Sunday in Ephesus, not what I'd expected
Ephesus Travel Blog› entry 38 of 57 › view all entries
We visited Kusadasi, Turkey and the nearby Ephesus today. Ephesus has always been a “bucket list” place for me – someplace I needed to visit someday – and it was not quite what I’d expected.
Ephesus, is incredibly old and well documented. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League back in Classical Greek days and had a population of 250,000 in the First Century B.C. making it the second largest city in the world at that time. It also held one of the Seven Wonders of the World – a giant Temple of Artemis. It was important to early Christianity as well with Mary, John and Paul being here. Mary is supposed to have died in Ephesus and be buried here. John may have written the Gospel of John here and Paul lived here between 52 and 54 A.
For some reason, I had expected an air of quiet sanctity as I wandered quietly through ancient stones. Instead, it was me, my husband and Cathy with 600 of our shipmates and a cast of thousands from other ships, including the Holland America sister ship the Roterdam along side and dwarfing the tiny Prinsendam., all of us jostling for a better view of the remains of Ephesus. (Only 15 percent of the original has been uncovered and it still was a huge site.) It was much more like visiting the Roman Forum with lots of people and lots of ancient stones basking in the sun. The site was beautiful but I didn’t have a feeling of connection to the remaining pillars and reconstruction of the face of Library of Celsus. Then I entered the Terrace Houses. This is an ongoing Archeological Site where there are mosaics and frescos in situ and protected while the work continues. I could walk through the houses, missing only the furniture and the roofs, to get a real feeling of what Ephesus life was like. Visiting the Terrace Houses made the city come alive for me. If you visit Ephesus you should not miss them.