Ephesus and Efes

Trip Start May 31, 2007
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Trip End May 20, 2008


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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Arrived here a couple of nights ago and after checking into the hotel, spent a late afternoon at the quaint village of Sirince where we tasted some fruity wine.  Spent the day yesterday at the hotel pool wıth an Efes beer after a hot am in the ruins of Ephesus.  Parts of the ruins were well preserved but other parts, just rubble.  Our local guide was quite animated and kept running from one place to the next in hopes of keeping the group ahead of the hoardes of other tourists who kept arriving in large A/C busses! 

Ephesus is called the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey's premier tourist site.  The city had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, brothel and roman baths.  İ guess the ancient men here were as amorous as they are now!  İt is a constant effort to decline invitations for drinks etc...gets very trying after a short time when you cease to be flattered and just realize that if you breathe and are decent looking you will get these solicitations.  Anyway more about the site.  According to the Lonely Planet Ancient Ephesus was a great trading city and a centre for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess.  Under the influence of the İonians, Cybele became Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, and a fabulous temple was built in her honour.  Whan the Romans took over and made this the province of Asia, Artemis became Diana and Ephesus became the Roman provincial capital.    İn ancient times, the sea came much further inland, almost as far as current day Selçuk. 

We walked from Ephesus to the site of the Cave of the Seven Sleepers where 7 young Christians were walled up in a cave during the period of Roman persecution.  The story goes that after 200 years of sleeping they awoke to find that Christianity was the state religion.  İt is a holy pilgrimage site for Christians.  The town of Selçuk is a mix of modern and old.  One of the ancient wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis can be found here...at least what is left of it.  One column partially that is about it unfortunately.  Our hotel is quite quaint and has a pool on the neighboring property where we spent the day relaxing!
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