Sunday, February 16th
After a quick breakfast here at the hotel, we met Ben and Yulia in the lobby. They had already made arrangements and had a taxi waiting. A bit of negotiating ensued regarding pricing, an agreement was struck, and off we headed to Ephesus. The goal was to arrive before any of the tour groups so we could get our pictures with no crowds in the way.
“Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15% has been excavated.” ~ Wikipedia
Ephesus was built in the 10th century BC by Greek colonists but later came under Roman control in 129 BC.
“Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelations. The Gospel of John may have been written here.” ~ Wikipedia
Nike was the Winged Goddess of Victory and there is a stunning stone carving along the walkway. She is often shown on Greek coins.
We had the place all to ourselves with the exception of the staff and numerous cats.
The Celsus Library is the diamond in the crown of Ephesus!
“The scrolls of the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum.” ~ Ephesus.us
Built into the hill and located along the marble street on the left hand side as you approach the Library are the Terrace Houses. Also knows as the houses of the rich, they are being painstakingly restored, piece by piece.
Filled with frescos and mosaics, it gives a glimpse into the decorative grandeur of that era.
The heating system of the terrace houses were the same as that in baths. Clay pipes beneath the floors and behind the walls carried hot air through the houses. The houses also had cold and hot water.
A separate ticket is required if you want to tour this section.
We had planned on visiting a museum, but after our taxi dropped us off, we found out that it was closed for renovations. Fortunately, our driver came back shortly to collect us and we returned to our hotel.
Our weather has certainly been cooperating with us and with the sun shining we explored the hotel grounds.
Not wanting to just experience hotel food, we hopped onto the local bus and headed into town where we found a small local shop to have a grilled kabob. I also tried a local chilled yoghurt drink called Ayran. It was a little on the sour side, but I can see how it would be refreshing in hot weather.
Finally meeting back up with Jan and Mark over dinner we shared the events of the day. It seems that we missed a highlight where Mark was chosen to model some clothing at a style show for a leather factory – dance steps and all.
They did say that their lunch was exceptionally good and the setting was beautiful, so I want to share the link to that restaurant with you. The name is Sakli Vadi and you can click here for more information.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for the opportunity of visiting one of the most beautifully preserved historical monuments and having it all to ourselves.