After a full day in Istanbul, we boarded the night bus for Ephesus. The bus was non-smoking, air-conditioned and stopped every few hours for bathroom and stretch breaks. The service was good and the ride was surprisingly comfortable. In the morning, they handed out coupons which you could redeem at the rest stop for a breakfast of cheese, jelly, butter, tea, olives and bread. Edible if you’re very hungry. The bus actually dropped us off in Selcuk, outside of Ephesus, where we transferred to a smaller bus (free of charge) that took us to Ephesus--definitely worth a visit. We spent about half the day exploring the ruins of Ephesus—the forum, marketplace, etc. An English-speaking guide who took us around and explained what all the ruins were and then we wandered around on our own for a bit.
After spending the morning in Ephesus, we took a dolmus (small bus/van) to Kusadasi, a beach resort. We decided that after three nights of sleeping on public transportation, it was about time to sleep on a bed again so we checked into the Hotel Ayra. We paid about $20-22 for a very nice, clean double room with bathroom! The friend I was traveling with needed to find a bathing suit so we went shopping for one. A word of caution: the swimsuits in Turkey are not lined so once you’re wet, it might not really matter if you are wearing a suit or not! Anyway, we had to take another dolmus to a beach several kilometers away, but spent a nice afternoon relaxing in the sun and playing in the water. For dinner, we ate a place in Kusadasi called Konyali that is recommended by the Lonely Planet. The food there was good. I had the eggplant moussaka and tried ayran, a yogurt drink. Didn’t really like ayran though—it was salty! Kusadasi actually has a rather happening nightlife, but we were pretty beat so we just walked around the bazaar and turned in early that night.