There’s this one thing I want to avertise here: It’s called couchsurfing.org, and I guess many of my readers will already know it. I got to know couchsurfing thanks to people showing off in bars and trying to impress others and especially girls with their awesome and adventurous traveller’s life (*cough*). In Siberia I tried it myself for the first time, and I was very positively surprised.
This is how it works: You sign onto this webpage, couchsurfing.org, which, like many others, tries to be the incarnation of a fashionable lifestyle even though it’s actually just a really useful thing (similar to some technical devices that you want to have for practical reasons, but you don’t buy them because you’re afraid your friends will think you just got them for the brand). Then you find the city you want to go to and it shows you hundreds of friendly people who claim to have couches available for guests to sleep at. Naturally, if you’re attractive and a girl, this is much easier. Since I’m none of the above, I have to write 10-15 people for a positive answer. Like half of them reply (more girls than men), and then there’s usually someone who can actually host you. And a few others who can’t for whatever reasons, but who propose meeting somewhere anyways, which is also nice.
I tried it three times so far (Yekaterinburg, Kazan and now Izmir), and I think I always hit a jackpot. This time I got an own room, a laptop I could use, an incredibly nice family, free Turkish food and a Turkish student who showed me around in Izmir, which is, by the way, one possible birthplace of Homer. One of, like, a million.
Not very far from Izmir are a shitload of ancient ruins, one more awesome than the next. I visited Ephesos, a ruin city full of tourists. Ephesos is close to a town called Selcuk. In this area, which is very close to the Aegaen, one will find ruins from a number of epoches. There’re medieval Seljuq (ethnic Turks), ancient Greece, remnants of Arab invaders, mosques, temples and churches likewise. I was sitting in a Byzantine cathedral and taking a rest. The inspiration…undescribable!