Back again in Turkey, I don’t seem to be able to stay put. There is so much to see and to do and many wonderful Greek islands are so close by that they simply beckon for a day trip.
My first was from the Turkish port town of Kusadasi to Samos. Kusadasi is well known, because many cruise ships have a stop there and it is a convenient location for a day trip to Ephesus.
There is, however, a ferry which runs three times a day to the island of Samos. The crossing takes about 1 1/2 hours and is a pleasure for every lover of the sea. The ferry is nothing fancy, just wooden benches, a sun sail and lots of merry passengers. Thankfully, customs and immigration is swift in Samos and the ferry docks more or less in the middle of town.
To get around, you can either take a local bus (time consuming), hire a car, a scooter or take a taxi. Given that I had only about 5 hours until my return trip, I opted for a taxi and went to the town of Pythagorian on the southern coast of the island. My destination was the Eupalinos Tunnel, considered as one of the wonders of the ancient world.
It’s a massive underground aqueduct which brought water from the mountains to the coast. Constructed during the times of Samos’ greatest prosperity under the rule of the tyrant Polycrates (538-522 BC) it took ten year to complete and is a masterpiece of engineering.
When you get there and pay your admission of €10, you are – at first sight – disappointed because all you can see is a gaping, black hole in the ground surrounded by a rickety banister. Dive into the hole, walk down the steep steps and the ‘ohhh adventure starts.
The tunnel stretches out before your eyes, bathed in a mystical light (the illumination is quite cunning) and you forget the century you live in.
A word of caution though: this is not for the obese, the fainthearted or the claustrophobic. The tunnel is only 1.80 m high and of equal width and you can literally get stuck. My friend, who is rather substantial, did not descend into the tunnel.
Walking the length of the tunnel which is open to the public, you can look down even further and see ceramic pipes running alongside, gleaming fresh and unbroken after over 2000 years. An amazing experience, but tread carefully, the ground is uneven and slippery.
I of course, needed to stretch up, touch the ceiling and – for a moment – feel that I was holding the world up with my hands.
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.