Published: October 17th 2012October 17th 2012
Yesterday evening I calculated how many more sights I want to see here and how much time I have left. I figured I had enough time to do the day trip to Ephesus that I was hoping for. Ancient Ephesus is located in Turkey near the Aegean Sea an hour south (by air) from Istanbul. It is famous for its Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins. In the first century AD, it was the largest city in the Roman empire except for Rome itself. It also has Biblical connections: remember Paul's letter to the Ephesians? And there is some reason to believe that the Virgin Mary lived here after the crucifixion. I went online with my iPad and made plane reservations with Turkish Airlines for the next day (today). This morning I caught a taxi to Istanbul's Atatürk airport and flew to Izmir, the nearest airport to ancient Ephesus. Another taxi ride took me to the gates of Ephesus, which is uninhabited these days - except for archaeologists I presume. I bought my ticket and followed Rick Steve's audio guide on my iPad while I walked through the site. It was crowded and hot and I as glad that I had thought
to bring my umbrella to use as shade. I moved more slowly than the tour groups and eventually they thinned out. (See picture) After that, I rather enjoyed the experience of wandering through the ancient columns and arches and other ruins. I took a number of photos including floor mosaics and the famous facade of the Library of Celsus - well, it's famous in Turkey anyway. When I finished the walk, I took a taxi to Selcuk, the nearest town, and looked at the Ephesus Museum there. It featured items that have been found at Ephesus, but it was largely a disappointment because nearly everything was in very bad shape. I walked around Selcuk for a bit, just because it is a pretty town. Then I caught a taxi to Izmir airport and flew back to Istanbul. It was a long day of travel, but it was worth the effort and expense to see Ephesus. Interestingly, the airfare turned out to be relatively inexpensive and I spent more on taxis today than I did on airline tickets.
There are more photos below