Trip Start Jul 31, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2006

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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Today, Monday, August 7th, Milo and I awoke to go on a guided tour to Ephesus. This city is the best preserved, classic ruins in Asia Minor. There were actually four Ephesus'es. The ruins is of the fourth Ephesus. We receive a 30 minute long lecture from our tour guide. She was very knowledgeable but we were ready to explore and SEE. So it was only half appreciated by the whole group.

Finally we started to move from point to point. There was an impressive theater upon entering the historical site. Then we proceeded from the political area of Ephesus to the religious area. We saw a temple to an Anatolian/Greek god/goddess on the right. Oh yeah, we also saw the public bathrooms. We have pictures of that as well! They were pretty impressive! On the left were cubicles for shops. The road was made with marble blocks and columns lining both sides. It was really quite impressive. Further along, we saw a hospital on the left of the way. It was marked with the same symbol we use today... you know that stick with a squiggly around it? Then we were right in front of the library. This library is the third greatest in Roman history. The first was in Alexandria, the second in Pergamum, and the third in Ephesus. It could hold approximately 25,000 scrolls.

Then, Milo and I opted to pay more in order to enter the terrace houses and see how the wealthy lived. It was well worth the extra cost. Wow! The terrace houses were only for the really wealthy. They consisted of 2 levels, which were full of frescos, tiled floors, pots, and other interesting sights. We took so many pictures! Wow! The final area we saw was the main theater. It was huge and impressive! We took so many pictures that we had to change camera cards. We don't have time to upload from both camera cards, so we chose the first. You'll have to wait for the second! Sorry...

After Ephesus the tour took us to lunch. After that we went to the Virgin Mary's house. This is the site of the house where it is believed that Mary lived her last years. Since Jesus entrusted her to John the Apostle, and it is known that he went to Ephesus and to this nearby hill to write his Gospel, Mary must have gone with him. Before being exiled to Patmos, it is believed that John built Mary a house on a high mountain outside of Roman rule, so that she would be safe. The foundation of the house is still there. It's a curious place. I'm inclined to believe it to be true. Milo and I both drank holy water from the three fountains of health, wealth, and love. Then we made a joint wish and hung it on a Kleenex on this wall (where people do that). You might be interested to know that Mary is respected by Muslims as well. She is called Merymana. There was a list of references that talk about Mary and the scriptures that accompany them from the Koran in the house.

After Mary's House, we made an unexpected stop at a leather factory, where we saw a brief runway show with lights, music, and real models. They gave us an apple drink and a sales pitch and then waited for us to buy. Milo and I went directly outside when we saw that the prices were like 650 plus euros. We waited for what seemed like a long time and finally we were off to our next destination, the Temple of Artemis.

The Ephesians worshipped the goddess Artemis. I know for sure after today that Artemis was both an Anatolian and a Greek goddess. This temple was one of the largest in all of Asia Minor. It was so expensive that to cover one column in marble would cost the equivalent of 47,000 U.S. dollars (or something like that). Anyway, it was huge and expensive. There isn't much left of the temple. A British railroad engineer excavated it and dug random holes in the earth. Then he transported everything and anything of interest to museums in Great Britain in the 19th century. It's sad really! However, from the temple ruins site, you can see St. John's Bascilica, the Isa Bey Camii Mosque, a Byzantine fortress, and 2 of the sites of Ephesus (although not the site where the current ruins lie).

Then we went to the Ephesus Museum. It was also quite impressive. It just reinforced what we had already seen. We enjoyed every minute.

I have learned so much from being here. Because of the strategic location for trade and military defense, this area of Turkey has experienced a mixed of races, cultures, and religions since the Bronze Age (B.C). It is really quite amazing when you think about it. Today especially, Solomon's words rang out in my thoughts, `Nothing is new under the sun.`

Dinner consisted of delicious Turkish sandwiches. We spent time on the internet and now we're off to bed! We travel to Bodrum in the morning. It's only about 3 hours by bus. More later! Love you all!

P.S. Would someone from Naty's side of the family write? I'm dying to hear what you're all thinking! ... Thank you Sandra for your little notes!

SANRI porfis enseniale a mi mama como entrar aqui...el santayo puede traducirle...
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