Day 5 European Vacation: Ephesus & Turkish Tea

21 Oct

On Tuesday morning we awoke to the country side of Turkey.  We had decided to book a tour through the cruise after our debacle earlier in the week.  We were excited to see some biblical sites which the area is known for.  Once we were off the ship we were escorted by bus to the home of the Virgin Mary.  It was located up in a hillside away from the hustle and bustle of the port town of Kusadasi and the biblical town of Ephesus.  The house was discovered in the 19th century and is believed to be the place where she lived until her death.  We weren’t allowed to take any photos while inside but the building itself was very interestingly constructed of stone.

DSC_0598 DSC_0603Once outside the house there were some water fountains that many people were collecting water from.  We did as well but have found the Virgin Mary containers provided were not adequate for containing liquids!  Also outside the home there was a wishing wall where people would write wishes on scraps of cloth and tie it to the wall.

DSC_0605 DSC_0606After the Virgin Mary’s home we moved along to the great city of Ephesus.  It was amazing.  I am still shocked by how well this city has been reconstructed and what is still remaining of this ancient city.  Jesus himself walked the marble streets of Ephesus as did many of his disciples.  Ephesus was a port town in the days of Jesus but due to changing climate and most likely tectonic shifts it is now 3 miles from the sea.

DSC_0624 DSC_0636 DSC_0675We saw many ancient structures while we walked the streets.  There is even a famous lutrine that is no longer in use but in pristine condition!  The Library of Celsius was also in amazing condition reconstructed by the Turkish government, who has placed a lot of emphasis on the reconstruction and preservation of this ancient site.

DSC_0683 DSC_0697The great theater is also believed to be a place where the Apostle Paul is said to have preached the gospel.

DSC_0719 DSC_0725After the amazing sites of Ephesus we headed back into the town of Kusadasi and went to a Turkish rug shop.  They showed us how these Persian rugs are made and what goes into the production of silk.  The rugs were amazing and while we watched their presentation we sipped some cold apple tea, a Turkish tradition.  If we had a few extra thousand waiting in a bank, we probably would have ended up with a beautiful silk rug!

We were not too impressed with the city of Kusadasi as most of it was very commercialized.  The shops reminded me of being in China Town in NYC with knock off purses, shoes and sunglasses being sold around every corner.  We did find some lovely silk and cashmere scarves though that will make for great gifts this Christmas!

All in all, the city of Ephesus was very impressive and I’m so glad we were able to taste the sweet nectar of apple tea.

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