Ephesus - just awesome

Trip Start Jul 03, 2010
Trip End Dec 03, 2010

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Where I stayed
Sezgin Guesthouse

Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Well it ended up being a bit of a journey - one overnight and one daytime ferry from Mykonos - but I landed on the western Turkish coast in Kusadasi. I had a stop off on the greek island of Samos which also looked lovely but after an uncomfortable overnight ride I wasn't much in the mood for exploring.
So Kusadasi is much bigger than expected, quite built up and pleasant, and it caters to the hordes of tourist which roll in each day. Many come in from the cruise ships which dock here daily - some of them are built like hotels and can hold thousands of people, and they dwarf the ship that i floated in on from Greece which I initially thought was pretty big!
Anyway Kusadasi offers a big marketplace, some really great food and many hotels. The first day here I went to the beach in the National Park here, when it felt like about a million degrees. But the real drawcard of this area is Ephesus.

In a word, Ephesus is just awesome. It is an ancient city built between 500bc and 200ad and inhabited around 200,000 people, with heavy Roman, Greek and Turkish influence. Although an earthquake damaged a lot of it, much still remains of the city. Just walking through the huge site between the houses, libraries, marketplaces and concert halls gives you the feeling of a living, breathing, functional city and the pure scale of the place is just breathtaking.
Can't wait to put some photos up, it is without doubt THE most incredible place I've ever seen.

When you enter, you step into the main marketplace which is laid out into shop stalls with columns throughout which once held up the wooden roof. Adjacent is the small concert hall, open air with a 2500 head capacity. Then as you walk down the marble street lined with columns you have housing on your left and building after building on the right leading up to the beautifully decorated 2 storey library which is just stunning. Then, further on, is the incredible 6000 person capacity ampitheatre built by the Romans to just cap things off. Awesome.

The same day we also checked out the House of Virgin Mary, the place in which she is said to have spent her last years, and in a bizzare twist the tour finished with a fashion show at a leather factory... Who would have guessed!
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