Kusadasi (October 2019, including Ephesus):

         In mid October we flew to Izmir in Turkey for a week's all-inclusive stay at the Hotel Adakule in Kusadasi. The main attraction here was that it was close to Ephesus, the famous Graeco-Roman city we had visited as part of a half-day Anatolian coach tour a few years ago, and which we had resolved to explore further sometime.  Ephesus has many New Testament associations with St James and the Virgin Mary, St John the Apostle, and St Paul, as well as some spectacular Classical and Byzantine remains and artefacts (including the Greek Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). This time we planned to spend 3 days exploring the various Ephesus sites in detail, using the cheap, popular, and very handy dolmuses (regular routed minibuses) from near our hotel direct to Seljuk, the modern village near Ephesus. We would also be able to sample the facilities of our spectacular hotel and spa set in its own deep  private cove, and enjoy local walks along the coast and into the hills. The whole exercise was memorable (in spite of some very quirky mealtime and bar service in the hotel), but there is still so much more to be revealed at Ephesus that I feel sure we will go again sometime! 

  
View from our room in Hotel Adakule; Kusadasi town beach & marina;    First of many beautiful sunsets

Mosque by Seljuk Museum; rare Roman glass dish from Ephesus; Artemis, fertility goddess; Temple of Artemis site       
 
Cave/shrine of the Seven Sleepers;  Ephesus' Great Theatre is being refurbished; the famous Celsus Library

Curetes Street: Temple of Hadrian; Trajan's Nympheon and Pool; View from Lower Agora to Terrace Houses
               
Terrace House excavations: furnished peristyle houses, with spectacular wall decorations and mosaic floors

Marble paved Arcadian Way led down to the port (later silted up).    Ritual basin in Virgin Church & Basilica

State Agora and Odeon from the air; tortoise we recued from the hill road to Mary's House, overlooking Seljuk

 
4th century church on supposed site of Mary's House. Watersports abound, but there are few sandy beaches


Kusadasi Caravanseri (Traveller's Rest); Pigeon Island from the port; Margaret in Kusadasi Castle, & in the sea!

Santorini (April 2019 including Akrotiri):

Santorini had for long been an island we wanted to visit, because of its dramatic volcanic origins and features, its historical connections with Crete (which we have enjoyed many times), and the Minoan civilisation which flourished there before the eruption of the Thera volcano about 1700 BC). It did not disappoint . . .

     
Caldera satellite image;  Kamari from Ancient Thera;  Thera from the new cone;  Ancient Agora


  Akrotiri City Unesco site;                     Coastal plain north from Hotel Alia;   Kamari sites and black sand beach

Nerja (May 2019 including Caves):

     On May 17th we were off to Nerja (Costa del Sol) for another sunny week ...
       Day by day summary of our activities in Nerja:
Saturday 18th May: Walks to town and to Aguilar Viaduct, as outlined in text (5km altogether).
Sunday 19th:  Rio Chillar walk along river into Regional Forest Park  (8km).                                 Monday 20th: Took crowded bus to Fragilliana - attractive historical hillside village two miles inland - very steep and narrow access (8 km for round walk).
Tuesday 21st: Walked to Cuevas de Nerja (spectacular!), Maro village and back  (10 km).
Wednesday 22nd: Second visit to beaches, town and Archl. Museum, then to the western end of town and mouth of the Rio Chillar (4 km circuit).
Thursday 23rd: Second brief Cave visit, then explored Costa del Sol Botanic Garden, including a hill walk with fine views of the coast and the Sierra behind. Returned via a large abandoned Sugar Mill.  Afternoon on hot Burriana Beach (6 km total).
Friday 24th: Packed up, then spent day in Nerja: Balcon de Europ and Playa Burriana, with late lunch, wine & brandies to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary (3 final inebriated kms!) 

   
Our 'Rosas de Capistrano' balcony; Aguilas Aqueduct behind the new N340 bridge; natural spring in Chillar Gorge

     
Fragilliana village from Castello mirador; Stalactite formations & Neolithic paintings in Cuevas de Nerja

Gaunt shell of former Nerja Sugar Mill