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Long Walk to Ephesus
Last winter, when our Egypt trip was re-routed to Istanbul due to the political climate in Cairo, we decided to take a day trip down to Ephesus. After a week of early mornings and late nights exploring Eastern Europe, we took the opportunity to rest up a bit, so we slept the entire bus ride from the Izmir airport to Selçuk. When the driver literally shook us awake, we stumbled off the bus bleary-eyed and disoriented. We decided to just start walking and hope that we were headed in the right direction of the Ephesus archeological site. After about 20 minutes, the sidewalk ended. A few minutes after that, we knew we were lost. We started to get irritated, but then we looked around us and saw all the beautiful scenery that most tourists only see whiz past them from a tour bus window. We suddenly went from "tourists" to "travelers." We were walking (walking a lot) in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul, Cleopatra, Mary, emperors, Alexander the Great, and the people who made up some of the greatest civilizations in our world's history. There were women tending the fields and livestock roaming the pastures all around us. If not for the paved road and the much-needed can of Coke in my hands, it felt like we could have been walking along this not-so-beaten path at any point over the last two millenniums. (Catch! Lost entry!)
Explore the famous Roman ruins of Ephesus in a day trip from Istanbul. One-hour flights to/from Izmir depart throughout the day and the transfer to the site takes about one hour.
The lands of Ephesus have nourished civilisations and witnessed the fall of many leaders since Neolithic times. The original site of the city, renowned for its Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) was once a thriving ancient Greek metropolis near the present-day town of Selçuk. After Alexander the Great liberated the Greeks from the Persians, the city moved to its present site and went on to thrive as a port-side commercial center on the Caystros River under Roman rule from 190 BC. During the city’s most illustrious era it became the capital of Asia Minor due to its proximity to the Aegean and served as a hub for early Christianity hosting iconic figures such as St. Paul, St. John, and the Virgin Mary.
The silting up of the river led to a decline in trade and fortunes, and the city was abandoned by the 15th century. Excavations of the site since 1863 have slowly uncovered the layers of earth revealing structures, mainly from the Roman period. Only 15 percent of the city has been discovered to date, but the reconstructed Library of Celsus, the 24,000-seat amphitheater, terraced houses, and the remnants of temples and the Odeon are truly worth visiting.
Many travel agencies in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, can arrange day tours for travelers, but do shop around for the best deal.
I got a kick out of the cats that ran around the historic city of Ephesus. They were everywhere. But, this guy took the cake. Napping on top of a Ionic column while all of us wandered about. He didn't seem to care. He really looked rather regal perched up there. Definitely a moment touring the ancient city of Ephesus.
Ephesus is the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world enabling one to genuinely soak in the atmosphere of Roman times. The Celsius Library in Ephesus with 12,000 scrolls, was the third largest library in the ancient world, after Alexandria and Pergamon . Heraclitus who was born in Ephesus, is right. it is my second time in Ephesus. I was there in my early twenties. They have done a lot more excavation. i am a lot more interested in it now. I have changed also. ‘All is flux” For more infor check out "All Roads Lead To Ephesus" http://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/
Ephesus's ruins rivalled and beat all the ones we saw in Greece and Italy. We visited in March, so there were fewer crowds, and much less competition to see the sites. What struck us about these ruins were the lack of rules. You could climb on, in, and around anything you wanted. It was a crazy experience to be so unchecked in such an ancient site. It is about a half hour from the Turkish harbour town of Kusadasi, there are many taxi companies that provide service to the ruins. We opted out of having a guide, choosing instead just to wander through all the history.
Full Account Here: http://aliscottwhatwegetupto.blogspot.ca/2012/05/kusadasi-and-patmos.html
We booked our tour with Ephesus Deluxe, and they were wonderful! My husband and I had a private tour with tour guide and driver that picked us up at our cruise terminal, brought us to see Ephesus and nearby Sirince Village, and even brought us to a camera shop and worked as a translator for me to buy a new camera when my good one's shutter completely died mid-trip. We highly recommend them!
We also recommend that if you are in Turkey nearby, the ancient city of Ephesus is definitely worth a visit! This gem of a city has been wonderfully preserved under the ground, and is slowly being excavated. If you have a tour guide, they can really give you a lot of amazing information on this ancient civilization.
[Note: Trip taken Oct. 2012] What can anyone say except "marvelous" when standing in the splendor that is called the ruins of Ephesus. Truly it is a sight to be seen! And though I wanted to see it for its Christian history which is where the Apostle Paul preached I ended up being spell bound by its sheer beauty. I don't believe the ruins in Rome could compare to how these ruins are so well-preserved. As I joined the tour group I was with I would find myself stopping to close my eyes and imagine what it was like way back when it was inhabited by the elite Romans. The library and the gigantic stadium is surely not to be missed. I know most people tend to stay in Istanbul but if ever in the beautiful historical country of Turkey make sure to take a trip to a site that will leave you in awe and while you are at it don't forget to visit the House of the Virgin Mary. :)