Ancient Ephesus

Selcuk Travel Blog

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Ephesus ruins

Had the worst night’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.  Zehra’s night’s sleep wasn’t much better after our neighbour in the next room was coughing all night.  We weren’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 couldn’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 5k’s out of town.  The entrance fee was the usual 20 lira’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 wasn’t too bad, it was quite a hot day too so I’m glad we came in the morning.  Ephesus is one of the best preserved ancient city’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 don’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.

Heading up the tunnel staircase to the Odeion Amphitheatre Ephesus
  To get to the Amphitheatre we had to head back up the old cobbled main road and take a left down another long stony road. The theatre wasn’t as steep as the Acropolis in Bergama and seemed smaller although it was supposed to hold 25,000 people! We sat there for a while and had a break; it was good opportunity to give hubby a call and give him updates of my progress as well as rub it in as to where I was!! While we sat there an Asian tour group sat down near the bottom of the theatre and a lady stood on what was once the stage area and started singing! Her voice was amazing she seemed to be a professional opera singer, everyone fell silent and the acoustics carried her beautiful voice throughout the theatre. At the end of her song everyone gave her a huge clap; she then gave us another song which this time I videoed.  After our rest we meandered up towards St Mary’s church had a look around this least visited area of the ruins then headed to the south gate.  The exit was like a big shopping mall, there would have been about 20 shops all selling wares at inflated prices.  We sat down for a rest and had delicious pomegranate and orange juice mix, fresh juice was something of a rarity in Turkey, it all seems to be sweet nectar juice which is too sickly for my liking. We wondered the shops for a while then waited for the Dolmus to take us back in to town, by now it was lunchtime we had spent a good 4 hours at the ruins.  Back at the hotel we checked our new room, much better, beds were more comfy and the  bathroom had  a proper shower stall.  We had a Turkish pizza lunch then headed to the Ephesus museum which housed many of the artefacts found at Ephesus. We were surprised to find that it was only small; I would have thought it would have been huge.  On the way back to the hotel we stopped in a few more shops, Selcuk was a mecca for shopping given it was a tourist town.  We had some time before dinner so I booked my flight to London with Pegasus and booked car hire as well. We also booked our tour to Pammukale for tomorrow. Dinner in the evening was another nice restaurant which Lonely Planet recommended Okumus Mercan; and we tried a nice stir fry dish which made a change from Kebab!  For desert we shared a rice pudding which is very different from the rice pudding I’m used to, Turkish rice pudding is very sweet and had the consistency of semolina, Zehra told me they bake it in the oven.

 

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Ephesus ruins
Ephesus ruins
Odeion Ephesus
Odeion Ephesus
Heading up the tunnel staircase to…
Heading up the tunnel staircase t…
Odeion Amphitheatre Ephesus
Odeion Amphitheatre Ephesus
Local resident of Ephesus!
Local resident of Ephesus!
Odeion Amphitheatre Ephesus
Odeion Amphitheatre Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Fountain of Pollio Ephesus
Fountain of Pollio Ephesus
Fountain of Pollio Ephesus
Fountain of Pollio Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
The temple of Domitian, Ephesus
The temple of Domitian, Ephesus
Tomb, Ephesus
Tomb, Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus ruin
Ephesus ruin
The main street Ephesus
The main street Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Making use of the WC in Ephesus!
Making use of the WC in Ephesus!
Mosaic floor, Ephesus
Mosaic floor, Ephesus
Whats left of a statue, Ephesus
What's left of a statue, Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus tomb
Ephesus tomb
Ephesus
Ephesus
Library of Celcus
Library of Celcus
A statue in the library of Celcus,…
A statue in the library of Celcus…
Propping up the Library column Eph…
Propping up the Library column Ep…
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
sign at the rear of the library of…
sign at the rear of the library o…
Looking through the library to the…
Looking through the library to th…
Gate of Mazues, Ephesus
Gate of Mazues, Ephesus
Statue in the Celcus Library, Ephe…
Statue in the Celcus Library, Eph…
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Library of Celcus, Ephesus
Top of the gate of Mazeus, Ephesus
Top of the gate of Mazeus, Ephesus
The Agora, Ephesus
The Agora, Ephesus
he large Theatre, Ephesus
he large Theatre, Ephesus
The amphitheatre Ephesus
The amphitheatre Ephesus
Harbour Street, Ephesus
Harbour Street, Ephesus
Looking at the large Amphitheatre,…
Looking at the large Amphitheatre…
Tumbled ruins, Ephesus
Tumbled ruins, Ephesus
Church of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus
Church of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus
Font in the Church of the Virgin M…
Font in the Church of the Virgin …
Stork nest on top of a ruined colu…
Stork nest on top of a ruined col…
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Ephesus museum
Tasty meal at Okumus Mercan restau…
Tasty meal at Okumus Mercan resta…
Selcuk
photo by: peterbc2