Our bus excursion was another all day trip, 9:30 to 4:30. First we drove up into the hills to the House of the Virgin Mary. According to many observant Christians, the hillside of Mount Koressos, above the ancient Roman city of Ephesus, is where the mother of Jesus spent her last 11 years.
The stone shrine is rebuilt on the original foundation.
Prayers, requests, and tributes to Mother Mary.
For some this is a sacred and powerful place. For others it is underwhelming.
The rest room sign was funny, and accurate.
Then we drove back down into the valley where the ancient city of Ephesus once teamed with Romans. At its peak, about 500 B.C., it was one of the grandest cities of the ancient world, the second biggest city on the planet, after Rome. While much of the archaeological site is open to the public, there is much more that is still being excavated and pieced back together. The work of archaeologists has been monumental.
Tile water pipes for indoor plumbing.
Part of the Ionian world, the Ephesians popularized the style of Greek columns called Ionic, with scroll-like capitals.
The hills are alive.
The Odeon, or theater.
Athena Nike - can you find the swoosh?
Just who are the intruders here?
The marble road lined with statues on columns and temples to the famous and powerful.
The "necessary", the public toilet, this one for men only.
It was a place of social gathering. Slaves were used to warm the seats during cold weather.
There was a running water flush system.
The terrace houses, just recently unearthed, are protected by a $4 million roof, and the work of piecing it back together goes on.
Painted walls and mosaic floors decorated these homes of the rich and famous.
The Library of Celsus.
The hilltop fortress where the Apostle Paul was held prisoner.
One of the tour guides brings food for the cats.
The road to the harbor, which came inland before it was silted in. The Meander River drained here as well. In fact the Meander River, convoluted as it was, gave meaning to the word "meander", and possibly to the design we know as the Greek Key, which is really a squared off version of the spiral. Both are life symbols.
We knew by now that lunch would be a ways off, like 2:00, so we grabbed some gelato at the tourist stalls back in those trees on the way back to the bus.
In the nearby city of Selcuk we passed storks nests on the way to the Basilica of St John.
The story goes that the Apostle John came to Ephesus about 90 A.D. to preach, died about 100 A.D., and was buried on this hilltop. Some 400 years later the Byzantine Emperor Justinian built this church to venerate St. John. It was built largely of scavenged stone from the pagan structure that preceded it, The Temple of Artemis, at the base of the hill, once one of the seven Wonders of the World.
Later the church was converted into a mosque when the Muslims took over. A more recent, but old, mosque is at the base of the hill.
The reconstructed column from the huge Temple of Artemis.
The original immersion baptismal pool.
Entertainment- music and folk dancing.
Back in Kasadasi, we were taken to a carpet weaving demonstration. It's no wonder these carpets are so expensive. It takes months and years to create one. Each piece of color is tied in one at a time.
Then we got the sales pitch. There is no doubt that they are beautiful.
We enjoyed some free time before going back to the ship.
But the merchants in the bazaar were very aggressive and took the fun out of window shopping. See them all waiting to pounce?
We sailed away from this exotic port later in the afternoon, and I caught a photo of this castle on the hill. I wonder what story it could tell?