(Here’s another one that’s been sitting in my “Draft” box for months). We absolutely loved traveling in Turkey, we would go back in a second. Obviously we didn’t really see much of the country, we only spent one day on the western coast and a couple of days in Istanbul but we’d love to go back. (If you’re going, let us know, we’d likely find a way to go with you!)
Our first stop was at a little town called Kusadasi (I’m uncertain of the pronunciation). It’s kind of like one of those little coastal towns that pretty much exists for tourists. There’s resorts all over and tons of little shops around – although, this being Turkey, the stuff in it is a bit more interesting than say, the equivalent in Florida. This was the only time on our cruise that we chose to go on a tour – mostly Kyle and I are not good with tours, we get interested in strange things and we are those people that the tour guide is always telling to “move along” or “wait for the rest of the group”. This time we had a lot of things we wanted to see in a short time and we didn’t think we’d have time with out a bus to bring us.
Our first stop was a place called “Mary’s House” – it ostensibly is where John the Beloved brought Mary, mother of Jesus, to live after the Resurrection of Christ.
It reminded me of a lot of places in the Holy Land: the tradition is almost more important than what actually happened. There were some interesting ruins however (apparently a cistern):
Our next stop was the ruins at Ephesus. Coolest ruins ever! (And I’ve seen a lot of ruins.) We could have stayed there for hours, it’s massive and hasn’t been fully excavated.
Me in front of the Temple of Aesclepius (which was basically a hospital).
One of the main roads, likely walked on by Paul.
An ancient condo development with very cool mosaic porch.
Local public toilet.
The Library of Celsius – this one’s for you David Ross.
The Large Theatre – there are many theatres but this is the largest, I wonder if it is the place talked about in Acts 19.
Before we had our fill of Ephesus the tour bus was leaving so we dragged ourselves away and went to a few more sites including a lunch at a simulated Roman villa (yummy food, kitchy entertainment) as well as:
A church dating from around 60 A.D. where John the Beloved was OSTENSIBLY buried.
A beautiful silk rug that we wanted to buy but couldn’t really afford the $25 000 USD price tag (picture doesn’t do it justice). We ended up with a very small wool rug that we love, perhaps someday we will go back for the silk one.
The next couple of days we toured Istanbul. A very cool city that I would like to visit again, we really only hit the highlights given our time constraints. I dragged Kyle to the Topkapi Palace our very first day – the main palace of the Sultan and the headquarters of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. It is a massive complex with building after building with room after room of lovely architecture and mosaics.