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Published: June 15th 2009
This morning we board the ferry at 7am. We head across the channel of the Dardenelles to Canakkale on the mainland. Our bus is at 8am and we head off south to Selcuk and the ruins of Ephesus.
We arrive in Selcuk at about 4pm. We were given a brochure on a hostel to stay while in this area. The bus office, just happens to be the place that call the hostel and we get a free ride since the place is 2 KM out of town. We arrive at Atilla's Getaway Hostel. It looks lovely, there is an in ground pool with water fountains and covered lounge areas with cushions on the floor.
First thing we do is take a swim. Sooo refreshing after a long day on the bus. Next we sit back and relax and read for a few hours until dinner is served. We chatted with some young American travellers and received some tips on where to go and what to see on our southern sojourn.
When going to bed Francine noticed something moving underneath my bed and we soon discovered a small toad. Earlier Angie had killed 2 very large
spiders in our room. Francine ran out of the room to find the owner so he could get the toad out from underneath the bed. She told him what we saw and Atilla said there are heaps of them around, don't worry. Francine said yes, but I sleep with my mouth open, one might jump in. Atilla just laughed. Francine and Atilla returned to the room with Francine giving instructions not to kill the toad. As she came through the doorway she half stepped on the toad and jumped before she completely squashed it. UGH! Atilla flicked it out the door and said it was ok. When he moved the beds he found 4 more toads. He then got an old towel and placed it along he bottom edge of the door so that the toads could not get in, as there was a gap of about an inch. Francine slept soundly, but Angie does not sleep well with large spiders milling around waiting for her to fall asleep.
On going to breakfast the other owner asked if Francine if she had any toads in her mouth during the night. Obviously, we provided some entertainment for
APRICOTS STRAIGHT FROM THE TREE
They had flavour, not lıke cold storage at home
This morning we had a great breakfast. Angie had French toast and Francine had Vegimite on toast. Angie can't believe Australians eat that stuff. She said it smells like linament. Francine thinks Angie needs to refine her taste in food.
We think today is going to be our hottest so far. (except for Abu Simbel). We were nick named the weather phenomenons by our last tour guide as the weather was either very nice to us or very strange. So after telling our story of the Nile sandstorm, the rain in the Sahara and the mild weather in Egypt, we gain the name. We hope our luck hasn't run out too much. It climbed to about 37 c or 90 f as per Angie's thermometer key ring.
We were collected by the organised tour minibus at 9:30 and headed off to the ruins of Ephesus. Wow, you should see the crowds. We had heard that some days they have 20,000 tourists visit the area. Today, the tourists from three cruise ships were being shipped around with us.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the west coast of Anatolia, in the region known as
WORKING ON OUR TANS
Proof that Fran, on left can get a tan, even ıf on the feet
Ionia during the Classical Greek period. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple was destroyed in 401 C by a mob led by St. John Chrysostom I. Emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected new public baths. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614AD. The city's importance as a commercial centre declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River. It is also the site of a large gladiator's graveyard.
The Library of Celsus was the third largest in the world after Alexandria, Egypt and Pergamon, Turkey.
However you have to remember that this area has been inhabited by ancient civilizations for over 8,000 years. With the Greek and Roman Empires being some of the later inhabitants however they were the master builders and have had the most lasting influence.
Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John is believed to have been written here. After the
READ THE YELLOW SIGN
Let me do a deal for you
death of Jesus Christ the apostles were assigned regions of the area to go forth and preach, this was the area given to John. John was also entrusted to care for Mary the mother of Jesus Christ. It was how Mary and John came to live in this area of Turkey.
A church was constructed over John's grave and during the Middle Ages another church was erected over the orıgınal church. It would have been much bıgger except that the hıll ıt ıs buılt on lımıted the extent to whıch ıt could be buılt. We were able to visit the Basılıca of St. John and view his grave site. The church itself lays in ruins. Much has not been excavated and we found mosaıc tıles behınd the alter area that were beıng walked on by everyone and the rest was covered ın 6 ınches of dırt.
However Mary's life was lost to us until a bed ridden nun in Germany began to dream of the Virgin Mary and the home where she spent her last days. This nun had never been out of Germany and yet she was able to describe in detail the hills of Ephesus and
ENTRY TO EPHESUS
the location of the house. A team of researchers followed her information and in l891 discovered the house that was built in the 1st century and Pope John XXIII, in l961 dedicated the house to be a holy place and it is now a pilgrimage place for other popes and people alike. The spring that gave water to the house is now considered Holy Water and is free to drink or to bottle from the many faucets coming out of the wall. Also the wall is considered the wall of wishes and is covered with thousands of hand written prayers or wishes from visitors. We both added ours wishes and prayers to the wall. The house was fully reconstructed in the l950's and the visit there was a very spiritual visit for us with being able to walk the grounds that Mary lived was a remarkable feeling for us to experience.
Other stops along the tour included such commercial places such as an Turkish Delight shop, a ceramic tile shop, and a leather goods store which we passed up on as Francine was able to persuade the guide to drop some of us off at St. John's instead. He
was very impressed that she knew how to say a formal thank you in Turkish. It is not an easy language to say.
Another site was the Ayasoluk Fortress but it is closed for renovations however it sits on the hill and it is a formidable site to see. It was built in the 5th century AD. It is beautifully lit at night as we can see it from our hostel.
We arrived back at the hostel and we are hot. We change into our swimmers and dive into the pool. We then proceed to relax around the pool area for the next few hours until dinner is served. We have our dinner and breakfast included in the price as the hostel is 2km / 1m out of town. We are most happy with this at is a chill out zone. We chat with travellers and get some more ideas on where to go and what to do next.
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