|Library of Celsus, Ephesus|
Ephesus is about 3 kilometers from town, so we walked there and spent a lot longer than anticipated wandering around the ruins. The next day, we planned to take a bus to the city of Denizli three hours away, drop our backpacks off at the bus station, take a minibus to Pamukkale, return to Denizli, and take an overnight bus to Goreme in Cappadocia. Things that went wrong: I got a speck of dirt stuck in my eye and Steve had to lift up my eyelid and get it out with a tissue, some middle-aged guy in the bus station bathroom tried to entice Steve into spending some quality time in a stall together, and the bus ticket seller gave us tickets for the wrong day, which we didn't notice until about an hour into our journey when the bus stopped and they were considering kicking us out in the middle of nowhere.
|Sitting on a weird rock|
We spent probably seven hours hiking, it was pretty grand. I must be getting old, because I was really tired for the next few days. Or maybe it was because we had to get up early, fly to Istanbul, wander around for ten hours, then fly to Tbilisi in the middle in of the night and sleep at the airport until 7 am when the buses started running.
Naturally, we were very, very tired when we got to Tbilisi. The lady at the information desk said it was fine to sleep wherever, so we got our sleeping mats out and slept on this fake grass area underneath an escalator. Steve wanted to stay there until probably noon, but I made him get up because really? Why would you sleep at an airport any longer than necessary?
The bus into town was the oldest, most crowded bus I've ever been on. Just when you thought another person couldn't possibly fit, the bus would stop and let someone else on. We took a long nap once we got to our hostel and then went out to a brewery for some food and beer (and vodka).
Georgian is one of the best cuisines in the world until it gives you a heart attack, probably. There's a lot of bread and cheese, but there are also a lot of vegetable salads. It's very vegetarian-friendly, especially since lots of restaurants will have a "fasting menu"--Georgia is mostly Orthodox Christian and they have a fasting period, which doesn't mean not eating at all, but rather not eating meat, eggs, or dairy.
Two of the most popular dishes are khachapuri and khinkali. There are various varieties of khachapuri, which is bread stuffed with cheese and possibly other things. We were most excited to try the cheese and egg one, which has some butter melted into it for good measure. Khinkali are dumplings filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese. The way to eat them is to hold the doughy top part and stuff the dumpling in your mouth in two bites. Then, you discard the doughy knob. No one wants a doughy knob.
There are no Georgian restaurants in Seattle that I know of, but if you want to try some Georgian food there is a very good food cart in Portland called Kargi Gogo.
|A grand introduction to a grand city|
Next time on The Most Shoddy Blog In the World: more Tbilisi, naps, food, and flights!