Tracking the steps of Paul
Trip Start Jan 07, 2007
71Trip End Apr 02, 2007
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The day kicked off with us heading to the "house of the virgin Mary." We were shocked to find that there was an $8 charge to go in, but seeing as it was required for our class, we did not have a choice so we had to pay it. This was the biggest rip-off of the trip. The house was a quaint little shack with enough room to fit three "no photography" signs and a small altar. That was it. All for a MERE $8. This is all good though, as we were assured by two signs at the entrance of the "house" that the $8 we paid was not an admission fee to the house, but rather a fee for the WC, the maintenance, and the electrical bill
By the way the sign that was the information for validating this house as Mary's house after Jesus died said that "John probably brought back Mary to Asia Minor." Also, the sign explained that there was "scientific proof passed down by oral tradition." Then the sign explained that the house was seen in a vision by a woman who gave a detailed description of the location though she had never been there. Richard and I were upset at the scam, and Richard quipped, "This place really makes me want to drink beer."
Anyways, scams are part of traveling, and the best part was that it happened to all of us, so a running joke throughout the day was the grandeur and splendor of Mary's house.
So then we tackled Ephesus, which is an amazing collection of ruins. This was the first site we have seen that was actually crowded (cruise season started a week ago), so that took some getting used to
We also ventured inside the terrace houses, which were pretty cool on their own. What pushed them into uber-cool airspace was the fact that they were housed in a gorgeous modern structure. The modern building was translucent, so the quality of light allowed the ruins inside to have a soft glow about them. Also, everywhere we could walk was a glass floor. This allowed us to look straight down on mosaics and other details. The whole modern part was really well designed and was a great space to be in.
Back outside, we headed to the Ephesus theater, which can seat 25,000 people The cool part about this place is that Paul preached here a number of times as he used Ephseus as his home base. I don't feel that the theater is holy by any means, but it was exciting knowing that this was where Paul used to speak and released Christianity in to the world. While Mary's "house" felt cheesy, this theater was out and out authentic, and one of the highlights of the trip for me
After leaving Ephesus, I told Ben that I was interested in seeing the Temple of Artemus. The temple is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, although at this time, I can't tell you why. I will research what made this temple so spectacular that it was put in the same class as the pyramids, and I'll let you know the results of my research tomorrow. That being said, there was few ruins and a column where the temple once was. I find it fascinating that this has not been converted in to some sort of major tourist destination, but I am glad it is left untouched, and uncrowded. We all relaxed and took in the warm glow of the setting sun. By the way, this temple was free, and about twelve times cooler than that "house" we saw, but I'm not bitter, I just wanted to let you know.
I am LOVING Turkey and all that it has to offer. Today was just one of those days that offers a lot of everything.