Where we stayed
We stayed on after our courses were over, but we had not planned on this. Kilisealtı Pansiyon was full, so we had to move. We moved up, in price and altitude, to one of the cottages on Mount Elijah. Very luxurious—too much so. If one is staying there, then there is no point going anywhere else all day.
Unfortunately there was a bitch running around at night barking. At least I'm pretty sure it was the same nursing canine I saw during the day, wandering around our little hide-away.
The picture on the left does not actually show our bed, though the sitting and lying place that it does show was for our use alone. The view from there is in the middle photo.
Where we did mathematics
My own course at the Nesin Mathematics Village was on the Conics of Apollonius of Perga. I had not spent much time with this work since St. John's College; now I could work through this from the perspective of a professional mathematician. In my course, it seemed a shame just to give lectures, rather than have students read and present propositions as at St. John's. I covered “only” Book I. Even that was too much; but I am glad that I got to work through it for myself anyway. I tend to doubt now that mathematicians like Apollonius really had some sort of algebraic analysis such as Descartes suspected they did. If Apollonius had had such an analysis, I think he would have written some proofs quite differently.
When I was not teaching, I enjoyed the opportunity of sitting in on others' courses. One of these was Sasha Borovik's, called Elementary mathematics from the point of view of "higher mathematics"; it has now become another one of his books.
I did some work with Özcan when he wasn't on kitchen duty (see last photo). All students resident at the Math Village are assigned chores daily. After İlyastepe, Ayşe went up to Ayvalık, but I moved out to the Math Village; however, I was not assigned chores.
Where we saw ruins
Thursday is the free day at the Math Village. On July 24, a trip to the beach was organized for the students; but I preferred ruins. Derya found a company that offered a tour of Priene, Miletus, and Didyma. Five of us went, for 35€ each. We had the driver and the guide to ourselves. Another time, we can probably go without the guide; but perhaps it was good to have him along the first time.
Actually, another time, Priene will be worth a day in itself. It should be possible to reach there by a dolmuş or two, or three. According to George Bean in Aegean Turkey, one can take a path up the cliff behind the ruins to reach the acropolis, as long as one has a head for heights. Bean seems to be right that some of the charm of Priene comes from its being still a Hellenistic city: nothing much happened there in Roman times, so one does not see the massive buildings of, say, Miletus.
The temple of Apollo at Didyma apparently was not supposed to have a roof. Even today, it seems, one can get a sense of what the place was supposed to be like. See how the excavators left some of the columns lying as they had fallen, like a stack of checkers. The Medusa heads are common in Turkish travel publications.
Miletus used to be a port. Then the sea silted up. There are Turkish (pre-Ottoman) remains also: a mosque and a hammam. The latter was not in the same place as the vast Roman bath complex. In the theater, some seats were carved with the names of those who would sit there. Under my boots, as Bean suggests, the words are something like “The Place of the Jews, known as fearers of God.” I think this agrees with a reading of the letters as
TOΠOC EIOYΔEωN TωN KAI ΘEOCEBION
But I am not sure about the ending.
On Friday, August 1, at the Selçuk station, I met Ayşe on a bus that would take us to Bodrum. The next day we would set sail on our Blue Voyage around the Gulf of Kos. First we had to find a place to stay. Ayşe had booked us a room at a hotel that claimed to be in a surprisingly quiet neighborhood. The neighborhood was quiet, the hotel wasn't. Its courtyard was a bar and disco, and the hotel appeared to aimed at British tourists whose great pleasure in life was drinking. We were told the music would be turned down (not off) at midnight. At about three in the morning, a man and a woman in the room above ours started yelling “Shut up!” at each other in Eastenders accents. After it was light, men could be seen outside, lying around unconscious in their Union Jack shorts.
At breakfast, there was no proper Turkish tea. “British guests don't like it” was the explanation. Few of them probably take breakfast at all.
It was a relief when we could finally get underway. Our gulet carried thirteen passengers and three crew. A companion boat was similar. We never actually sailed, except for the first day, when a spinnaker was raised. And we never travelled very far, except on the second and last days. Otherwise we just visited various coves for swimming.
One day we visited Sedir Island, site of the so-called Cleopatra's Beach. Only Ayşe and I left our boat. We did so to visit the ruins of Cedreae. The theater overgrown with trees was a sight. So perhaps were the Italian tourists in thongs.
The breeze we could catch on the island was wonderfully refreshing, and our companions were foolish to miss it. The boat would always anchor in sheltered spots; but such spots by definition missed the breezes.
On Saturday, August 9, we sailed back into Bodrum Harbor, and one of our companions caught a bus with Ayşe and me to İzmir. We had lunch in the otogar, and then Ayşe and I caught a bus to Altınova, where we stayed for a week. One night there was a terrific electrical storm. The lightning seemed to be nonstop, though it was never all that close. Clouds and cool air kept people from the sea the next day. Electricity was out for some hours.
On Friday we all went to Cunda Island for lunch. Another year, customers at a nearby table were speaking Greek amongst themselves, but Turkish into their cell phones. This year, a lone customer was talking Greek into his cell phone. I went to find out who he was. He was in fact Greek, but working in İzmir for NATO. His wife and children were meeting him in Mithymna, Lesbos, for (I think) the Feast of the Assumption.