Our day in Kusadasi [Turkey] was completely and totally unstructured. Somehow we missed the cut-off deadline to sign up for any of the scheduled excursions - even though I signed us up for one - so we had no particular, specific plan. We knew that there would be things to see and do and that we were quite capable of exploring on our own. So, we did. Mostly we wandered about with no particular place to go. We did not go to Ephesus, like you are supposed to, if you are a tourist. DH made the decision that we'd already spent three days visiting "ruins," and that he did not want to spend an entire 'nother day seeing more "ruins" while we still had a week of planned "ruins" that we were going to see. [We have spent many vacations seeing "ruins."] I was fine with that.
We had a leisurely breakfast, and then got off the ship, which was docked at a port, instead of anchored, like it had been in Santorini. The ropes they use to tie ships to the docks are massive - as big around as my arm, if not bigger. As we were walking by the ship, I noticed these "round thingy's" that are at the tops of the ropes. They were rumpled and looked like cardboard - they are metal - they've just been banged around some, and I asked DH what they were for. He said it was to keep rats from being able to climb the ropes and get on-board the ships. [He is so smart, my DH. He knows everything!] It was DH who pointed out that on the ship across from ours that the "round thingy's" had cats painted on them. Ha! That'll keep those nasty rats off! These are the kinds of things that amuse me... And the things that I need to take pictures of:
Took a lot of pictures of the city - Kusadasi - but most of them are on the "new" camera [and STILL have not been downloaded to the computer - I have nagged and nagged!]. Here is the one photo I have of the city of Kusadasi:
And, because no day would be complete without a photo of a dog:
We spent much of the afternoon at a fabulous little cafe, right on the beach, where DH enjoyed the local brew - Efes - and I enjoyed local "grape-juice." When we had been out and about earlier, I had checked at a couple of the little local stores to see if I could find clove cigarettes. [I checked several places in Athens and several places in Santorini - and throughout the entire rest of our trip I continued to look for them.] I don't know why I thought that clove cigarettes would be something so easy to find in Greece, or in Turkey, but surely those are countries where they must be, right? Wrong. Never found them.
Back to sitting at this little cafe on the beach... I was just looking and gazing off over the water when a little girl - three, maybe four-years-old - and her big brother who was maybe eight or ten-years-old - came running over to the rocks in front of us. The little girl was carrying a doll - looked like a Cabbage Patch Doll - that was only slightly less than half the size of the little girl. These two children - one of them, just a tyke - are out playing by the rocks right next to the water - without an adult in sight. Well, that's not really true. There were plenty of adults - but none of the adults that were in sight were the parents of these two kids. I just started telling DH that I guess there are some cultures that just are not quite as paranoid about little children being so close to water with no supervision - because these two kids played in front of us for a short time with absolutely no parent looking over them. I tried to get a picture of the little girl, carrying her doll, and of the bigger boy that was with her and this is the one I got:
I'm glad I snapped it when I did, because as they were headed to this wall - a retaining wall, maybe - and just as I got up to go and try to get a better photo, the little girl dropped her doll and then whipped her little britches down and squatted in the sand, right there, and did her little business [not "real" business - but the "quick" business]. Then, just as quickly she pulled up her little britches and went delightfully squealing and running back to the rocks - doll-less. The boy, immediately grabbed the dropped doll, and went running after his little sister. It was so sweet. This boy, was obviously charged with keeping and eye on and caring for his little sister. Shortly afterward, the boy in the red shirt disappeared and an even younger boy appeared. Now there is a six-year-old in charge of his three or four-year-old sister. Yikes! The two of them realized that I was trying to take their picture, and with glee and big smiles, they posed for me:
Just the way the little boy was so good about looking after his little sister - and the fun that they were obviously having - and making, for themselves, wading into the water, playing on the rocks. Heart-warming. Brings a smile to my face, right now, just thinking back on it. It was a good two hours or so before a woman with several other children in tow - two older ones, a young teenage boy and a younger teenage girl, along with the brother in the red shirt and one baby in a stroller - appeared. The young teenage girl was pushing the stroller where a baby - say, nine or ten months old, was eating a piece of bread. I am just hopeful that the baby did NOT belong to such a young girl and that it was the older woman's. Where they were the whole time, who knows? I know they were out of sight as I never saw them. And I also know that as a parent, I can tell you that when my son was that young, I did not allow him out arm's length or sight when we would go to the beach.
Earlier - about the clove cigarettes - as we were sitting during our long afternoon at the little cafe on the water, I asked our waiter if he knew where I could find clove cigarettes. In very limited English, he gave me directions to a store, not far away, and pointed me in the direction I needed to head. As I was rising up out of my chair - he gestured for me to sit back down. He called out to the young boy who was working at the cafe - he couldn't have been more than ten, maybe eleven or twelve, and in Turkish told him to go and get the cigarettes for me. Apparently, the waiter told the boy to get a pack of Marlboro's for him, too, and he fished some money out of his pocket and gave it to the boy. The boy, who earlier, had been working the cafe as the busboy clearing off the tables of their dirty dishes and empty bottles, etc., emptying and cleaning the ash trays and then cleaning the glass tables with Windex, went scurrying off at a quick pace to get cigarettes for me and for the waiter. He was gone a good ten or fifteen minutes, maybe a bit longer. He got back and you could just tell by the look on his face that he was distrought over not being able to complete his mission. I don't know what the boy said to our waiter - again - you could just tell by the look on his face that he was expecting to get yelled at - or something - for not getting me cigarettes that even I had not been able to find. The waiter came over to our table and explained that there were no clove cigarettes. No problem. I had my Kool Super Longs and the clove cigarettes were just something I was hoping to find. As we were paying our bill, and getting ready to leave the cafe, I went to find the boy who had tried to get the clove cigarettes for me - I wanted to make sure to thank him, personally, and give him a little something for his trouble. He was very, very pleased with the "little something" I gave him and I asked him if I could take his picture. He looked to our waiter - as if asking for permission - and when the waiter heartily said, "Sure, sure, of course, yes, yes" the young boy sat and posed - with a big smile:
DH and I left the cafe and again, headed out to meander through the side streets of the city. Here's the thing. When you spend a couple of hours sitting at a cafe consuming liquids... Eventually you are going to have to find a place to eliminate them. Sometimes you just can't be fussy about the facilities. You just have to do what you have to do:
We spent the entire glorious day doing absolutely nothing of any importance but enjoying it. Those days can be just as enjoyable as the ones where you are out and about visiting "ruins" and seeing the sights. As we headed back to the port, strolling casually through the city, I came upon a sign - really it is nothing of any significance - but for the fact that there was NO dog anywhere in sight:
That was our day in Kusadasi. When the "new" camera photos are finally downloaded, I'll post more of what we saw in the city while we were out and about.