Selcuk Travel Blog› entry 11 of 29 › view all entries
Had the worst nightâ€™s sleep to date, bed was lumpy with the springs sticking in my back; the calling of the prayer woke me up at 5:30am! First time I had been woken up by a Mosque since my arrival in Turkey, earplugs worked a treat up until now. Zehraâ€™s nightâ€™s sleep wasnâ€™t much better after our neighbour in the next room was coughing all night. We werenâ€™t too happy with our room, the bathroom was awful, there was no separate shower cubical so when you showered the whole bathroom got wet, yuk I hate that. So we packed our bags and asked for a better room the staff were brilliant and bent over backwards to accommodate us. Today we were going to Ephesus and I couldnâ€™t wait as it was a place I wanted to see for years. We had breakfast, left our gear in the room for the staff to take care of moving to our new room while we were out. Cuneyt the hotel manager arranged for his dad to give us a free lift to Ephesus, it was about 5kâ€™s out of town. The entrance fee was the usual 20 liraâ€™s and it looked like we had got there before the bus load of hoards turned up, there was a couple of tour groups but it wasnâ€™t too bad, it was quite a hot day too so Iâ€™m glad we came in the morning. Ephesus is one of the best preserved ancient cityâ€™s in the Eastern Med and dates back a few hundred years BC. When Romans took it over it became the capital of Asia Minor and its population grew to over 250,000. During the Christian times St John reputedly came here with the Virgin Mary and St Paul also lived here for three years. We started at the north gate and wondered slowly through the amazing ruins towards the south gate. It reminded me somewhat of Pompeii although not as sizeable; with a main street lined with temples, houses, churches and tombs, each built in different periods from BC to AD. Remnants of the ruins like columns, arches and statues still stand proud in the ancient city. At the end of the main street the best preserved ruin of them all stood tall, the beautiful Library of Celsus, until now I only saw it in books and postcards to see it with my own eyes was truly amazing. We were in luck there were hardly any people in it so I got some shots in quick! We wondered up the steps and through the great arches into the back of it, the part you donâ€™t see in the books. There was nothing inside just a plain floor and stone walls. It was a highlight to finally see this fabulous structure it reminded me of what Petra would be like.
To the right of the library was the gate of Augustus another well preserved ruin and also a favourite among Romans for reliveing their bladder! The gate led out into an open area of tumbled ruins called the Agora.