This morning we docked in Kusadasi, Turkey and got a taxi to head to Ephesus, about 40 minutes from the boat. We did this tour completely on our own, got our own taxi, bought a book outside of the Ephesus and my mom played tour guide to the best of her ability as she pointed out and highlighted different relics and ruins she saw in the book. Since my mom bought the book I can give a little bit more information on what we saw and don’t just have to rely on my memory, here are a few of the highlights!
Ephesus was built during the middle of the 7th century BC as a a major thorough fair for the great trade road and it was when Christianity was beginning to spread across the area. At the theater in this city, the Romans protested the doctrine that St. Paul was sharing. Ephesus is also where St. John brought the Virgin Mary during her last days and where she died. St. John also had many divine inspirations while in Ephesus. And in 431 AD, the Third Ecumenical Council met in the Virgin Mary Church and accepted Virgin Mary as the mother of God. After many centuries of attacks, revolts, takeovers and captures the town became smaller and smaller until it was no longer a port city or a trade center. By 1090, most people had left Ephesus.
It was pretty surreal to be walking on the same streets that the Virgin Mary, St. John and St. Paul had walked on many, many centuries ago.
It didn’t take long before we realized that there were TONS of cats living inside the Ephesus gates, around every corner we saw cats and the girls were loving, loving on the kitties. Kelly got a little to close to one kitty and he scratched her, oops! Other than that cat, they were all really sweet, Alex was even able to hold one and that kitty then followed her around for awhile (we got it on video, but again the internet isn’t strong enough for me to post it!). At the beginning of our visit, before we had figured out what we were doing and seeing, my dad had to laugh that we spent hundreds of dollars to visit a cat sanctuary!
The other funny part about our visit was when we were overlooking a beautiful castle like structure, my mom announced that this was actually the brothel. We were all confused to way the most beautiful and intricate building in the city was the brothel, as we began to see this beautiful structure in a new light she announced she was wrong and it was actually the library. Phew!
The Brothel The Celsus Library
Here are more photos of our excursion to Ephesus today:
Tomorrow is our first day in Istanbul, Turkey, we’ll be there Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m not quite sure if we stay docked for both days or if we move during the night and then re-dock in the morning. I’m guessing the latter because the shops and casino can’t open if we’re in port, but we’ll just have to wait and see. We don’t arrive until about 1pm tomorrow and then just have a day to tour on our own. On Tuesday we will have an official excursion to the Blue Mosque and then to the Grand Bazaar!