Turkey (Ephesus)

So, Tuesday, I had a 5:45 a.m. wake up call. Again, went to bed but woke up in the middle of the night so was up when my call came.

We stopped in Kusadasi, Turkey. The country is trying to join the EU so many EU citizens are buying property there since it’s still cheap. A lot of the area is new. It’s being built up quite quickly.

So the highlight of today was going to Ephesus (and Patmos). Talk about being in love. I consider today to be the climax of this portion of my trip. Ephesus and Patmos in one day. Really. Wow. How can I be so lucky?!

The original settlement of Ephesus is believed to have been a tribe of Amazon-like women who lived there 3000 BC. The 2nd settlement was Greek. The final settlement was founded by a general of Alexander the Great. They are still unearthing portions of the old city. Ephesus was the second largest city (population of 250K) in the ancient times and one of the largest ports. It was built where the Kucuk Menderes River reached the sea. They loss their connection to the sea, which is when the city declined.

John is believed to have brought Mary, mother of Jesus here. There is the House of the Virgin Mary where she is said to have lived and been buried. I read somewhere that the Vatican recognizes it as a pilgrimage place. John died in Ephesus.

It was raining hard through a lot of the tour, but still worth it.

The highlight of the tour was the Great Theatre of Ephesus. It was built 3rd century BC and restored many times. In the first century AD, it was expanded by the Romans to sit 24K. This would have been an important social spot as plays and concerts and such were performed here. This is where Paul preached during one of his missions here. It was so exciting to see.

Also saw Library of Celsius, which was completed in 135 AD. the older things are the more excited I am about them. I try imagine the life of the people who used it and also the people who have since seen it and journeyed to it. It’s like the Forum in Rome. How many people have journeyed there and how many feet have trodden? Too many to count! What was/are their lives like?

Saw a lot more but getting tired and too much to write about!

The end of the “excursion” was being taken to a government run store and shown rugs and jewelry. I actually chatted with one of the men because he lived in Edmonds and comes to Seattle quite a bit to sale carpets. The couple from St. Louis looked at a carpet that was first $6000 then $3800 then $1100. Still expensive! And Rick Steve’s does not have these types of “excursions.” Had to throw that end.

After I escaped, i just walked around. I didn’t have time to venture far so I was still pretty much trapped in the tourist part avoiding summons to come into stores and people trying to sell me perfume.

Oh, I forgot to mention this, but in Mykonos when it first started raining, it came out of nowhere. This guy selling umbrellas also came out of nowhere. It was so funny. I was like dang, where did he come from.

LTB, Paul, and John Oh My

Today was the most amazing day. I will record a long blog for the record books when I have better rates. Began the morning in Asia in Turkey and finished the day in Europe in Patmos. Both totally amazing! The cave in Patmos was very amazing. I can’t explain the feeling. Just awe, but more on that later.

The weather goes from rain to sunshine to rain again. I got soaked last night in Mykonos. I’ve never been so wet that even my underwear were soaked. I know, I know TMI. The rain that came reminded me of how I expected the monsoons to be in India, but they didn’t come when we were there. There was a river running down the streets. I liked Mykonos. The city was designed as a maze to confuse pirates. I enjoyed wandering the backstreets.

I wish we had more time to stay in each port, but as I may or may not have mentioned, I’m over cruising. I need time to linger and wander. I can totally see coming back to Greece and island hopping every two nights. Also totally want to check out Turkey. Was amazed at what I saw. Maybe that is next year?

Anyway I need to sit down and spend like a few logging my notes. I may have a chance tomorrow when we land in Rhodes. We will be at port most of the day, and I saw an Internet cafe on the map. They have to have better rates than the boat.