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  • Day5

    Ephesus, Second City of the Roman Empire

    November 9, 2013 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Although Kusadasi is the gateway to Ephesus, it is a charming city in its own right. Our guide, Ergin, was a bit older than our other guides, but he was fantastic--well informed, competent, and with a dry sense of humor. Ephesus was the second city of the Roman Empire, a major port until it was silted up in the fourth century. Failure to drain the increasing swamps resulted in mosquitoes that caused epidemics. By the fifth century the city was abandoned. It was a major center of the Christian Church. We saw the tomb of St. John. In medieval times there had been a basilica constructed over the site. Now it is a simple tomb in the ground. The library of Celsus is magnificent even in its ruined state. What is reputed to be the house of the Virgin Mary is the site of Roman Catholic pilgrimage. Only one column remains of the Temple of Diana. We had an excellent five-course Turkish lunch, complete with folkloric dancers. After lunch we went to a carpet cooperative, but, of course, with our acquaintance with the Capels, had already learned enough to buy the carpets we need.Read more