Whenever I come back to visit my tiny place in Didim, I never fail to make my first trip to the beautiful port town of Kusadasi on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Not only is it one of the ports of call for cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean, but it’s also a starting point for an excursion to Ephesus, boasts an impressive castle and a very lively bazaar. One of the highlights of Kusadasi however is the Caravanserai, situated near the port. Built in 1618 by Grand Vizir Mehmet Pascha as a sea trade castle, the structure was completely restored in 1966 and has been a hotel since 1967. Being a 4 star hotel, the prices for a room are a bit on the steep side, but that doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy a Turkish coffee in the cool shade of the marble arches bordering the castle’s courtyard.
What makes a few afternoon hours spent there an Ottoman fantasy are the carpet weavers and dealers who exhibit their wares in the two entrances and the courtyard itself. I have heard some people criticize their presence as ruining the atmosphere but I am of a different opinion. Carpets are and always have been an important part of Turkish trade and their presence in this historic place which after all was a trading point and resting place for Ottoman merchants, brings the tradition to life. When in Kusadasi take a break from any other activities and indulge in the memories of centuries past in the Caravanserai’s courtyard.
Inka is German and used to be an international attorney with offices in London and Spain. Retired two years ago because I wanted to be a traveler and writer and now live between Didim/Turkey and Miami with plenty of travel in between. Next destinations: Istanbul, New York and Petra/Jordan.