Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
Trip End Feb 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hotel Nazar Selcuk
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Thursday, February 23, 2012

Even though my time was short in Selcuk I had a wonderful time. Selcuk is the town next to Ephesus which is where most people tend to stay when visiting Ephesus. I stayed at Nazareth Hotel which was a nice hotel. They were able to arrange my tour to Ephesus for me for 40 Euro/90 TL I could have bargained with them but I had no energy. I got in late at night.

The next day I woke up and had my Turkish breakfast. This hotel included yogurt and it was good. Taste thick and creamy just like Greek yogurt. My tour arrived at 9:15am, picked up two other tourist (a couple from Indian living in Dubai now) and we were brought to the tour company office.

Our tour began shortly after. Seven of us in total went to Mary Magdoline's house where she "lived" after Jesus died. Her house is set on a hill top not far from Ephesus ruins. She was believed to have come to Ephesus towards the end of her life (37-45 AD). On her house itself there's a red line. Everything below the red line is the original foundation. Outside of the church there's 3 water fountains to drink from meaning health, wealth, ad happiness.

From there we entered into the ruins of Ephesus. There are two entry points. The upper and the lower. Both sides are magnificent to see however if you start at the upper you don't have I hike uphill. It's all downhill.

Ephesus was founded around the 10 century BC. However propel such as Alexander the Great, the Ionians, Romans, and eventually Christians all lived their.

As I entered Ephesus from the upper gate I was greeted by the Varium Baths. It was custom To wash oneself of any harmful things before entering the town. However, baths were also a social place, like a hamam (Turkish bath house) where people would hang out with friends, make new friends, and get massages. Next we saw a large square which is called Upper Angora. It looks like a big theatre however, this was more of a political arena. At one time the whole base was filled with Marble.

We walked and saw many other ruins, most of which were not erected. It was hard to believe that most of these ruins were over 2,000 years old built before AD. There has also been many major earthquakes in Turkey which has lead to the distraction of many sites at Ephesus.

As we walked down the main street (Curetes Way) which was once lined with many stores selling items such as silk and incense to food, we researched this massive building known as the Library of Celsus. This library held more than 12,000 scrolls in ninches around its walls making it thr third largest library in the ancient world after Alexandria and Pergamum. A 1 meter gap between the inner and outer walls protected each book/scroll from extreme temperature, heat, and humidity.

After leaving the Libary of Celsus we saw the Great Theatre which was reconstructed between 41-117AD. This theatre had the capacity to hold 25,000 people when Ephesus' population was believed to have maxed at 250,000 people.

After leaving Epehsus we ate lunch which was Ok. Then we went to a leather making factory, basically a place for us to buy leather products and a ceramic factory, a place to buy ceramics. Basically everything is completely over priced because everyone gets a cut of what is purchased.

From there we went to Temple of Artemis which is located in Selcuk. Ephesus used to earn a lot of money from pilgrims paying homage to theEphesus fertility avatar of Artemis. This temple used to bethe largest in the world even larger than the Parthenon in Greece. However, when you visit this site today you wonder where it all went because only one of the 127 columns is standing.

From their our tour ended and we were all dropped off at the tour office. I was talking to one of the salesman when another tourist came in and asked about a tour. I totally sold this man the tour. The salesman from the office was so impressed that he took me around the corner to another ruins site in Selcuk called the Basilica of Saint John.

John was said to have come to Ephesus twice once between 37AD and 48AD and once with Mary in 95AD. He was said to have written his gospel here on Ayasuluk Hill. A fourth century tomb was believe to house his remains so in the 6th century Emperor Justinian erected a magnificent church on top. Practically everything at this site has been restored. This Basilica also overlooks this massive castle in Selcuk. Unfortunitely no one can go in and nothing is inside. It's just the outer ring f a castle with fields inside. Sad. It looks so mighty from the outside.

Today I am off to Istanbul to complete my week stay in Turkey.

The train left Selcuk at 6:49am and only cost 3TL (around $1.75 USD). It's a really nice train, nicer than the LIRR (Long Island Rairoad) and a whole lot cheaper.
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Tyler on

This is awesome! What an exciting place to be. Thank you for writing this. It is keeping alive my travel bug (which I don't know if that is a good thing!)

allieadventures on

Tyler I'm so happy that you are enjoying my blog. I try to add as much detail as I can since I don't keep a journal. I'm glad you're also enjoying it and traveling along with me. :)

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