2012 April 3 – Day 23 – Kusadasi, Turkey (Day 1) (Part 3)

We drove over the flat land that used to be water before it silted in and to our final stop of the tour our first day in Kusadasi, Turkey.   Didyma was once the home to an oracle that rivaled its Delphi counterpart – it probably only fell to second place because Delphi was nearer to Athens.  According to legend, Apollo favoured the region, so a huge temple was built in his honour.

The temple construction dates from 560 BC, and even though the shrine operated for 1,000 years and major construction was undertaken three different times, it was never completed.  The two pillars are 60′ tall and 6′ in diameter.  Much of the broken pieces surrounding the temple are fallen columns. If completed there would have been 124 of them.  Each one would have cost the equivalent of almost $31 million (Cdn).

The people give you an idea of the size of the column bases.                                                          The place was massive.

After six and a half hours of walking the path of history we returned to the ship, head stuffed with interesting facts about Turkey and each of the archaeological sites we visited, foot sore, and exhilarated from a great day.   Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that is agriculturally self-sustaining. They grow two, sometimes three, crops per year.  Turkey is a world leader in cotton production and #2 in olives.  They grow 50% of the world’s figs, grapes, and apricots and 80% of the world’s hazelnuts.  They grow EVERYTHING!  Pistachios, walnuts, chickpeas, artichoke, watermelon, celery, peaches, strawberries, cherries, plums, and on and on and on.  It was “Turkish Delight” in the dining room that night.  Turkish Delight is a very popular treat.  It is a gel made of starch and sugar and comes in all kinds of colours and shapes.  Since the ship was docked overnight we got to enjoy the city lights at night as we strolled the deck after dinner.

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