realize they are poing towards a staircase which is going underground. I’m understanding this situation. It was really frustrating trying to figure out what this Metro thing is and how to get there. It wasn’t marked at all. In fact, when I got there, I realized they have a subway system, and it’s called the Metro. Four days I’ve been here and never realized they had a subway system.

Caught the EXTREMELY crowded train and arrived at the Otogart, which by the way, is as big as Hobby Airport. Turks travel by bus. Maybe even all Turks travel by bus. This terminal was gigantic.

All the bus companies have savvy salesman stadning outside who can’t speak a lick of English and they all hound you to buy your tickets from them.

Note to all: You can bargain these guys like crazy. I knocked off at least 25-50 liras for my one way ticket just by haggling.

I bought my ticket to Ephesus for 25 liras one way in a luxury busy with gigantic seats. Get this, unlike Greyhound, which is extremely ghetto compared to this, these seats go down pretty far, thye all have ventilation controls, and the bus itself has two waitresses who are constantly providing you with all sorts of delicious snacks and tea, and wrap it up with Germ-x type liquid. Beware of the bathroom though.

En route, you have to get on a ferry (much like Galveston’s ferry) and cross over. Our bus and several others in addition to cars and bikes loaded on to the ferry and off it went. The lake was stunning. Pictures below.


Sesame Chips


View from the ferry


The buses lined up on board

The whole trip to Izmir was pretty long, but beautiful (scenery was real nice). I did get to watch Transporter 2 in Turkish so that was fun. We stopped somewhere for gas, and since I had to go pray, I was the last one on board, and the waitress didn’t seem to like me much after that. Besides, I was the ONLY foreigner on the bus and we could barely communicate with one another. I don’t think she likes tourists much.

When I arrived at Izmir at 10:45pm, I had to purchase a ticket to Ephesus which only company was selling and it left at 1am. Boooooo! When I finally got there, I was dropped off in front of a hospital because the bus terminal along with the rest of the city/town was closed. Police at the hospital asked me to come inside and wouldn’t let me leave (out of hospitality). Turns out the brother-in-law of the cop was the owner of the hotel and he was on his way to get me.

The hotel was horrible. The road was underconstruction, and the place itself seemed run down. Barely any heat, hairs on the bed, and only one spanish/italian couple there. No hot water either. How did this place get such positive reviews (three of them)?

It sank in. This guy wrote them all himself.


He did tell me he’d take me to Ephesus (prounounced EF-ES) in the morning. So that’s cool. The hotel is in Selcuk which is 3km from Ephesus. You can’t actually stay there because it’s all Roman ruins.

Tomorrow: Check out the ruins and find another place to stay.


One of the Historia staff members


Breakfast in Istanbul at the Historia Hotel

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