Day 2,083 of Traveling the World | Kusadasi, Turkey | October 13, 2023

“Excuse me!” “Come into MY shop!” “You know, the Valentine’s Day – I can sell you…” “Look at this!” “You can have a good life with a Happy Wife!” “I have diamonds!” “Hey, Honeymooners…” “Would you like to look at good Turkish carpets?” “Come in here – I have a nice cup of tea for you both.” “I have cheap shoes!” “Tattoos!” “A nice pashmina?”

We heard all of these “offers” as we walked around the port shopping area for an hour. It was too much after five minutes, so you can imagine us just running – fleeing – back to the ship after an hour of this.

But, we learned one fun fact. Mike had visited the city in the late 1990s, and together we first visited here on a cruise in 2009. But we have always pronounced its name exactly as it is spelled. How would you pronounce it? We learned that in Turkish, it is KUSH-uh-da-sah. So we felt a little bit more knowledgeable this time. In 2009, we joined a ship’s excursion, with thousands of others, to the ancient site of Ephesus (you have heard of the Bible book, Ephesians?). We wrote a retrospective blog of it during the Covid lockdown. You can search this site for it – Ephesus is an amazing, fabulous place. But we didn’t want to fight the crowds again, so we stayed in the port city of Kusadasi. As we noted a few days ago, this stop was really for Ephesus, as the destination noted on the ship’s itinerary was written KUSADASI (FOR EPHESUS). It was a good decision not to join an excursion – we talked to another couple who did tour Ephesus, and they said it was wall-to-wall people, difficult to see much, difficult to hear anything.

So this post just details our quick walk around the greatly expanded port shopping area. It is so hard to understand, though, how anyone makes enough money to survive. Most shops had nobody in them, and the shopkeepers just try to grab someone’s interest with one of the phrases in our first paragraph. Most didn’t succeed, as far as we could see. There are just too many carpet shops, way too many jewelry shops, way too many shops, period.

Everyone tried to cram everything into their shops. There were lots of the descending circular lights for sale.
Wisely, overhead canvases were added to block the sun.
In this part of the shopping area, poles were wrapped in lights.
“Know thyself.” It appears many shops are aware that people avoid entering because it is hard to then get away, if they are only “looking.”
Just outside of Kusadasi is a tourist site, House of the Virgin Mary. In the early 19th century, a German nun, a mystic, described a house outside of the city where Mary lived out her days. Searching the area, they found stone ruins that matched the nun’s description. That is a long story for why so many shop windows showed statues of the Virgin Mary for sale.
Entrances to more stores are now part of the ancient walls of the city.
Cleopatra Needle is a clever name for a tattoo shop. Recently, we have seen as many tattoo shops as any other ordinary retailer.
Wow! “Happy size??” We wonder…
Everything was for sale. We liked this shopping lane due to the branches and lights overhead.
A pretty cafe – they have worked hard on making this a welcoming space.
See the many plastic chairs/tables in the middle of the walkway? Retailers will bring you a cup of tea if you sit there. Then the marketing begins!
SO many places advertise expensive clothing, purses, shoes, and jewelry with “Happy Wife…Happy Life.” But traveling the world, homeless, makes for a VERY Happy Wife/Life. We don’t need “stuff” to do that – just each other.
Honesty in advertising. Note the several “NO HASSLE” signs in the window of this shop, too.
Turkish Delight – we did not partake, but loved the deep purples, reds, and golds.

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