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This is how the 2 ports of call for Istanbul and Kusadasi went:

Arriving in the morning in Istanbul, we went to The Blue Mosque first, then Hagia Sophia, then lunch back on the ship for me.....

There was a similar shore excursion as mine with only one difference.

Those people had lunch at a conventional Turkish restaurant, instead of returning to the ship to eat.

After lunch we toured Topkapi Palace.....

Then we went for a quick stop for apple tea at a carpet store (and when I realized hanging around there meant less time at the Grand Bazaar, I hightailed it outta there!)

After about an hour and a half of shopping at the Grand Bazaar......

(don't forget, I had about $250.00 in Turkish Lire I "NEEDED" to spend).... .....

I walked back to the ship, arms laden with packages and shopping bags...

We sailed (always) through the night to stop in Kusadasi the next morning.

The ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus is one of the "Seven Ancient Wonders of the World"

Touring Ephesus was unbelievable!!!

To think, 4000 years ago.......they lived in terraced apartments (they kinda looked like single-story modernday condominiums), with an under the ground plumbing system taking wastes out to the sea.......temples and statues everywhere to please the gods and goddesses.......a market square....communal baths......hmmmmm........just unbelievable!!!

If I remember the tour guide correctly, the demise of the civilization and hence the ruins, is the direct result of the unsurpassed technological wonders of the time.

In other words, its true the aqueduct system was quite unbelieveable for its time......but what happened was, they poisoned the sea with their own human wastes and it became unhealthy to live there.

(Kinda makes you think about what we're doing to planet Earth........ we're behaving like we have some place else to go when we use it up or "ruin" it?)

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