This morning we took a taxi to beautiful Dilek Peninsula National Park, about 50 minutes south of our Kusadasi apartment. It’s a wooded peninsula with four beaches – one dirt, three pebble. The island in the distance (in the Charlie photo) is the Greek island of Samos. I’d like to take the ferry there, but Greece is a Schengen country. Most European countries are parties to the Schengen agreement which stipulates that, for tourism purposes, the countries will act as one country, i.e. not check passports if traveling from one Schengen country to another. Americans can spend 90 days in a 180-day period in Schengen countries. I rented an apartment in Paris for 89 days but later scheduled a 6-day cruise around Norway, a Schengen country but not an EU country, to see the Northern Lights. Thus, we have to leave Paris six days earlier than we had planned. If we go to Greece for a day, that’s yet another day of rent on the Paris apartment that we won’t be able to spend in Paris; and I’ve already rented the London apartment for the period after we leave Paris. Although the UK is an EU country, it’s not a Schengen country. SO…we’re not going to Samos.
At the second beach we watched wild boars – a few adult females and several babies about 6 months old, according to Görhan, a man working at the nearby snack bar. Görhan told us that there are between 500-1000 boar in the park and that the males are enormous and very mean. There was a stray dog next to us, of course – stray dogs and cats are everywhere in Turkey – who eyed the pigs suspiciously and then started barking at them and lunging towards them. One of the mama pigs ran toward him and snorted, and they did this little dance for about 30 seconds. Görhan thought it was quite entertaining and tried to egg on the dog, but Charlie was afraid.
Our taxi driver, Selo, drove us to the first three beaches. From the third, where we saw more pigs, we walked along a path in the woods to the fourth.
Saturday we walked (There’s a causeway.) to Pigeon Island/Güvercinada, about 1.5 miles from our apartment. There’s a fortress there, but it was closed for renovations.
Monday we walked to Kadinlar Plaji (Ladies Beach), a couple miles from our apartment.
I’ve hired a guide to drive us to and from Ephesus on Thursday and act as tour guide. He comes highly recommended on Tripadvisor. I inquired online about a guided tour, including transportation, of other ancient Greek sites, but the guy from that company is outrageously expensive ($885 for the three of us for one day). The reviews I’ve read of Priene, one of the sites where we’d like to go, say that there is no pamphlet or signage there to tell you what you’re seeing so you should do your homework beforehand. I’m thinking I may just hire a taxi and try to find an English-language guide book at the local bookstore.