A long drive & a visit to St. John's grave

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
Trip End Jul 01, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today we drove our longest leg of our trip - Fethiye to Kusadasi (4 hrs). We made a lunch stop in Mugla (we ate Burger King...a waste of a meal in Turkey if you ask me, but it was the most convenient stop for us!).

Before driving to Kusadasi, we stopped in Selcuk (the present-day home of the following: Ephesus, St. John's Basilica; Isa Bey mosque (Ottoman mosque built in the 1300s), Temple of Artemis ruins (one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World...or what's left of it), and the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers.

Today, we visited the Basilica of St. John. According to written sources, the original wooden-roofed basilica that housed the tomb of St. John was in poor shape in the 6th century CE; therefore, Byzantine emperor Justinian & empress Theodora had the church rebuilt. By the 12th century, the church was in a dilapidated state and was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman empire. The church was mostly destroyed in an earthquake around 1365. St. John is believed by the church to be the same person: John the Apostle, John the Evangelist (author of the gospel & 3 epistles), and John of Patmos (author of the Book of Revelation). Patmos is an Aegean island just off the coast of Kusadasi, near the Greek isle of Samos, where John saw Jesus and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation. From the basilica, we took pictures of the ruins of the Temple of Artemis & Isa Bey mosque (Dennis & I visited these sites on our previous sites, so we skipped these this time around since we were able to see both from the basilica).

After checking into our hotel in Kusadasi, we walked through the bazaar quarters and did some more shopping. We ate at Green Cafe, and it was also very delicious! We ended the night at Orient Bar (my favorite bar here). I had a glass of raki and watched the Euro Cup game...Germany v. Italy. It was a disappointing turnout, as you know already. :(

Tomorrow is a very busy day - and our last "fun" day of our trip, sadly. Although, I have to say our energy levels have diminished considerably since the beginning of our trip, so it's time for us to return home! Tomorrow we will visit Ephesus (one of the greatest Greco-Roman cities), the Home of the Virgin Mary, and the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers. We will also enjoy a "Turkish Nights" (all you can eat food, drinks, & entertainment) at our hotel. Should be a bit cheesy, but I hope the food is good - and I hope they serve iced-cold raki!
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