We woke up this morning just as we were pulling into dock at Kasadasi, Turkey.
We were meeting up with a couple from our table to head out around 9AM so we had time to relax this morning (other mornings we have been off the boat by 7 or 8AM). It took me until 9:15 to remember that it was Owen’s birthday! Happy Birthday OWEN!!!! Not a bad way to spend the day.
Since there was no public transportation option from the port town of Kasadasi to the ancient city of Ephesus, we hired a taxi with another couple, Hakim and Yulia (Julia) Villy.
He is from Switzerland and she is from Russia. They live in Geneva, Switzerland (thought of you, Rob). We drove about 25 minutes to the home where it is believed by many that Jesus’s mother Mary lived out the remainder of her life after the death of Christ. It was very, very crowded, but once you were within the two room home (it has been restored) it was very silent and peaceful. There were many school children and they also were very quiet.
We then headed back down the mountain from her home to the ancient town of Ephesus. The area reminded Owen and I of Northern Arizona vegetation. It is amazing to think that 2,000 years ago that this city was a port town.
This was Harbor street where the water came to the end of it.
It is now 10K or so from the ocean, as silt and sediment has pushed the port outward. Most of the work to excavate and restore Esphesus started in the 1960 – 1970’s. It was a very different feel than from the ruins in Rome and Athens. You could climb on and stand on and move all over and around these ruins. I had a couple of favorite parts.
First it was amazing to see that they used marble for their streets. We wouldn’t think of marble street much less sidewalk, but then it wasn’t a problem.
The sidewalks infront of home were mosiacs.
It was good to see the library and imagine all the knowledge that was contained in there at that period of time.
Inside the library.
My favorite part though was The Grand Theatre.
This is where Paul came to teach the Ephesians the gospel. We got there as a man was standing on the center of the stage. He was asking friends if they could hear him. It was amazing how his voice amplified to the entire theatre.
2/3rd up looking down at Owen front and center. The man singing is just behind owen at the far back and center.
I climbed up to the 2/3rd spot (as high as they’d let you – they did have some spots you couldn’t go to) and the man and a couple of his friends sang a German hymn. They were great singers, but more over I knew that all that I had read about Paul and all of his writing were true. I remember hearing people talk about their love of Paul, but I never really knew what they meant. Since we booked this cruise in February, I have read again most of the New Testament, and I have loved reading the words of Paul.
When we finished climbing around the Grand Theatre, we walked towards the Harbor Street and a tour agency was putting on a mini pageant. What caught my attention first was the trumpets – they were playing the opening fanfare to the Hill Cumorah Pageant! (A grand processional)
We watched the procession of the king and then his wife. We watched while the ladies danced and then 2 gladiators fought.
Then they waved good bye as they left. Loved the mini version and feel of the life back then.
After finishing up at Ephesus we headed back to Kusadasi hoping to be directed to some great Turkish food. Boy did we ever score. We went to an outdoor restaurant. We started with a Turkish salad and toasted bread with 4 different choices of topping to go on them. I don’t know what any of the spreads were, but I ate 2 of the 4 and really enjoyed them.
The salad was wonderful. Then came the full spread. We had ordered Grill mixto – a collection of kebabs and grilled meat (lamb, chicken and beef). We all ordered the same thing so they combined it onto one plate. Amazing!
The meat was so moist and tender. It tasted wonderful and heavenly and Turkish. Love Turkish food.
We were full and headed back to the Grand Bazaar near the port. Owen and Hakim headed to find free wifi and get their internet fixes while Julia and I headed to see what the shops were like. Basically there are 5 stops that you see over and over again with a restaurant mixed in every so often for good measure. The 5 stores were – jewelry, shoes, leather, scarf and souvenir stores. After looking at the same store after store, Julia and I found what we were looking for and headed back to find the guys at the sea side café.
It was a wonderful day. Once again the weather in the morning was blue sky and sunshine. We had a breeze for most parts of the day. Once we got to lunch the rain came. We are getting good timing on raining during lunch.
Here is a view of our boat from a distance and apartments in Turkey.
Looking forward to exploring the old city of Rhodes, Greece, tomorrow.