Monday, May 13, 2013

Turkey - Day Seven - Ephesus and Bodrum

The band got on the bus at the early hour of 7:40am today, with a 6:30am wake up time, and headed off to Bodrum, our last stop for the tour.  Along the way, we saw the ruins of Ephesus, an ancient city which has stood the test of time and was quite a remarkable sight to see.  The city had who parts to it, an upper and lower section.  The lower section was the most interesting for a few reasons.  Firstly, the lower section was where most of the markets and houses were in the city.  It was basically the downtown area of Bodrum.  It had an enormous library at its start, and it was fun to imagine the hundreds of thousands of books which may have been there at one point in time.  The other major attraction of the lower section of Ephesus was the Amphitheater.  This huge structure housed an enormous amount of people at it's prime and its said that famous Christian speakers, such as the Apostle Paul from the Bible, spoke in this very place.  In total the place was crazy to be in and it was tons of fun to witness the history behind this place.

We left Ephesus after two hours and went to a rug weaving place for lunch.  After we ate, we got to see how real Turkish rugs are made and what time and energy goes into them.  The salesman gave a very good presentation of the rugs for sale and about a fourth of our group left with a rug either in their hands or ready to be shipped to the U.S.  The women who create these rugs spend four hours a day for anywhere between a few months to two years to create this genuine works of art.  It was an impressive display and left us all with a feeling of appreciation for the work they did.

Our last stop before Bodrum was witnessing one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World: The Temple of Artemis.  The place, however, was mainly in ruins and there was very little to see.  Much of the temple is under a swamp which has buried the structure over the years.  While the sight itself wasn't all that impressive, it is still cool to be able to say that we saw one of these wonders of the ancient world.

When we finally arrived in Bodrum, the group had about two hours before we performed at the Marina Vista Yacht club across from our hotel.  Some of the band swam and relaxed while others ventured around Bodrum for an hour or so.  We all met up around 7:00pm, set up the stage, and the Concert Band performed their pieces, which took about 45 minutes.  The final performance went very well.  There was about an hour and a half gap between the Concert band and the Jazz band so the Concert band left while the Jazz band stayed and hung out at the club.  One of the members of our audience who especially enjoyed our performance was this sweet old man.  He recognized some of the pieces we played and got really into the performance.  He turned out to be performing himself in the restaurant of the club on violin.  Members of the Jazz band watched him perform and he did about six pieces memorized which were very impressive.  After each song we would applaud him and cheer and he would look so happy that we watched and liked his stuff.

At 10:00pm, the Jazz Band performed and as a member of the Jazz Band myself, and I'm sure the other members would agree, we absolutely nailed our performance.  The entire band was on for most of the show and as Bob would say, "We sparkled."  It was an awesome way to end the year musically and our tour of Turkey.

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