Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Turkey - A Visit to Ephesus

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Sanctuary built upon Virgin Mary's last resting place. Photo credit: imaginative traveller
Monday, November 7

Included in the hostel accommodation, the proprietor's son, Harry, drives us plus another couple to Virgin Mary's House then to Ephesus historical site.

We walked around a one story stone structure claimed to be Mary's last resting place. Rebuilt in the early 1900s, the dark edifice is non-descript, however, it's appropriate for Mary's humble lifestyle. There is strong evidence that she actually lived in Ephesus. Jesus placed the care of his mother to Saint John, whose basilica rests on a hilltop in Selcuk. Plus a woman in the 1800s had a vivid vision, pinpointing the exact location. 

Amphitheater. Photo credit: Ephesus
Library. Photo credit: Ephesus
Ephesus is the main attraction. It's a well preserved city of buildings climbing up a hillside, once the heart of a thriving commercial seaport. We have to use our imaginations to picture a city perched on water; today the Aegean Ocean is approximately 5 kilometers due west. We walk down a mosaic road, which leads to a surprisingly intact 1,500 seat amphitheater. It's a veritable outdoor museum. Again, we tag along with an English speaking tour, a practice that reveals more historical information than otherwise gleaned from a guide book kindly loaned from our pansiyon. A tall columned library front remains, lending scale to this Roman city.

Latrines at Ephesus. Photo credit: Ephesus
Of particular amusement was a long row of toilets, a series of holes in a stone bench. We learned that a musician serenaded the users. It was also a place to swap gossip. I mused about how the Western world has placed so much emphasis on privy privacy that a group “effort” paints a comical picture. And of course, Daryl (other hostel traveler) and Andy posed on the toilets, clothed, but quite literally cheek to cheek while Anna and I took pictures.

Back in town we bargained for produce and picked up other essentials. Our diet is sometimes a struggle. Bread is white. We consume yogurt, tahini spread, feta and Turkish cheese (I believe a mild sort of feta), fruit, and vegetables. On the way by a park we greet a man who's helping himself to a satsuma tree. He smiled and tossed two oranges to us. It's that type of friendliness that defines the Turkish people.

1 comment:

  1. So wonderful to find your blog, the writing is excellent and the pictures are wonderful.

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