Celcus Library @ Ephesus
The iconic building at Ephesus! Big entrance but small inside.
We woke up really early to catch our 6.45 am flight to Izmir. No tram yet. There is a cheap shuttle but departs at 3.20 which is too early and we're afraid we can't wake up on time. We decided to take taxi instead (40 lira).
Flight with Onur Air was on time and smooth. On the arrival gate, our group tour guide already waiting. Although its a group tour (kudasasitours.com 62 euro per person), apparently that day there's only 3 people (max capacity 6 person) so it feels like a private tour which is about 2x the price. If anyone would like to save money, you can take dolmus (from the highway) or train (up to Selcuk).
The drive to Ephesus was a very nice surprise. We had a short stopover by the Aegean Sea which was okay. The next part is more lovely. I thought Izmir's countryside would be very rocky and dry. But on the contrary, its green and lush. As its spring, we see rows of pink peach tree, green olive trees, contrasting with the yellow wild flowers and the blue sky. Here and there you see dots of sheeps and cows grassing leisurely. Gorgeous!!!
Concert hall from the past! Great acoustics. You talk at the stage and people around can hear you clearly.
Ephesus was an amazing sight. I was most impressed by the Celcus Library and the long marble pathways around the city. There's this old info board that is carved in stone which apparently announcing tax increase ha ha. If they have new news, they will sand the stone and carves new info. Very flintstoney!
After hearing the hypes about the Terrace Houses (included in tour price), I have high expectations. Yes its huge but for some reason I'm just not blown away. Good though that you get a glimpse of what live used to be 600 years ago.
The stadium looks like a small colloseum but built more efficient as it was built on hill slope instead of flat surface like in Rome. It has a good accoustic and some tourists sing at the stage and the sounds really travel quite efficiently. The guide said that up to the 80's the stadium was still used for concerts for Diana Ross etc. But then the heavy speakers and sounds tortured the structure and since then they forbid it.
Next stop is lunch which was decent, but what's annoying was the "carpet cooperative demonstration" which comes after. At
first they just take you around the outdoor terrace seeing the coccoon and the knitting. But it does gets scary where towards the end they bring you to this enclosed space, and ask you to sit at the end of the room - far from the exit door to show the carpets. When they offered us a drink, we know this will take us 30 mins or more.
Another passenger stood up and said to the guide we're not interested in buying carpets, don't want to waste their effort either, and up front we said no shopping stops which they did not oblige. The guide seemed offended but we walk out safely.
Eliminating that carpet show actually saved us extra 30 mins at the Selcuk Museum (FREE!). Small but they have nice collections. What shocked me is there's no separator or glasses for most of the collections so if you have naughty hands you can just grab things. No temperature control or many guards either.
Our bus just drove by the Isabey mosque and St John's Basilica so can't comment much on that. But from outside, the basilica looks nicer vs Mary's House.
The bus dropped us at Park Hotel Izmir
which turns out to be the worst hotel we stayed in during our Turkish adventure. Good that its only 1 night. At least we got good pictures
Tot: 1.003s; Tpl: 0.102s; cc: 28; qc: 132; dbt: 0.1085s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.6mb