Buyuk Efes Hotel
Thursday, July 7, 1983
Viv and I flew from Athens to Izmir on THY Turk Havar Yollari. We arrived on Tuesday, July 5, 1983. The customs people were courteous and only noted that I had the JVC video cassette camera into my passport. They didn’t open a single bag.
Our taxi ride was with a congenial gentleman who spoke with me as I tried out my Turkish. We communicated well. The cost of the ride into town was 1950 TL. The driver had predicted it would be 2000 TL. I had changed $100.00 for 22,000 TL at the airport bank. When I tried to buy TL in Athens at the airport, I was given a disdaining look and told it wasn’t possible.
The reception people at the Grand Efes Hotel were efficient, and helpful. We are in room 609 overlooking a beautiful park, a square with a statue of Attaturk and the Bay of Izmir.
Settled quickly into our room the first order of business was to make arrangements to go to Bermata. At about 4 p.m. Viv and I walked along the waterfront North to the Hertz auto rental agency; explained what I wanted to do and the gentlemen said he would call our hotel in the morning. We took a cab back to the hotel where I told the reception clerk I expected a call the next morning and if we weren’t in to take a message for us if the trip were on or off. He asked what trip we were planing and then suggested he call Ramtur, a local organization and get a fixed price for what we wanted to accomplish.
We went up to our room and I called and spoke with my mother letting her know we were in Izmir. The phone rang and the receptionist asked me to go down to the desk. He had a flat price for Ramtur of $430.00 for the trip to Konya by car, two nights at the Park Hotel, two trips back to Akshehir, a third night at the Tusan motel at Pammukkale-half board each day (2 meals) and back by way of Ephesus. Returning to Izmir on Monday evening. We cancelled the Hertz car program. Since arrangements for the main purpose of our trip had been made we had two free days in Izmir. Dinner Tursday night was Chipura fish at Deniz Restaurant on Attaturk Caddesi. Excellent meal about $30.00 for the two of us. (6,600 TL).
Wednesday morning we took a driver from Ramtur (Nacarti Tuncer) and went to Pergammum and Aesculapium. The medical center is better described in books we have purchased. I was impressed by the layout that led the patient thru a progressive program of suggestive psychiatric treatment.
Lunch was at a small restaurant super yogurt and good okra, fair eggplant, good salad and watermelon. Purchased a rug to be a present for Tom and Gloria for their new house. We returned to the hotel about 4 p.m. took a swim and I went to a Hamum (turkish bath) where I sweated and was given a kese (rough rub) then a cold splash-cool down and a massage-great-I made an appointment for another massage for Thursday at 6 p.m.
Wednesday dinner was at the Mangal restaurant Attaturk Caddici south of the square; various hors d’oeuvre then shish- kabob. Excellent- cost about $20.00 (4,500 TL)
Thursday morning we took a cab set price 2500 TL ($10.00 to the Agora then Mount Pagus Acropolis of Izmir and the Archeological Museums. First St. Nicholas then at the Fair Grounds. St. Nicholas had pieces form Roman and Hellenistic periods ourside in the yard nicely displayed and organized as to period and places of discovery. The church was locked. The museum at the fair grounds was locked.
Lunch at the Hotel Anatolian Yalle Chorba (yogurt soup) super, salad and yogurt.
Rest and read and massage. Dinner at Palmyeri Restaurant at the Fair Grounds. Ride on ferris wheel at Luna Park and back to hotel to write and catch up on this journal. Good nite.
Speculations on the name Bermata. Some of the villagers think the name came from Ber Manda meaning one buffalo or little buffalo or a little water buffalo. The river that flows through the town is called Bermender. This river is crossed by the main highway from Illgin to Akshehir.
The Sultan Dag range of mountains form the backdrop for Bermata.