Ancient Ephesus

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Kiwi hostel

Flag of Turkey  , İzmir,
Saturday, January 30, 2010

St John's remains are supposedly in Selcuk in the rubble of the enormous and partially rebuilt basilica. We didn't see the tomb, but we did get a lovely view from the castle next to it on the hill. The castle is technically closed, but the local kids offer tours through the hole in the fence (yes is ok, no problem). Clambering up the high wall (discovering my inner fear of heights) for amazing views.
But of course the highlight was Ephesus. We visited a nearby cave and tried to take a shortcut over the hill... which ended up not only being far longer, but with armed soldiers chasing us as we somehow ended up inside the enclosing fence. oops. Much of the city is reconstructed, giving a fair impression of the size of the grand city in its heyday. Despite lashing rain, it was crowded. An all male tour group was testing the acoustics of the theatre with a hakka chant, Japanese groups filled the colonnaded shopping street and German groups packed the ancient baths.

The nearby temple of Artemis, one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world is now just a single reconstructed column, more concrete than original marble, and with a bird nesting on the top. Torn down long ago, parts of the temple were used to construct the Aya Sofya in Istanbul.
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