Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Roman villa

Tucked to the side of a hill in the ruins of ancient Ephesus is this Roman vill and there is this massive restoration project going on. It is under plastic cover and requires a separate entrance fee and most people miss it thinking it's an area you're not allowed in. The project is just huge, little mosaic floors to piece together, frescoes to repaint, marble walls and floors to repair. Most people come with organised tour groups and maybe its not included in their tour. We met an elderly couple from Seattle, Washington in Goreme who were there on their own. Its very unusual. Americans love organised tours and cruises. Maybe they watch too much TV. The travel shows on TV are usually sponsored by tourism boards of different countries or fancy hotels. So they will sell you their country, usually a country that doesn't see too many visitors. I've never seen an ad for visiting Sicily, they see enough tourists, they don't need to advertise. I've seen shows sponsored by Ireland. My aunt went to Ireland, she said, its just green grass and lots of water (lakes and rivers). She wasn't thrilled by her visit. Next they sell you expensive rooms, who needs to sleep in such a fancy room, one is hardly in the room. There are so many guide books these days that traveling on one's own itinerary has become so easy but it requires a lot of work on our part to do the research. But we will come back with thrilling stories. My boss just got married, she went to Bali for their honeymoon. She wasn't thrilled by it, there was nothing to do and it was hot. She didn't even come back with a tan. My other colleague went to the Bahamas for his honeymoon, he said he was bored, there was nothing to do. They need to come with me on one of my trips, I'll show them a good time.
This Roman villa reminded me of a similar one in Piazza Amerina in Sicily. It was completely covered with mud when they discovered it. There is a huge project to restore that too. We took the bus from Catania to Piazza Amerina a few years ago.

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