from syros i took a day-tripper ferry to kusadasi in southern turkey. a quite obviously american couple disembarked before me and i overheard the man say, "well, this is it! we've just set foot in asia!" pretty awesome!!!
the journey to istanbul was long, exhausting, EXCITING. my overnight bus didn't leave until around 10pm, so i decided to trek to the roman ruins of ephesus to explore. ended up being picked up along the road by a sweet, generous family from macedonia. they took me along to the top of the mountain, where mary (you know, jesus' mother) was supposedly born. people lit candles, filled up water bottles and drank from the "holy" well, wrote wishes on tissues and tied them to the wall. it's always strange coming to religious mecca sites, but this was very serene and quite beautiful. until you get to the gift shop where they hit you up for your cash in exchange for any and every item in the shape of or plastered with mary's silhouette. trpe and his family, ana and jovana, were great companions and dropped me at the entrance to the ruins on their way down the mountain.
i wandered around alone amongst the collapsed columns of the roman empire's second largest city (behind rome!) but had to take cover from the rain under an ancient arch. another girl was stuck under another structure about 15 yards away from me, and we kept calling out to each other through the rain. when the sun finally came out, we made a break for it and explored the covered section of the ruins together (little did we know...could have just hung out in there for 45 minutes). i cant remember her name but she was from the netherlands and was traveling alone, as well. thanks for hanging out! another stranger proved to be a great companion.
the overnight bus from kusadasi was dreadful- a pudgy girl drooled and snored on me throughout the entire night; the day after tomorrow was dubbed over in turkish; the in-seat radio had sean paul's album in it's entirety on rotation. but hey, they served ice cream! we stopped at weird rest-stops throughout the night and i putzed around taking photos. at dawn, the bus pulled onto a ferry with several other buses. a girl's puppy peed and pooped on the deck. everyone was smoking around the barrels of gasoline and drinking tea in the fog. onward to istanbul.......