Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ephesus is a Great Roman Ruin

9:30 came early this morning, but before we knew it, we were up and on our way. 

Our first stop was at the a house supposedly lived in by the Virgin Mary. There is actually some evidence to point to the fact she was living in the area of Ephesus, including stories passed down for generations that villagers brought food to her while she was there. The house is not spectacular, but does have an air of sanctity about it. Also, the Catholic Church has officially denoted it as a pilgrimage site, so check to that box. 

Mary's house is actually at the top of a large hill, a km or so away from Ephesus, a colossal roman ruin. I imagine it would have been quite a peaceful place (before the Chinese tourists started coming here). 

Following this, we headed down the road to Ephesus, a Roman city, and one of the largest Roman ruins ever discovered. What is available to see now is apparently only 18% of what they suspect is remaining of the townsite. More ruins from the city have apparently been discovered more than a mile away, and the estimates are that more than 250,000 people lived here at one time. A really incredible site, there is so much more to see there than what we can post in this blog. But some highlights:

The library facade:

Rich Romans' houses:

Crazy mosaics:

The theatre:

And public toilets. Because I found these fascinating:

Most of the original main street is there as well, paved in marble.  The scale of Ephesus is difficult to describe. We were there for nearly three hours, but I felt we could have spent longer there without a problem (it was about 35 degrees there though, and water was limited, so maybe not). 

After our tour, we stopped at a local home for lunch. Wow. Some more recipe ideas for sure:

We also saw the tomb of John the Apostle - around which Constantine built a cathedral (and later the Turks built a fortress). Very cool:

An earlier drop off to our hotel today (around 5:00 or so). Aoife relaxed Aegean Sea side, while Paul had a heat induced nap. 

We walked in to town to have a late dinner, and ended up in a section known as little Ireland..!  A place full of little shops and bars:

A couple of drinks at an Irish pub called Martin's, run by a Turkish fellow with an Irish accent (!), and we were on our way home. But not before checking out some genuine fake watches. 

Not sure if the photo will turn out, but I had to be stealthy when taking it. Sadly, the deals were not as good as the sign, so no fake watches today. 

It's quite late here now, so will be heading to bed right away (nearly 2:00 am). Long drive tomorrow to Pumukkale, which is ancient Heliopolis. Underwater ruins, as well as hot springs to enjoy. 

Pics to follow, again if Internet cooperates.

Talk to you all soon,

Paul and Aoife. 

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