We visit spectacular Greek ruins at Ephesus and Aphrodisias and ancient hot springs at Pamukkale before traveling up the Meander River and steaming in a Turkish bath. Rick provides tips on staying healthy in foreign countries, and makes exotic Turkey feel more familiar, showing its devout Muslim beliefs and compelling blend of ancient and modern nomadic life.
- Read the script from the show.
Western Turkey (excerpted from Europe Through the Back Door)
From mysterious Cappadocia, cross the Anatolian Plateau to Konya, the most conservative and orthodox Muslim city in Turkey, home of the Mevlana order and the whirling dervishes. The dance of the dervish connects a giving god with our world. One hand is gracefully raised, and the other is a loving spout as he whirls faster and faster in a trance the modern American attention span would be hard-pressed to understand.
Then follow the steps of St. Paul over the Taurus Mountains to the Mediterranean resort of Antalya. You can hire a gulet (a Turkish yacht) to sail the Mediterranean coast to your choice of several beachside ruins. After a free day on the beach, travel inland to explore the ruins of Aphrodisias and its excellent museum.
Nearby is Pamukkale, a touristy village and Turkey's premier mineral spa. Soak among broken ancient columns in a mineral spring atop the white cliff, terraced with acres and acres of steamy mineral pools. Watch frisky sparrows hop through a kaleidoscope of white birdbaths.
For the final leg of your two-week swing through Turkey, head west to the coastal resort of Kusadasi. Nearby is my favorite ancient site, the ruins of Ephesus. For a relaxing finale, take a Turkish hamam (bath with massage) in Kusadasi before flying back to Istanbul from nearby Izmir or catching the daily boat to the entertaining island of Sámos in Greece. Boats and planes take travelers from Sámos to other Greek islands and on to Athens.