Last Wondrous Day in Turkey
Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
21Trip End Nov 02, 2012
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We flew from Istanbul to Izmir which is on the southwestern coast of Turkey. We then took a bus to Ephesus. It is the best-preserved and most extensive (2000 acres) classical Greco-Roman city in Asia. Ephesus dates to at least 1300 BC. It was the commercial center and capital city of Roman Asia Minor. It was once the fourth-largest city in the Roman Empire boasting a population numbering more than 300,000. One ancient legend attributes the founding of Ephesus to the Amazons of Greek mythology. Another credits the Athenian Androclus, who received advice from an oracle to establish a colony at the "place of the fish and the boar." And so, when he and his crew saw a wild pig charge out of the underbrush set ablaze inadvertently by locals grilling fish, he staked his claim on the Anatolian shore
We then went to the Basilica of St. John, constructed in the fifth century. It is built over the tomb of the evangelist St. John and the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple no longer exists and the building material was used to build other things like aqueducts and other temples. St. John was the man whom Jesus asked to look after his mother Mary after his death. John did so and brought her to Ephesus where she is supposed to have lived until she died. St. John who is the one who was chosen by God to write the Book of Revelations.
After Ephesus, we visited a local cooperative to learn how world-renowned hand-woven Turkish carpets are made. The pictures show how they dye the wool, weave it and the finished product. They don’t show you how they sell them. Actually they weren’t too pushy.
We had lunch in wonderful outside setting surrounded by pine trees. The weather has been great the whole time, 50’s to 70’s.
We then rushed through Customs, leaving Turkey and entering Greece. We got on our small ship (50 passengers) to boat into the Aegean Sea to visit the Greek Islands. We had to rush because there was a storm and the Captain wanted to get out of the harbor fast. As a result most of us were sea sick with all the rocking and tossing about. A few of us managed to eat the fine dinner served. Doug and I have been trying to eat just a little bit the last few days so as to not become too fat. Now we have left the Turkish delights behind but we are headed to the Greeks delights.