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Around and Aboud

Ephesus

ephesus

The transient nature of greatness is rarely as clearly displayed as it is in Ephesus, a city once renowned throughout the Classical world as a major trading port, a metropolis of some 250,000 inhabitants and a religious and cultural center. It was also the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the

monumental Temple of Artemis, known as Diana to the Romans.

Ephesus holds an important place in the history of the early Christian Church as it is here that St. Paul preached and it was to the Ephesians that he addressed some of his memorable epistles. Some 400 years after St. Paul’s visits a great Ecumenical Council assembled here to hold heated theological arguments and lay down the law on important points of Christian doctrine. Nearby, nestled on a mountain, is a tiny chapel built on the spot where, according to tradition, stood the last home of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It is now a place of pilgrimage and, you may be surprised to find, many Moslems

Rhodes

Adding another exotic port of call to your holiday in Bodrum is easy: take a side trip to Rhodes, the largest of the islands of the Greek Dodecanese archipelago, the traditional site of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and, in the Middle Ages, the seat of the Order of the Knights of St. John. The opulence of the restored palace of the Grand Master may belie the vow of poverty required of each knight upon entering the Order but makes it well-worth a visit.

Today Rhodes is a popular tourist destination with many attractions, particularly its reputation as the place where fur coats for the ladies are “a good buy”. The Old Town, the Valley of Butterflies and the picturesque whitewashed little town of Lindos on the southeastern coast are just a few of interesting tourist destinations on the island. In summer months Rhodes hosts many events of the performing arts, a treat if you happen to be there at the right time.

Cos

A visit to our neighbors on the island of Cos will surely add another dimension to your holiday, the Greek dimension. From antiquity to the end of the Ottoman Empire there were often close ties between Cos and Bodrum brought about by geographic proximity and, at times, life under the same government. Today each reflects many aspects of the shared Mediterranean culture, but it’s the differences that mostly interest the visitor.
In addition to being able to taste Greek national drinks like ouzo, retsina and Metaxa brandy, the tourist can take advantage of interesting shopping opportunities, especially native Greek handicrafts. Also, strange as it may seem when you consider the sunny climate, Cos is the place to shop for umbrellas, not sun umbrellas mind you, but those that shield you from rain.
The architecture of Cos bears many marks of the Italian rule of the island between the two World Wars, but of greater interest are the traces of antiquity. Did you know, for example, that the Hippocratic Oath sworn by physicians to this very day is attributed to the great Hippocrates who, according to tradition, taught students of the medical sciences under a plane tree on Cos?

A Mini Blue Cruise

The Blue Cruise, a yacht voyage of one or two weeks enjoying and exploring the southern coast of Turkey, originated in Bodrum, first in the Gulf of Gokova and later broadening to include more distant shores. Groups of friends, usually writers, painters and others interested in nature and history, hired fishing boats to spend some days in unspoilt coves and explore sites of ancient cities best accessible by sea. The Mini Blue Cruise retraces some of these early voyages at a quicker pace, allowing even an otherwise-busy holidaymaker a taste such an experience. Gokova means a “Plain in the Sky”, the name calling to mind the myriad hues of blue reflected in the waves and wavelets of the sea.

a mini blue cruise

Gokova means a “Plain in the Sky”, the name calling to mind the myriad hues of blue reflected in the waves and wavelets of the sea. These effects are particularly striking around the beach of an isle popularly known as Cleopatra’s Island, one of a group identified on nautical charts as Sehir (City) or Sedir (Cedar) Islands, ancient Cedreae. According to local lore sand was brought from the shores of Egypt in Cleopatra’s galleys and deposited here so that this extravagant queen could cavort comfortably on the beach with her newest lover, Mark Anthony. True or not, the fable adds mystery and spice to a visit to this beautiful island.

No matter what route is taken, or which of the many possible stops are included in your Mini Blue Cruise, riding the waves of the “Plain in the Sky” will be a highlight of your holiday.

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