Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ephesus Turkey

This is one of my most favorite days of the cruise. I originally had this thought of "maybe it's dangerous?" "Maybe I'll just stay on the ship?" Someone else questioned safety and another responded "It's just over 400 miles from war as the missile flies"......I'm SO glad I ignored those voices and comments. 1) There is a huge mountain range between the Mediterranean and the war zone 2) You are on the edge of 2 continents- don't miss that! And it's an Unesco World Heritage Site! We used and highly recommend Ephesus Shuttle
We began the tour with Ephesus Shuttle. Our guide was Melissa (Pronounced Me-Lizza). She was a wonderful ambassador for Ephesus, Turkey.

Here is the description or of tour-

Your private guide will meet you at Kusadasi port with a sign written “ Your Name “ 
on it, anytime you want. After greeting, we will have 20 mins drive to Ephesus area. We will start visiting one of the main highlights in Turkey, Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of Ionian League (an ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor) is located near Izmir. As a port city it was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor.

For Tom Gumbert - author of "Nine Lives".

Marble streets were slippery in the rain!

  Walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings,
among them the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus; it was built in the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. by Gaius Julius Aquila to be a memorial to his father Gaius Julius Celsus Polemanus, the proconsul of Province of Asia. , the Temple of Hadrian and The Grand Theater are two of the most impressive buildings in Ephesus. Grand theatre  

was built in 3rd century B.C and it was later expanded to 24.000 spectators by the Romans in the 1st century A.D. The theater was the place where St. Paul preached. (And Jim  waved!)

We also visited the Terrace Houses. It is a shame people come here and don't see them! Amazing and very cool to see the archeologists at work here:

Have a stop for a traditional Turkish lunch

The House of Virgin Mary is located on the Aladag Mountains 5 miles away from Ephesus.Artemission Temple where used to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world as our last stop before drive back to Kusadasi town center and port. The end of our services.
House of Mary-

Prayer wall

At the third Ecumenical Council on 431 AD in Ephesus, it was claimed that Mary came to Ephesus with St. John in 37 A.D. and lived there until her death in 48 A.D. After the discovery of the house, the Archbishop of Izmir declared there as a place of pilgrimage in 1892. On July 26, 1967, Pope Paul VI visited this place and prayed there.
 I liked that many religions came there to pray. Instead of listening to "the fear" of some, I found quite the opposite there. Very peaceful.

  St. John's grave was probably my  favorite spot of the whole cruise. It was surreal- herbs grew out of and flowers bloomed from the walls. The skies were stormy and huge storks flew overhead. They also nested at the pillars around the grave and even had babies (stork babies not human!)

We call this photo (below) "Storks and Dorks" ~ Fun group

Dying of the yarns and silk-

Opening the silk pods-
Silk pods being boiled to get the silk.

Jim drinking apple tea and acting like he was going to buy a rug. (They were very beautiful)
Weaving of rugs by hand.
Bob unable to break the silk strand
Wendy and Greg from Wellington New Zealand may have bought one. They were beautiful (The couple and the rugs!)

We also visited a Turkish rug making facility. This wasn't a cheap shop, but actually focused on the art of rug making. From the dying of the wool to the weaving, I was impressed, but mostly the salesmanship. I walked away from Turkey knowing I had truly met the best salesmen in the world.

 Ephesus was a delightful surprise!



  1. Wow! Really this is a very beautiful blog. I liked the Domitian Square. Thanks for sharing with us. I am looking forward to your next blog. I have gone Ephesus with my family through a well known travel agency About Ephesus Tours and it was quite a pretty trip. Keep posting.

  2. Thank you! It was a beautiful place and the people were so welcoming. I'm glad you liked it. Next trip isn't until January- New Zealand to Sydney Australia.