For the first time, I was crossing continents. I've been an avid traveler of Asia but this time, a new destination beckoned and I was nervous. Doing anything out of one's comfort zone makes one nervous. Traveling is no exception.
Turkey is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. A simple historical timeline sees the country being occupied by various countries and ethnic groups surrounding it. From the Byzantines, Ottomans, Greeks, Kurds to the Turks, Turkey is now a melting pot of the cultures and religions that have passed through it. A town that depicts this colourful history all in one place is Selçuk.
Selçuk (pronounced sell-chook)
A small town in the west of Turkey within the city of Izmir, Selcuk is home to three periods of history: The Greek, the Seljuk Turks and the Ottoman empire.
While here, one site worth mentioning is the Ancient City of Ephesus. Ephesus was an important commercial port for the Romans and Greeks during their time in Turkey. Situated on the coast of the Aegean sea, Ephesus brought much trade and business, allowing a civilization to thrive for more than 1500 years.
Ruins of Ephesus
The charm of Selcuk lies in its profile as an ancient town. Its mere size of 280km and a small population of 28,824 adds to its allure.
In and around Selcuk
Monuments from each period of history can be seen all around the town, each with a story to tell.
Isabey Mosque from the Seljuk period
Ayasuluk Castle, used as a fortress for all three periods
The ruins of St John's Basilica
A rich history, a retainment of traditional Turkish culture and a laid-back quality of life quickly swept me off my feet.
I wish I had found out more about the town's art, culture and practices but alas, time was not on my side.
The thing with travel is that just as you are about to get to know a place, you pack and up and move to a brand new place again. That leaves a certain kind of longing and I am counting down the days till I am back in Selçuk again.
Look out for the next post: Part II: Cappadocia