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Published: June 11th 2012
Last night we enjoyed a BBQ in the open air of the lounge deck and marveled at the size of the island of Samos as we passed by it. Then we thought we'd watch a DVD in the Hunter's room which took some time to figure out how to work the system and so we started out watching “The Other” with German subtitles . . . I gave up and retired for the evening to my kindles, Steven King's “11-23-63” Craig just completed “One Way Out: An Oral History of the Allman Brother's Band”.
We arrived in Kusadasi, Turkey (we are now in the Ionian region) at 7am Craig was up to be on deck and watch us be escorted by two other large sailing ships each with 4 masts (turns out that neither are sailing ships despite them having sails – ask Craig about this sometime)! It's a brilliant sunny day and we are once again going off for excursions early. Yesterday afternoon we attended lectures about the ancient city of Ephesus, which many consider to be more important in archeological study than Athens, it's here where we'll visit an ancient theatre, the remains of the largest parthenon ever
constructed and more. Like Mycenae, Ephesus now sits approximately 5 miles away from the sea but during it's prime, it was a coastal city. The foundation took place between the 16th
centuries BC. It was during the Roman era that the city attained commercail importance. Ephesus was one of the original 7 wonders of the world. St. John the apostle is buried here and it's near here that it's believed the Virgin Mary lived out her life. OK, enough religion but as I keep saying, “that's all there was back in those days!” the Celsus Library is the crown of archeological discoveries here.
We are tied up at the wharf so it was an easy walk down the gangway and along the pier to meet our guide and bus. We took off for Ephesus which was about 30 minutes from the port. Along the way we were shown resorts and agricultural plains. Our visit to Ephesus began at the top of the city and we were shown our way through commercial area (this excursion was the most commercial of all so far). Our guide was very good and we walked through the sites and visited the Theatre
built during the Hellenistic period (300 bc), it could seat 20,000. The Celsus Library for Julius Celcus Polemaneanus by his son and another Temple of Hadrian (this guy like himself a lot!).
Once we arrived at the bottom of the promenade we were once again ushered through another commercial area to our bus and driven back into Kusadasi. We managed to escape most of the vendors and then found a nice clothing shop where Craig bought another short sleeve shirt, the vendor wanted 25 euros (let's not forget that Turkey is not in the EU and their currency is the Lira) but Craig offered him 20 and he took it, great negotiator he is. From there made our way to the customs area and found a very nice cashmere shop where I bought a shall. Back on Sea Cloud we enjoyed lunch with Karen, Clorisa, Connie and Frank then took in the lecture by Dr. Frank about Pergamon which is where others will go on an excursion to but we haven't signed up for it.
A little history lesson now . . . The Hellenistic periods was characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization (as distinguished from
that occurring in the 8th-6th centuries BC) which established Greek cities and kingdoms in Asia and Africa. Those new cities were composed of Greek colonists who came from different parts of the Greek world, and not, as before, from a specific "mother city". The main cultural centers expanded from mainland Greece to Pergamon, Rhodes, and new Greek colonies such as Seleucia, Antioch and Alexandria.
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