Ephesus

Trip Start Mar 13, 2008
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Trip End Mar 23, 2008


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Flag of Turkey  ,
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day two of the conference included more police escorts around town and a ferry across the bay to another more modern shopping district. I skipped out on the afternoon tour to watch Aili and Gisela's presentation which went over really well.

The next day we woke up ready for the trip to Ephesus - the ancient city first founded in 300 B.C. Many of the ruins from the Roman era still exist (most dating from around 100 A.D.) but people have been living in this area since 3000 B.C.! We drove through the sound Selcuk, past several mountain top fortresses built over the last few thousand years. Before arriving at Ephesus, we stopped at the shrine of the Virgin Mary. It is purported that that St. John was charged by Jesus to take care of his mother and that St. John took her to this spot to live until she died. The little chapel is a reconstruction but there is proof that St. John did live in the area. It is definitely a new experience seeing all these ancient historical sites so close to each other - Greek, Roman, Christian, Byzentine, Ottoman and that's just nameing the major players!

We took the bus to the valley below and entered the ancient city of Ephesus. Since it's off season, there were only a couple other small tour groups so at times we had the ruins to ourselves! We walked past the congressional theater, then past the site of ancient shops to the famous library of Ephesus. It's said that Egypt cut off supply of papyrus to Ephesus in fear that its library would rival that of Alexadria - the worlds largest library of the time. The crafty Romans just figured out a way to scribe onto animal hides and kept publishing. We continued our walk down the marble streets to the colossal amphitheater and we pleased to be the only ones in the giant structure. We enjoyed some peaceful time along with the stray cats roaming the ruins before heading off through the agora and finally back to the bus for the ride to Izmir.
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