2012 April 4 – Day 24 – Kusadasi, Turkey (Day 2) (Part 1)

When we climbed on the bus at 8 am for our tour to Ephesus we discovered we had the same guide as the day before.  Ahmet was great and full of interesting ancedote’s and information.  Like the day before we were all given portable electronic headsets so we were able to listen to Ahmet’s commentary as we walked around and didn’t have to form a cluster around him to hear things.  Normally you would not be able to do that at most of the historic spots in Turkey anyway, and certainly not in Ephesus, as the crowds are horrendous in the summer tourist season.  150 45-person buses a day, all day, every day for months.It was a half hour drive from the port north to the ancient city of Ephesus and we traveled through the newer side of Kusdadsi, past several five-star hotels and modern buildings.

In its time, Ephesus was also a very modern city with an elaborate water and sewer system, marble streets, a library, many fancy shops along a street they call the “Rodeo Drive of the East,” and beautiful mosaic sidewalks.  Even though the work has been ongoing for over 100 years only 15% of the site has been excavated, so there are many more treasures yet to be found.

I took 494 photos and only deleted 20 when we got back to the ship!  There was so much to see.   I found these two maps on line.  They may give you a bit of an idea of where we were on the route. We entered at the Second Entrance on the right side of the maps, and walked the full length of the long street before turning up the Processional way to the Grand Theater on the left and departing through the Main Entrance.
This is the Odeon or Stage Agora – a concert hall that had a stage area and an orchestra section. The Basilica – 160 meters long, that was the stock exchange, commercial business area, and law courts.

The Bath of Varius – built in the 2 century. There were baths of cold water, warm water and hot water. It was in this very place that the Apostle Paul preached the gospel to the people of Ephesus and thus he spread the word of the Lord and a fellowship of believers began to gather in Jesus name.  It was totally awesome to be walking the same streets and standing in the same places as Paul had been over 2000 years ago!

Some of the pipes from the sophisticated water and sewer system. There were pieces of columns and walls all over and many places where work of restoration or research was going on.  We were there in the first week of April so were very fortunate that the seasonal influx of tourists had not begun.  By the end of the day, as we were leaving, the place was getting quite congested though.

Since it was early spring the trees were lovely shades of green and flowers were blooming.  The surrounding hills were very pretty.This is the Prytaneion where religious services, official receptions, and banquets were held.The early symbols of medicine and pharmacy. Domitian Square containing the first temple built in the name of an emperor (81-96 AD)

The above arch is part of the Fountain of Pollio built in 97 AD by a rich man (C.S. Pollio) and his family.  The water for the fountains of Ephesus was brought by aquaducts and distributed to the various fountains by clay pipes.At the end of Processional Way we arrived at Curetes Street, a major shopping street that was eventually closed to chariot traffic and became one of the first pedestrian malls.

I will continue the tour in another blog.

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