13 September 2011

I had a quick wander around Selçuk this morning prior to breakfast, repacking and loading the Family Truckster. This is a nice town with remains of a Roman Aqueduct, Basilica of St John and hilltop fort/castle all within a short walking distance of the Wallabies Hotel.

Unfortunately I’d explored less of this town than most I’ve visited. I’m glad I took a quick half an hour this morning to visit the ruins of the Basilica. I’d not expected the significant amount of Christian history that exists in Turkey. In fact I’ve probably seen more Christian than Islamic places of historical significance.

My three nights in Selçuk also reacquainted me with the tourist trail resulting in two most enjoyable evenings with excellent company over dinner. This does make blogging hard though, hence my efforts to catch up on my Selçuk adventures a little later than would have ordinarily been the case.

There were so many Aussies on the tourist trail also. On the bus to Pamukkale yesterday were four ladies from Adelaide, clearly all good friends, having a wonderful time touring by bus around Turkey on an independent basis. It was great chatting to them about their experiences and the places they were yet to get to. They were well organised too with everything booked before they left Australia, their trip planning commenced some 18 months ago and nothing had been left to chance. Such a contrast to my find a hotel when I arrive approach.

But Turkey provides so many approaches to travelling. My advice would be to steer clear of the package tours and take more of an independent approach, taking day tours on occasion. And get well east too. None of the Aussies I chatted with over the last few days were going further east than Cappadocia and very few were doing the Black Sea Coast. This is a shame. But such a big country is hard to get around if you are time constrained.

There are still places out east I should have gone to. For instance, when in Diyarbakir I was so close to Mt Nemrut but didn’t go to see the gigantic beheaded statues.

If doing it again I would probably target Pensions more than hotels, due to the greater likelihood of meeting fellow solo travellers. But the reality is you need four weeks to get around this vast country just to see the major attractions. They are well worth the effort.

I bid R and J farewell as they were finishing their breakfast. Maybe I would run into them again. I hope so. They were good company. But I probably won’t.

At 10:00 I pulled away from the Wallabies hotel, headed towards Izmir and some new rear brake pads as my Turkey motorcycle tour continues.

I’ll leave you with a few more photos of Selçuk and the Basilica of St John.