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This one time, in Turkey...
Okay nothing too crazy happened, but Turkey was a really awesome port! We pulled into Kusadasi early in the morning and of course, skipped the excursions the cruise had to offer. Unlike most of the places we have been to, Kusadasi was pretty easy to navigate. We knew we were looking for the Dolmus, a local bus that would take us to the ruins. We found an information kiosk near the ship, they gave us a map, and we were off. We walked for a little while only slightly worrying we were going the wrong way, but with a little help from strangers we found the "bus".
The Dolmus is a shuttle.. as in a 14 passenger van. Don't look for a bus. The ride was great. It was a small group which is always nice, but we also got a nice ride to the ruins for $2 each! We had to walk about a mile to get to the entrance and then we had to pay a fee, but if you're in even somewhat good shape and you're interested in saving a few dollars, this is definitely the way to go.
The ruins were incredible!
The library and the stadium were by far the most intact, and both were absolutely gorgeous. A lot of the other parts of the site had chunks of old buildings lying around everywhere, but there was plenty to see in the areas where even half a building or just some columns were still visible.
Seeing the intricacy in the pieces was eye-opening... thinking about how much time people took just to improve the aesthetics of their surroundings. Matt kept touching random things because "it may not have been touched for a hundred years". Of course I made fun of him the whole time, but I get it. Seeing this part of history in person is something not everyone gets to experience.
Yes, seeing the terra cotta houses was worth it. Pay the extra fee! The fact that these buildings are in tact at all is amazing, but then when you see the mosaics and the layout of the homes- it is indescribable. You just have to see it in person to understand.
Should you go to Turkey? Yes, go anywhere and everywhere that you can. In our experience the locals were more than helpful, kind and the food was very good (the small amount we did try). Cruising is great and it allows you to taste of a bunch of different places in a short period of time but man, does it make you want to travel more!