The museums in Ankara had opened my eyes to the rich heritage of Turkey. So many early civilizations left their marks on the land. The history of the country was not simply enclosed in the museums in Ankara. As I journeyed south of the capital, I was privileged to come across Cappadocia. A place rich with history. Odd looking caves sprinkled the landscape. Years before these caves hid Christians who feared for their lives. I stood staring up at the caves wondering what they could tell me if they were able to talk. Unfortunately time did not permit any great exploration and it was back into the car to continue driving.
As the car came to the coast, I could not breathe. The water glistened in a variety of colors. It just did not seem to be real. I have lived around water the majority of my life, but this was different. Of course, it beckoned us and we could not refuse the invitation. The car stopped and all three of us tumbled out ending up in the water. A quick dip and then back into the car to race towards our destination, Ismir.
Camping became an art. As the sun slid down, we scouted for a place to camp. One night we camped in a crater. The car literally drove up the side and down into the huge hole. It was an amazing campsite. (the only problem is I can't remember if this was in Turkey or in Yugoslavia- but I think it was Turkey) It was April 1st when we woke up in that particular campsite, the reason I remember is because Padma and I played an April Fool's joke on Stephen. He didn't think it was so funny.
There were other unique campsites we found, one site was on a beach where normally tourist paid to camp out. The owner of the beach thought we were interesting and allowed us to camp there for free. Maybe we paid for the stay in our own way, he spent a great deal of time with us chatting way into the night. He enjoyed our company and we were grateful for the free campsite. He regaled us with stories of hidden city under the water and promised to take us on a boat trip to see this wonder. Unfortunately the next morning he was no where to be found and we had to continue on our journey.
Ephesus proved to be another gem on our path. I didn't realize I was in Ephesus until I read a plaque in the middle of a theatre. It told of how Paul had stood in the same place and preached. My only regret was not having more time in each place we visited. We needed to rush to Ismir.