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Published: August 14th 2013
We started with a self-service breakfast with Woolly loading his plate with boiled eggs and stuffed olives, we did warn him….
Woolly says – the eggs didn’t half make me feel bloated and those olives were a bit hot, I could feel the steam coming out of my ears! Jo made me eat everyone as I had taken them, it took me a while to recover.
While the Mammoth was blowing chilli fumes in all directions we loaded Ollie and set off for the day. The road took us through the city of Izmir, this was the original destination of our container but being eight hours from home way too much to travel to and from. It was awful, traffic was everywhere, overtaking, undertaking and just driving randomly where they wanted to.
Woolly says – I was gripping onto the dash board while Jo clung onto her seat going greener by the second, finally asking Ian to slow down and stay behind a crawling lorry we felt marginally safer. The city was immense and seemed to spread up to the horizon and beyond. At last we made it through and onto the
scenic road of the E87. Mile after mile we trundled on with Ollie only pausing for a quick refill and some cold drinks for us. With mountain scapes and small towns the journey is always different in Turkey, you never know what the next corner will bring.
Finding our destination was easy and following the brown signs we pulled onto the crowded car park of one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the world – Ephesus. Trying to park Ollie in the shade was impossible so parking anywhere we could was the only option and paying his 8 Lira (approximately £3.40 GBP) and left him to make friends with all the other vehicles crammed in with him.
Woolly says – this was so exciting, I was visiting what had been the favourite of the Seven Wonders of the world according to the author, Pliny the Elder. Originally an ancient Greek city it became a major Roman City which had a population of 250,000 by the 1st
century BC. It must have been HUGE and today we would only see the 25 percent that has been excavated – Wow. It was famed for the Temple of Artemis
also known as the temple of Diana (completed around 550 BC). In 268 AD, the Temple was destroyed or damaged in a raid by the Goths
. The city was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD. Archaeological research in Ephesus stretches back to 1863, when British architect John Turtle Wood
, sponsored by the British Museum
, began to search for the Artemision
. In 1869 he discovered the pavement of the temple, the excavation work continues still. We paid a hefty 25 Lira each (approximately £10.65 GBP) and put our cards into the turnstile walking where the Greeks and Romans had gone before us.
There were thousands of people around which always makes it hard for Ian as he needs signed release forms to use pictures with anyone in them, it could be a difficult day picture wise. We fought our way past groups of tourists and found ourselves in front of the Amphitheatre.
Woolly says – Oh my, it was impressive! Not as well preserved as Aspendos but possibly a bit bigger, I could hear my fans roaring for me…..
More like the lions!! We took Emperor Woolly by the paw and led him
on. A long collanded road came next which we couldn’t go down but it stretched for miles and miles leading to what would have been the harbour as yet undiscovered.
Woolly says – it looked a long way for paws to go so we turned our back on it and walked on past many artifacts and remains that cover the site. Turning we came upon the most amazing sight I have ever seen, definitely a wonder of the ancient world, the frontage of the library. With its complete rebuild it looked much as it would have done in my friend Hadrian’s time, beautifully intricate and simply spectacular. To the rear where the library would have been was plain in comparison. We carried on up the marble road with mosaics as pavements – it sure beats concrete – and past Hadrian’s gate and temple, shop fronts and the bath house. I got very excited and insisted that we go for a look and my happiness new no bounds when I found the Roman Latrines still intact, oh I could only wish that my bestest friend Sion was here to admire them with me.
engrossed in Roman toilets we looked into a covered area where they had excavated some of the terraced houses, asking for another 15 Lira each (approximately £6.40 GBP), we declined and decided to give it a miss. On we went up the marble road into rich man’s land, past the hospital and more shops until we reached another much small Odeon. Emperor Woolly started to talk to his subjects so we shuffled him onwards towards more temples and even more remains that are still being worked on. With a café in sight we slumped into chairs and decanted cold drinks very quickly, still gazing around us. A hill to the right gave the only clue to where the most famous Temple of all would have stood and we could only imagine it’s magnificence as it towered over the city. Retracing our steps to the Amphitheatre we took the road to the right after trying to put Woolly into a Scargophues.
Woolly says – There were lots of coffins to choose from but before I could investigate further we moved onto the newly discovered St Mary’s Church, pausing to watch the excavation in progress. Boy, the must be
hot sitting in the sun all day with a paintbrush for company. The church had a massive alter and a font that would make an amazing swimming pool for me. Finally tired and very dusty we exited the site and shared freshly squeezed orange juice and pomegranate slushy’s, lovely and just what the doctor had ordered.
We were all exhausted and dirty as we climbed into Ollie who had sat in the 40 degrees all day, but Ollie was ready to go and we set off on the open road for our next day’s destination very happy having seen one of the best spectacles we have ever been lucky enough to view, happy days.
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