Blogs from Ephesus, Aegean, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus March 30th 2018

Hot on the heels of our visit to Troy, today we are off to see another ancient city, this time Ephesus. This city was named after one of two things; either 'Efersia’ - Amazon Queen - named after the legendary wacko Amazonian women who cut off their left breasts to make it easier to use their bows and who are said to have founded the city OR after the symbol of the city, 'apis’ - honey bee. I know which I prefer, take your pick. There are also two reasons to explain why Ephesus is situated where it is. There's the highly implausible: access to the sea for trading and between mountains as it's easier to defend OR the much more likely: Ionian Prince Androclos was given a sign by the Delphi oracle who said to ... read more
Ephesus resident cat
Explaining how the columns were made
Ephesus mosaics

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus July 18th 2016

We were met today by our guide Ali from the Best of Ephesus tours. Our first stop was to be a visit to the Temple of the Virgin Mary where it is believed that John the Baptist bought Mary to live the rest of her life following the crucifixion. It is a small house and has been renovated. After leaving here we drove to Ephesus where we spent the next two hours walking through this amazing site in 40 degree heat. Water, hat and sunscreen were the order of the day. The excavations were amazing and the site is huge. The great theatre which seated 25000 people is often used today for concerts. Elton John has played there. The Celsus library - amazing. There was room here for 12000 scrolls. They were stored in the niches ... read more
The great theatre
Oldest ever advertising?

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus August 22nd 2015

Today, we were in Ephesus...a beautiful and ancient city among the mountains of Turkey. We visited the tomb of St. John and ruins of a basilica erected over his tomb. We also visited the House of Mary; this was the most sacred place that I have visited thus far. In the Gospel of John we read, "When Jesus saw his motherthere, and the disciple whom he lovedstanding nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." According to tradition, John took Mary along with him on his missionary journey to Ephesus. We had the opportunity to visit this sacred Home of Mary today in Ephesus. This is one of the few sites along the journey, where pictures ... read more
Baptismal Fount (Basilica of St. John)
Candles outside House of Mary
House of Mary

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus June 28th 2015

We're parked under a tree for shade which has the tiniest of flowers which readily fall off in the breeze. When we went out this morning the chairs looked like they had a covering of snow. We now have the awning out... Off we walked to catch the dolmus (taxi minibuses) from town to Ephasus. We asked the way to the bus station & the chap flagged down a bus & said he'll take you & will put you on the right bus for Ephasus. We set off & 5 minutes later he was banging his horn & waving at a bus on the other side of the road who stopped, we got off one, paid him then jumped on the other & we arrived at Ephasus 15 minutes later having nearly knocked a motorcyclist off ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus April 25th 2015

I'm making good on my promise to write more blogs after I returned home on April 23. Actual date in Ephesus was April 7th, a beautiful warm day so welcomed after some chilly days in Istanbul. It was my second visit, the last being in November, 2000. Doesn't matter. I was still gobsmacked by the history, the casual ruins of ruins rolled over to one side of the main agora now, a walkway, but in ancient times marketplace. Some history, I know boring, but it helps to put things into perspective. Ancient Ephesus was founded by the Athenians about 1000 B.C., it lay at the confluence of empire, trade, and religion. It was a major banking and merchant metropolis with a population of around 300,000. At that time the city had a good harbor with land ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus October 11th 2014

We spent the day at Ephesus marveling at the restoration and all the tourists, many of whom more interested in selfies than history. The terrace houses of the wealthy are quite amazing--frescoed walls, intricate marble floors, and covered to protect from the elements. Maury was excited to see the amphitheater where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. On our own for dinner, we tried Izmir's oldest seafood restaurant, Deniz. Not much English spoken but interesting to see a relatively affluent segment of Turkish society out for a weekend meal with family. Yes, there are babies and small children in restaurants at 9p.m. and women drinking raki and wine!... read more
Ephesus (55)
Ephesus (26)

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus July 14th 2014

There were stones piled everywhere. Lengths of columns. building blocks, sections of red-brick arches. Some marked with nomenclature numbers while others had no identifiers at all. Weeds grew between the stones as if they hadn't been moved in a while. We were in Ephesus which is a premier destination for folks visiting Turkey though not many people will spend a night here. Most visitors arrive via tour bus from Izmir and most of these are cruise ship passengers taking a day trip. Ephesus was one of ancient Rome's greatest Asian cities. A fine natural harbor and the commerce it invited supported a population that, at one time, reached between 35,000 and 50,000 residents. Founded by the Greeks around 1,000 BC it didn't reach its zenith until the Romans arrived about 150 BC. After the harbor silted ... read more
Mosaic Floor
Smartest Person In Ephesus
Street To Old Port

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus May 21st 2014

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus December 7th 2013

This was our day to visit Ephesus. This ancient city was rebuilt 4 times due to earthquakes and fire. Ephesus's streets are paved with marble and lined with columns. The library was the third largest in its time. There were bath houses for the rich and poor. The council amphitheatre was bigger then most of our playhouses now, and the amphitheatre for drama and games could hold 24000 people. There is a part of the ruins that are covered and excavated with exacting care. Here the terrace homes display their painted walls with birds and vines, fruit and flowers. The floors are covered in mosaics of increasing complexity. Other rooms have panels of marble split to have mirrored images in stone side be side. The terraced house climb on top of each other as they move ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus 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 ... read more
Hadrian's temple
Looking up
Friends, Romans and Mammoths

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