Ephesus was an important and well-known ancient metropolis. It is mentioned in the Bible and is the location of the apostle Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was also located there. Some think that Mary, Jesus’ mother, lived in Ephesus at the conclusion of her life and that this is where she died.
In our rental car, @doctorcrypto and I departed Bodrum early in the morning. We had a destination in mind for the night, and we had ample time to stop in Ephesus along the route.
The journey to Ephesus took just under three hours. I took over the navigation duties from @doctorcrypto, who was driving. Driving in another country is always an experience, and Turkey presented its own set of difficulties. Driving in Turkey is generally safe, however as we reach the cities, driving becomes quite stressful.
Driving across the countryside was tranquil and enjoyable. The scenery was arid but lovely to look upon. People would put up kiosks along the side of the roadway selling everything from toys to fresh veggies to pickled fruits and vegetables of all types. They’d simply pull over to the side of the highway and set up shop.
We arrived in Ephesus after about 3 hours and parked our car. Many merchants sold refreshments and imitation ancient items near the site’s entrance. We bought refreshments and payed for admission to the facility because it was a hot day.
A massive theater was the first thing we saw. It was one of the largest theaters of its day, with a seating capacity of 25,000 people. It was originally used for plays and speeches, and it was also utilized for gladiatorial contests when the Romans occupied the city.
We kept walking down the road to see what we could. The archeological site is a tad jumbled in certain areas. Putting all of the pieces back together takes a lot of effort and energy.
We came across the Library of Celsus a short further down the road. This is a magnificent edifice that begins to hint at the grandeur of the city that formerly occupied this location.
I’m always intrigued by signs like these. I’m curious as to what is written here. Is it a thrilling tale about a hero’s heroic deed? Is it a “no smoking” sign or a “Thank You” sign for a patron who gave the library’s equivalent of a Harry Potter anthology?
The intricate decorations etched onto the stones make one think how magnificent this structure may have been while it was still standing and in use.
The size of old structures like this astounds me. It’s tough for my mind to comprehend how the ancients handled the big stones to construct such a structure.
We walked down the road after seeing the library to see what else the location has to offer.
Some sections resembled stone pillar cemeteries. There were a lot of pillars just sitting around, looking for a place to call home.
Ephesus is still in the process of being repaired in several locations. It’s fascinating to see, but it makes me hope I could go back in ten years to see how far the restoration has progressed.
The mosaics on the floor were one of my favorite sections of the Ephesus site. I believe some of these mosaics were for bath buildings, if my memory serves me correctly.
I was impressed by how elaborate and complex some of the structures were. It piqued my interest in reading literature about the city when it was still thriving.
We went through the place and took a lot of pictures. But there was still some driving to be done. We wanted to stay somewhere that had a cool natural marvel and was only 2.5 hours away. So @doctorcrypto and I got back in the car and hit the road again.
Ephesus was a fantastic site to see. I was raised in the church, and the stories of this area are deeply embedded in my mind. It was remarkable to be walking through the same streets as some of the biblical figures I grew up with. There’s a strange mix of admiration and disappointment. The disappointment stems from a sense of being close but not quite there. I kept longing for a time machine so that I could visit this place when it was still alive. Ephesus is a must-see for anybody planning a vacation to Turkey.
Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post, when we continue our road journey in Turkey and visit yet another incredible location!