Friday, June 20, 2014

The city of Ephesus is more than just a part of a biblical story

Since I was travelling with my Mum and Dad there was a bit of negotiation our itinerary. I wanted to do a whistle stop trip to Cairo and they really, really wanted to go to Ephesus; so we did a side trip to this historical site.

To be honest, since I am not into Christianity I didn’t want to go to visit this city (in the same way being not Australian meant that I didn’t have an inherent desire to visit Gallipoli) but I ended up enjoying this venture into antiquity.

While you can do a day trip to Ephesus from Istanbul, the idea of starting out very early and arriving back at the hotel very late didn’t really appeal to Mum and Dad who wanted to take their time. So we decided to fly in late afternoon before spending the next day sightseeing and flying onwards to Cairo on the following day.

We found this quirky little B&B near the centre of town which we fell in love with straight away. It had carpets everywhere and its shelves were full of Turkish trinkets which clashed with our western sense of aesthetic and design but this is what made this so cool. 

The staff were super friendly and helpful but as with our hotel in Istanbul they were very keen us to leave a positive review on Trip Advisor.

After an early night we got off to an early start. Since St John’s Basilica was in walking distance we visited there first. While it hadn’t stood the passage of time but it was still impressive.

The Basilica was built in the 6th Century over the tomb of St John and must have been impressive in its day.

While I crashed and burned with a bout of gastro, Mum and Dad visited the Tomb of Mary and the Temple of Artemis. While the photos of the Tomb of Mary looked amazing, the Temple of Artemis required a little bit imagination.

Again, like the St John’s Basilica, the Temple of Artemis was an impressive dedication to the Greek god of Artemis.

Luckily, got over the sickness and I managed join mum and dad to visit the Ancient City of Ephesus and was amazing.

It was quite humbling as it reminded me of the frailties of humanity. A society and its culture could be super powerful one day and then given a couple of hundreds of years the physical manifestations of the civilisation could become relics.       
It just was amazing to actually be there and walk amongst it rather than see in books or TV.

Even if you’re not religious Ephesus is well worth a visit. There are many tour companies that run fly in fly out visits but if you have time it is great to spend more than one day there. 

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