John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Sunday 14 July 2013

[Saturday 13 July 2013]

Hotel Palmin, Kuşadası

It was very warm in the room. Traffic noise through the open French window to the balcony was very loud. Other than that there was the continual chirruping of grasshoppers [possibly crickets, I now think, as I add this note on 17 July 2013]. (I state this as a fact, not to report it as disturbing, unlike the traffic.) At one point there were multiple bangs, which sounded like fireworks or amplified drum beats. Didn’t get off to sleep straight away, and then I woke, ca.2am. The traffic noise hadn’t abated. …My right hand hurt, my unsupported feet felt uncomfortable, and I was daunted because Janet had been adamant that we do excursions “under our own steam” and not part of any organised outings. Was feeling better when I woke up, though; and I got out of bed, ca.7.00am, and took some medication. A cock was crowing; other than that there were the sounds of collared doves and of chirping sparrows — and the meows of a kitten somewhere quite close. Later there was a chorus of chirruping — more raucous than the aforementioned “grasshopper” sound [definitely, crickets]. At one point it dwindled one by one to a momentary silence. Sat at the computer, updating the diary entry. Janet got out of bed ca.8.15am. It was gone 9am when we went down for the buffet breakfast (no bacon — obviously!?): cornflakes; baked beans and bright red sausages, a bit like cocktail sausages but fried; a few slices of bread and butter, some seeded, one with something peppery; apricot juice; coffee. We picked up our passports from reception and hired the safe in the room for a week. The price, surprisingly, was in euros — €10 — and she had to convert it to Turkish, 25.50₤, for us to pay in the currency we had. I gave the young man who came up with me to show me the operation of the safe the 5₤ note I’d got in the change for the 50₤ note I’d handed over for the safe. (The exchange rate was about 3₤ to the £.) J unpacked the cases. I took some photos from the balcony, and one of the “handcuff”.


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 10:26:58
Views from 6th floor balcony, Palmin Hotel, Kuşadası


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 10:27:56
Views from 6th floor balcony, Palmin Hotel, Kuşadası


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 10:28:16
Views from 6th floor balcony, Palmin Hotel, Kuşadası


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 10:28:34
Views from 6th floor balcony, Palmin Hotel, Kuşadası


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 10:56:00
Palmin Hotel “handcuff”

We went to the bar by the pool, ca.11.30am and I had an Efes beer and Janet at least two Coca Cola Light till they started playing loud music and we left. At 12 o’clock there was the scheduled meeting of the First Choice people, perhaps 20 of us, with Jordan the First Choice rep. There were tulip-shaped wine-glasses of an orange coloured and flavoured liquid with red towards the bottom. Jordan told us about various excursions and answered questions. Then we went for lunch. The soup, labelled “lentil”, looked identical to the soup labelled “mushroom” last night: white with little black bits in it. What’s more, when I dredged it with the ladle there were no lentils to be found — not a trace. And the odour of it was disagreeable. Afterwards, we went back to the room. Ca.1.30pm, just outside the hotel, we caught one of the minibuses that serve as local public transport (a “dolmuş”). We asked for “Kuşadası centre”, but didn’t see anything resembling a “centre” till we got to the terminus. People hailed and caught the dolmuş from wherever they happened to be, but the terminus was marked by a sign: a large blue-and-white “D”. Nearby was the “Port of Kuşadası” (in English), where there was a huge cruise ship moored. Janet was finding it too hot and sat in the shade of a tree while I took photos.


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 14:13:26
Port of Kuşadası — huge cruise ship


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 14:15:46
Kuşadası — views from nearby “14:13:26”


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 14:16:08
Kuşadası — views from nearby “14:13:26”


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 14:16:28
Kuşadası — views from nearby “14:13:26”


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 14:16:48
Kuşadası — zoomed in view of the hilltop from the same spot as “14:16:28”


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 14:16:48
Kuşadası — zoomed in view of the hilltop from the same spot as “14:16:28”: detail

Then we went in a seaside bar/café where Janet had two Coca Cola Light and I a Fanta. The bill was 15₤, so I proffered a 20₤ note. The “garson” — that was the word on the bill — brought back a 5₤ note in change, and turned away. So I called him back, waved the 5₤ note, and asked if he had any coins. He gave me five 1₤ coins and I pocketed three of them. We looked in a bookshop and bought a guide to Ephesus for 9.40₤. (Later, when I flicked through it, though, it proved to be written in almost incomprehensible “Turklish”!) We went in the “Tourist Information” centre and asked about boat trips to Samos, and the guy simply pointed across the road to a tour operator’s office. We enquired in there, but could only find all-day return trips and no tours of the island. We went up a shopping street past an old castle-like structure that was now a hotel (the “Caravanserai”, we later found out), and also past a small tower with an arched gateway — isolated, but perhaps once part of a city wall. There was a public drinking fountain — well, some water-taps — an example of a “sebil”, I guess, on one side of the arch. The inscription was interesting for its mention of “Nisan 14th”. Is “Nisan” the same month I recognise as on the Hebrew calendar? Nisan 14th is the date of the Passover. [I later found out it was also Turkish for “April”.] Janet again sat in the shade, this time of a shop awning using my tripod stool, as I walked up a few yards farther to take photos.


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:14:50
Kuşadası — arched gateway in the old town


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:15:00
Kuşadası — “sebil” in the arched gateway in the old town


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:15:00
Kuşadası — “sebil” in the arched gateway in the old town: detail


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:16:44
Kuşadası — view beyond the gateway


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:16:54
Kuşadası — looking back to the gateway

On the way down we looked in a shop and bought bottles of Fanta, Diet Coke, and a couple of other items. I noticed that on that side, the “castle” (the Caravanserai) had a swallowtail crenellation, initially pointed out to us last year in north Italy as the anti-pope style of the “Scaligeri”. If that’s true, I don’t think it’s the whole story of this style of battlement.


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:30:58
Kuşadası — side wall of the Caravanserai


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:30:58
Kuşadası — side wall of the Caravanserai: detail of swallowtail crenellation


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:32:52
Kuşadası — Caravanserai


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:34:50
Kuşadası — Caravanserai


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:34:50
Kuşadası — Caravanserai: detail 1


Sunday 14 July 2013 — 15:34:50
Kuşadası — Caravanserai: detail 2

We crossed the main road and returned to the “D”. The dolmuş waiting there was full to overflowing, so we got the next one, in next to no time. I told the driver “Palmin Hotel”, and in fact he stopped there for us, even though we didn’t realise that we’d arrived. We sat on tall stools at the poolside bar: I had an Efes, a glass of water, and another Efes; Janet had repeated orders of Coca Cola Light. Back to the room, which felt hot and stuffy, Janet felt very weary and lay on the bed. I couldn’t get the air-conditioning to work. Did diary update. On two occasions, below outside, first one way and later the other, there was a procession of horn-beeping, hazard-lights flashing vehicles, preceded by a lorry with someone beating a drum and another playing a Turkish-style oboe-type instrument. Janet said that a similar thing had happened ca.3am on our first night. Presumably, it didn’t wake me up. At 7.30pm we went down for dinner. There was identical-looking soup, i.e. white with little black bits in it, this third time putatively “Turkish style with yoghurt”. One of the food items we both had was turkey! I didn’t like the look of it, in a white sauce of asparagus, but it proved quite palatable. I couldn’t resist the irony of having some! Janet asked at reception about operating the air-conditioning, and he told us that the door and windows had to be shut. He also mentioned a remote control, which I hadn’t till then noticed. Anyway, I did get the system to work. Janet felt less weary after a shower. She updated her journal, and I updated this. There were loud musical entertainments laid on outside. Janet wasn’t keen on having the balcony door (“French window” or “French door”, I suppose they’re called) claustrophobically shut, but I pointed out that when you’re on a ship you can’t have your cabin window open. She just pretended that the “breeze” from the air-conditioning unit was coming from outside. The closed door, and the blowing noise of the air-conditioning unit, helped to mask the Euro-pop or “Turko-pop” music and the traffic. Janet went to bed ca.10pm. I propped myself up on the bed and read more chapters of the life of Paul, before going to bed proper myself, perhaps 11pm, with the sounds of music still playing outside. I woke up sometime after midnight, and there was still something going on.

[Monday 15 July 2013]


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