Turkey Day 13 - Greek & Roman ruins road trip, Didyma, Miletus & Priene

Robin at the huge Temple of Apollo in Didyma. 

As breakfast in Bodrum was not until 8am bags were packed and mostly loaded before we ate. Another simple relaxing meal being served to us, after yesterday we knew what to expect. The Moonshine Hotel is really a typical hotel in a resort area and not really my cup of tea no matter how nice it was, I prefer the more organic B&B or Pension atmosphere.

The trip today is really full on and all about Ruins. The actual direct drive is about 2 hours but we are heading up a road along the coast to visit 3 different sites to make a long day.

First up was Didyma, where the site is actually one building - the huge Temple of Apollo. The temple was started by the Greeks and was huge and through it was in use for hundreds of years was never actually completed. The temple is a huge Greek temple with this forest of huge pillars around it (and these are the largest pillars I have ever seen let alone the number of them it was just like a forest – would have been impressive 2500 years ago.

Temple of Apollo in Didyma.

Robin outside a huge carving of Medusa that used to be on the Temple.

The impressive forest of pillars at the Temple of Apollo in Didyma.

A pillar which has fallen over and is still in place.

There were a number of board game’s carved into marble – for people to play while waiting to enter the Temple.

And the centre of the temple was different as it was actually an open courtyard, which was a surprise.

Open courtyard inside the Temple.

Inside the centre courtyard, with Robin and Luke looking back up to the main entrance of the Temple.

Artwork from the temple.

I had a good explore of the ruins, Julianne a brief explore of the ruins and the local shops, and Grandma a good explore of the local shops.

Grandma got a really nice handmade rug at a good price and we all got a range of pottery from a local potter. It seemed very historic to be buying pottery from the potter himself who was actually in the process of making more pottery while we were there and boy were they cheap. We have stopped and looked at pottery items before during this holiday and nothing has come close to the quality of this shop. I hope we can get it all home successfully, that will be the next challenge. All this took a while and we didn’t get away until after 1pm.

Back in the car it was a brief 15 minute drive to Miletus. This used to be a city on the coast, but the water has since receded since then and first up was this huge theatre that you could explore and clamber over – a lot of fun.

Theatre in Miletus.

Everyone heading off to the theatre.

Now that is one damn impressive entrance – very cool to see it is still standing and that we can use it. You can see how large it is by Robin standing at the bottom of the stairs.

Inside the entrance.

Inside the theatre in Miletus.

Everyone else waited at the car while I explored the rest of the city, there was not a lot extra to see.

Spa complex in Miletus, water used to enter the pool through the statues.

By 3pm we were all back in the car and heading down to Priene which was the most ruined site I have seen – a total mess of blocks everywhere in the trees.

Priene, how they know what is what is impressive.

It was a free site and the only thing I wanted to see was the theatre which is stated as the most complete Greek theatre. It was nowhere as large as some of the previous theatres I have seen it did look very complete with seats up the front for the rich people and what looked like the correct spaces for people in the seating, especially as it has not been restored like so many others have.

Me sitting in the posh seat up the front.

Greek theatre in Priene.

I had a good nosey and then back in the car.

Grandma keeping Luke occupied by taking him through the old streets, and this was hard work on the steep up and down to Priene.

I spotted a large supermarket so we pulled in to get some breakfast materials, drinks and night nappies. As we have our own cottage for the next few days we need to have all our meals covered and we don’t want to go out again.

This added a bit of time so we didn’t reach Selcuk until almost 6pm where I parked while Julianne ran into the pedestrian area and found the lady who owns ‘Serenity Cottage’ where we are staying. And what an amazing house Serenity Cottage turned out to be – 2 bedrooms, open plan lounge with lovely dining areas outside including up on the roof. Considering most people live in large apartment blocks this place with its large courtyard must be worth a fortune and is well worth us staying here for a few nights.

I didn’t want to eat out so I went back into the centre with Grandma and headed to a Turkish fast-food place from the Lonely Planet Guide; and it turns out they only do 2 meals, kebabs and meatballs. Not really knowing what was what I ordered 4 kebab meals and 3 meatball meals and took them back to the cottage.

They turned out to be a great meals with salad, bread, meat on stick (kebabs) and meatballs – all of which was very yummy and was finished off with a glass of wine. It was so nice to eat in a house and not go out for a meal after doing it every night for the last 2 weeks, and so different from NZ takeaways of fish & chips. A I ordered 7 meals we had lots of food left over for nibbles over the next couple of days. 

It also gave me a lot more time to catch on my blog being in the cottage. 

Adam Weller