An Angelic voice

Trip Start Jun 24, 2005
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Trip End Mar 24, 2008


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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ephesus was an ancient city 3 km from the town of Selcuk. During both the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Ephesus was the most important port and cultural centre of the eastern world. It was here that the Apostle Paul famously preached against the worship of human made idols.

Instead of taking a guided tour of Ephesus, me and my fellow backpackers decided to take the free shuttle provided by the hostel and explore it on our own. Unfortunately, 'free' has a price tag. As we got off the shuttle, the driver nonchalantly announced 'meet me back in 2 hours and we'll go to my carpet shop! We will show you how carpets are made!'. Fantastic. In Turkey, everyone wants to take you to a carpet shop. If they don't have one, their 'brother' has one. It is just like the Papyrus shops in Egypt. Interestingly, these webs of leads and commissions are how humans have always done business. Even in todays internet age, online business operates in the same way through sponsored links and Ad codes.

To our surprise, Ephesus was packed with hordes of tourists. A majority were on their day excursions from their docked cruise ship. I have not seen this many tourists since my time in Prague, Czech Republic.

Some of the structures have been rebuilt but much like Troy, it is mostly a pile of rubble. The earthquakes that plague this region have been devastating. The best preserved are the two ampitheatres because they were built by the side of the mountain. We climbed to the top of the ampitheatre and while resting a woman, presumably a trained opera singer, spontaneously decided to sing on the stage. The noise from the hordes of tourists ceased. Everyone stopped what they were doing and listened as her singing reverberated and amplified upwards to where we sat. Her voice was as powerful as Celine Dion, yet silky smooth like Sarah Brightman. It was a priceless moment I wished had lingered longer.
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