EPHESIS and the ruins of this ancient city!

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Izmir,
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 13 (morning)

Temperature: 14 degrees                 
Weather:  beautiful sunny day

The place was infested with tourists, I being one of them!   Regardless…..we were all here for the same reason therefore with camera in hand, I made my way through the crowds and was able to take wonderful pictures!  Mind that Photoshop did help to erase the people from my pictures!  Hahaha!

By following our TD, the Odeon, a meeting Hall built in 150 AD was first seen followed by the Curetes Street, a street lined with columns where it is believed that statues of civic notables were also lined along the way.  I was walking on a street made out of marble blocks in which many of them had ancient engravings.  Absolutely amazing!  It was a precious moment to be walking on these ancient slabs and thinking at the same time that if only they could talk, so many stories could be said of that era!  

By looking far, far away as far as the end of this colonnaded street, the splendid fašade of the Library of Celsus could be seen!  And let me tell you, I was getting excited; I was fast approaching the highlight of my day's tour!  However, more was yet to be seen before arriving there!

Down this colonnaded marble street we all went, I never listening to our guide’s explanations being too busy jumping all over the place taking pictures!  We eventually reached the Temple of Hadrian, a temple built in his honor in 123 AD to commemorate his visit!  "I wonder if they’ll build one for me in my honor for being here today", I told Michel with an air of envy!    “Nope” was his quick reply!  :-(

The relief marble work on the Temple of Hadrian which portrayed mythical gods and goddesses was quite stunning!  Again, the ingenuity of the people of that era constantly continued to impress me!  They had very keen eyes for details and as an artist I was blown away by all of this!   

Well finally, there I was standing right in front of my day’s highlight; I was finally standing in front of the Library of Celsus and what a great feeling it was!  This two story structure soared high above me making me look like a dwarf in its presence.  The towering library was absolutely breathtaking under the gorgeous blue sky.  What an incredible site!  I went wild jumping all over the place snapping pictures and dragging Michel along, my very own private photographer to take some of me standing in front of the Library!  Hahaha!

Built in 114 AD, our TD explained to us that the library was damaged throughout the centuries by the Goths and then by an earthquake in 1000 AD.   Just looking at its fašade, the restorations made to reconstruct it were quite impressive. 

Four statues occupied the niches in front of it; Sophia (wisdom), Arete (virtue), Ennoia (intellect) and Episteme (knowledge).  And of course, let’s not forget, “Monique, the tourist standing right in the middle of them all” as Michel teasingly added!     :-)  

Well, I devoured with my very own eyes every little details of this library’s fašade!  I even put my hands on its marble columns and walls feeling the energy in them before venturing inside the structure.  It was a great feeling!   As for Michel, no, he didn’t feel anything, he wants me to add!

From the interior, the restorations of cut marble blocks which held the library’s entire fašade together were quite visible.  In the middle of it all, an inscription which probably gave information about the restorations and when they were completed were written in Turkish but since I couldn’t read the language, the only thing that I could understand was the year 1978!  

So, it was right here that I had my moment of glory, my moment where I had ample of time to run all over the place and do what I wanted to do which was….as Michel teasingly said….take tons of pictures with me in them all!  Hahaha!

Continuing on, we stopped right next to an interesting design of a foot marked on one of the street’s marble blocks.  It was a tracing of a person’s bare foot from 2000 years ago!  Well, it could have been Big Foot, who knows….but they sure had big feet back then was my only comment to Michel!   Further down this street paved with marble blocks, a huge Amphitheatre stood carved into the flank of Mt Pion.  We later learned that it was still being used today for concerts!

From one corner to the other one, I hastily explored the surroundings of the Amphitheatre while Michel stayed behind.  He sat with the rest of the group on hard rock blocks in the middle of the theatre and listened to Daghan’s information on this specific site.  As I stood way up on the very last row of this gigantic Amphitheatre and looking way down at the group, they were all waving back at me, the crazy photographer as I took pictures of them all! 

And so ended my wonderful morning; my morning where I had fun exploring the ruins of this ancient city of Ephesus where the Temple of Artemis, one of the Ancient Seven Wonder of the World once stood and let’s not forget, where I left my footprints behind!  :-)

Monique   :-)

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