Roman City and an Ancient Wonder of the World!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Mar 13, 2011

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Atilla's Getaway

Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Saturday, November 6, 2010

9.20am start today, Colin and Graham took us down to the Ephesus ruins in our big yellow truck. When we got there the site was already jammed packed full of tourists (we like to call ourselves travellers or explorers ;) ). Most of the group was pretty much 'ruined-out' and opted for no guide today, instead Andrew was delegated as the guide so he was left fiddling with guide books to provide the group with as much info as he could. Of course this meant that I was the photographer for the day but I’m more of a point-and-click photographer.

(wiki paste) Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selšuk, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, it was for many years the second largest city of the Roman Empire; ranking behind Rome, the empire's capital Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it the second largest city in the world.- According to Mick and Maureen’s blog post it is also said to be best preserved ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean.

First off was the State Agora, it was quite hard for Andrew to try and match the pictures in the book with what we saw in front of us and it was very hard to hold the groups attention, I think largely because they were ‘ruined-out’. We made our way towards the impressive Celsus library past the Odeon which was the small theatre. The Odeon had a seating capacity of 1500 and 3 doors opening from the stage to the podium. The Odeon is said to have had a wooden roof due to the lack of drainage but this is just a theory.

We arrived at the Celsus Library, which was built in This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. (wiki paste) Scrolls of the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to prevent them from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls. It was the third richest library in ancient times after the Alexandra and Pergamum. Unfortunately we lost most of the group by then and Andrew was just left with me.

We continued along Marble street and came across the Great Theatre (wiki paste). - Which was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, but then during the Roman Period, it was enlarged and formed its current style that is seen today. It is the largest in Anatolia and has the capacity of 25,000 seats -.

We got to walk ‘back-stage’ which was quite cool, considering we’ve seen quite a number of amphitheatres and had never been ‘back-stage’. We popped out of the Great Theatre and made our way along the famous ‘Harbour Street’, so called because it used to link the ancient city to the city port. Unfortunately the road had been blocked off so we couldn’t walk down to where the Harbour used to be. As we were approaching the exit we bumped into Amy who showed us a picture of an ancient footprint in a marble stone. The footprint is said to have pointed the men towards the city brothel (although many guide books say that the house was not a brothel). We also bumped into Katie and Nathan who found the famous roman latrines so we decided to head back into the site with Amy to find these two interesting points.

The latrines had been largely reconstructed, only a few marble seats remain. In the centre of the room was a large pool which was used to push water through the drainage system to flush all the sewage away. A very early system of constant water flow toilets.

It was nearing 12pm and we needed to head back so that Graham and Colin could pick us up. We got dropped off in the city for lunch and were joined by Amy and Carl for a chicken burger, which tasted very good.

Carl decided to pop into the local museum while Andrew, Amy and I decided that we would make our way to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is listed as an ancient wonder largely for it’s size. The construction of the temple began around 550 BC and took 120-years to complete. Unfortunately all that remains of it today is the foundations and a lone column, never-the-less it was great to be at such a spectacular site.

Just to back track because this was actually the highlight of my day. Before we arrived at the Temple of Artemis we walked to the site of the old aqueduct and the Church of St John; along the path was this little tortoise looking for some shade. As you can see from the pictures I picked it up and had a look. It was quite heavy and had very strong legs. We put it under a nice shade shortly after we said ‘hello’ to it and it seemed quite happy to just stay there.

We made our way back into the city after the temple. All Blacks vs England was on at 4.30pm that evening so it was imperative that we made it back in good time to set it all up. Coincidentally we all arrived at 2pm for the free shuttle bus back to the campsite. Whilst the guys were frantically looking for a way to stream the game via the internet, I caught up on some emails. Charlie was the saviour and found a site to watch the game shortly after it started. There was a bit of lag but the guys didn’t mind.

We piled into the dorm room that the majority of the group was staying in and sat on Mick and Maureen’s bed to watch it. Admittedly I got a bit bored towards the end of the game (we knew the All Blacks would beat the English – ha) and had a good chat to the girls. Richelle even lent me her GHD to straighten my hair, which was surprisingly a relief considering I’m not too girly but I was really sick of my frizzy bad hair.

Some of the other’s had had laundry done by the campsite and unfortunately it came back wet (i.e. just like it came out of the washing machine) and full of soap stains. They decided to hang their washing up in the dorm room in an attempt to dry it over night so the room looked like a Chinese laundry service when I left them to it.

Pasta for dinner tonight, Mick, Katie and Nat made a nice chicken, olive spaghetti bolognaise followed by cooked banana and nutella for dessert. After dinner the group had another game of pool; Andrew and Amy stayed up for a bit playing pool while I sat in the tent chilling out, watching some TV via the ipod.

Another eventful day and another early night.
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