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Today we’ve been at Kusadasi, arriving at 9 o’clock. It rained overnight and the forecast for the day was for temperatures in the mid-70s with a chance of rain, and first thing this morning it was indeed quite grey. But later the clouds rolled away, the sun shone, the temperatures got up to somewhat higher than the mid-70s, and there was no rain, so the weather was kind again.

When we arrived we counted the coaches lined up for excursions – just over 40 of them. Let’s say 40 coaches, each one holding 50 people – that was 2000 passengers on excursions, and not surprisingly the ship did indeed feel empty. We came here two years ago on Galaxy and visited Ephesus then (I blogged about it here), so we decided not to go there again. After a leisurely start – late-ish breakfast, morning coffee in Cafe al Bacio – we went ashore and explored the town. We found the bazaar, and Val actually did some shopping; a scarf and 3 pashminas for 45 TLira (we had some lira left after Istanbul). Then we explored some more, and quickly identifed that we’d strayed into an area of town catering to holidaying Brits – lots of cafes advertising ‘Full English’ breakfasts’. “Ah, the real Turkey” I thought when I saw a sign for an ‘All Day Belly-Buster Breakfast!’; but there was enough of the old town underneath the modern tat to make it enjoyable. At the end of the morning we took one of the bars up on its offer of a big bottle of Efke beer for 4 TLira; and that (with a 1 Tlira tip) was the last of our Turkish money. Incidentally, whereas in Istanbul we only ever saw prices in TLira, here in Kusadasi everything is priced in Euros first, and Turkish Lira second; I think we were quite unusual in paying for Val’s shopping and the beer in TLira. The exchange rate in all the shops, cafes & bars was 2:1 – 2 TLira = 1 Euro.

We lunched in Bistro on 5 today, and we were almost the only diners. We each had a crepe and a dessert, and to be honest we came out quite full; on reflection I think the crepe on its own would have been sufficient. The crepes were a good size, and well-packed with filling, and in addition we each got a small pot filled with cold vegetables (pieces of carrot, cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce) in a sauce – mine was in a vinegar dressing of some sort, Vals was in a sweet’n’sour sauce. Very tasty, but we shouldn’t have had the dessert.

After spending an hour sleeping off lunch and the beer we went ashore again, and this time explored Pigeon Island. This is actually connected to the mainland by what looks like an artifical causeway. I suppose the causeway is 250 or 300 yards long, and at the end of it the island rises up. Perched on the island is an old fortress or blockhouse, and there are paths around the island so you can explore. We wandered around here for quite a while taking pictures and just relaxing. Afterwards we walked further along the road for a bit but turned round fairly quickly as we didn’t see anything especially interesting. We did however pass the sites of several ‘beaches’, and they really aren’t – just loungers & sunshades set out on concrete areas next to the sea. However we didn’t get as far as Ladies Beach, which is reputed to be the best beach in the area and which looks, from the pictures I’ve seen, like a proper beach. We also saw several dolmus mini-buses going to and from Ladies Beach and the town, and I think the fare was 5 euros per person.

Tonight we’re eating in Murano’s, so I’ll report on that during our sea day tomorrow.

4 Responses to “Kusadasi”

  1. Luiz says:

    Great posts about your Celebrity Cruise! I´m planning to sail next July (Celebrity Equinox with almost the same itinerary) and your tips are being very helpful! And for first timers, which one would you recommend to visit: Kusadasi or Ephesus? Is it possible to visit both at the same day? Regards!

    • Tom says:

      If you haven’t been to Kusadasi before, then I would suggest that the excursion to Ephesus is a must. It’s worth doing the cruise line excursion, although this won’t be cheap. It does however include the transport there and back, and the services of a guide at the site. Just try to avoid the carpet demonstration when you get back to Kusadasi.

      For us, the visit to Ephesus was one of he highlights of that cruise on Galaxy.

  2. Luiz says:

    Oh, and one more thing…. What is the average price of shore excursions sold inside the ship? Is there any stop you would recommend buying them instead of exploring the place by ourselves? (or any port where we definitely don´t need to buy shore excursions) Thanks!

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