The most well-preserved Roman ruins, it’s said, outside Rome itself. Deep summer. Bright. Hot. 

 

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Cypress trees like arbor columns along a wide paving-stone thoroughfare. Sandstone structures crumbling in the sun. Behemoth thistles, Queen Anne’s lace and sunflowers. Olives and unripe grapes. Caves in the hills above. It’s cool in the caves: no surprise people lived there.

 

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Mulberry trees along a walkway planted by a great forgotten Mayor in the 1930s, all the way between Selcuk and the ruins. Hizzoner’s footpath carpeted with mulberry sludge, pecked at by crows.

 

A pleasant walk in the shade past the Artemision, once a World Wonder. Now just a single column serving as a perch for gulls. Plundered for marble 1,500 years ago. Turtles in a green pond, sunbathing, swimming.

 

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Fruit sellers shaded by implacable Isa Bey Mosque. Touts with fake Roman coins wrapped in newspaper outside the St. John’s Basilica.

 

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Storks on aqueducts.

 

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The Saturday market, in full swing. Mid-afternoon. Summer. Heat. Sun.

 

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