I was really looking forward to our visit to Ephesus, and it did not disappoint. It is such a famous city, and one of the best preserved Greek & Roman cities in the Mediterranean. It is a rather large site (it was a city, after all) with a gate at the top and bottom of the hill. We parked in the lower car park and rode a horse and buggy to the top gate! I’m pretty sure we paid too much, but it was worth it for the 10 minute ride, and not to have to walk back up the hill afterwards!
We had a Rick Steves audio guide, and let Rick guide us through the ruins. It makes such a difference when you have someone to tell you where you are and add extra details which bring the place to life. We wandered down streets that ancient Romans & Greeks walked down, past temples, fountains, statues, shops & houses. We saw the indoor theatre where the council met every week, the market place, the huge amphitheatre that seated 25,000 people, a bath house and even a public toilet. We saw street signs, and marble paving and indoor plumbing.
One area is currently being excavated, and that is called the Terrace Houses, a large area of homes of wealthy citizens uncovered relatively recently and in fact the work is still ongoing. There were some wonderful frescoes and mosaics they have uncovered, and it was fascinating to observe a working ‘dig’. There was a ‘floating’ floor of glass, with metal stairs so you were not walking on or damaging the site.
The Library of Celsus is the best preserved building there. Once a huge library full of books made of parchment sewn together, it is elegant and beautiful still. The amphitheatre is the very one where Paul & his friends confronted the crowd in Acts 19:23-41 – and I was there!! “The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theatre together”.
I was a bit sad to leave, although the heat was wearing us down. There wasn’t much shade and the sun reflects well off all that marble I think!. We went back to the hotel for a rest. Dad planned a swim, and I headed back to the Ephesus museum, which is not at the site but in Selcuk, a nearby town. I waited till later in the afternoon, to avoid the crowds, and was congratulating myself when I got a park outside the museum, only to discover it was closed for renovations until September! Very disappointing! I managed to fill in my last afternoon in Turkey relaxing at the resort. Here are some photos (not very good ones) which give you a sense of the size of the buffet at Pine Bay Holiday Resorts.