Oh I do love a good ancient city! If I thought Troy was good, well Ephesus put it to shame! 20 – 30 thousand people visit it PER DAY in Summer and we got told that you often don’t get to see much at all or spend long here because the crowds are just ridiculous! Benefits of travelling in winter means there weren’t too many people here which means more ancient city for me!
Ephesus was a city where each time we stumbled across something I thought, this is it, this is the highlight of the city, and then we walked around the corner and there was something better – this happened right until the end! There are so many lovely columns with such ornate decoration and we got taught about the different types of them.
One of the Agora’s is near the enterance of city as is a little amphitheatre, which served as the political centre. Ok it wasn’t little, but bear with me, you will see why I call it little later on. I climbed right to the top and watched everyone down below. I also admired the hills – Ephesus is nestled in between hills and back in the day it was a port city – now the sea is at Kusadasi. Perfect spot for a city – seas on one side, hills on the other, makes it very difficult for your enemies.
The main street runs downhill and there are heaps of different things to see along here – the old pharmacy, the brothel, the baths, the toilets – a lovely long slab with holes in it (apparently back in the day you used to get your servant to sit on it to warm it up for you! And fair enough, I can only imagine how cold it was in winter!) and then one of the things Ephesus is famous for The Library of Celsus. It is stunning! The columns and the details and carvings and statues just blew me away. I thought this was remarkable and then the final thing we came to was the amphitheatre.
Oh my gosh. It was HUGE! I climbed right up to the top and sat up here for ages watching the people below, imagining there was something on the stage or gladiators and I also wanted to enjoy the sunshine. It was fantastic!
Ephesus also is full of cats. They are everywhere. They sit on the columns although they are famous Greek statues, they walk through the streets like they own them. Apologies to all my cat loving friends out there, please don’t disown me, but I hate cats. But these cats don’t care. You can hiss at them, you can clap at them and run at them to try and get them to go away but they are fearless. They stare at you although they are an emperor and you are just a slave.
Next we drove up into the mountains to visit the home of the Virgin Mary. It is a little humble house (more like a room) but this is apparently where she lived after Jesus died. It’s sweet. There are also fountains here with natural and blessed water.
Back down the hill to visit one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Temple of Artemis. Or was. Unfortunately there is one coloumn left. But back in the day it would have been spectacular. This is clear by the people who stand there trying to sell you pictures of what it looked like. And then try and follow you on the bus because “you are so beautiful just like Diana herself!”
I got lunch in Kusadasi and had a great time exploring the streets. It is much more lively in summer when all the cruise ships are coming in and can be quite a party town. Phew! Busy day!