Sept 9, 2010 – Ephesus, amongst the largest Roman ruins
We started our two day visit to Ephesus and Pamukkale today. Took an early morning flight to Izmir airport. Were met by the driver and tour guide that Backpackers Travel had organized for us. The drive from Izmir airport to Ephesus takes about an hour.
We stopped on the way to the ruins for breakfast and met an American couple Lourdes and Dana. We clicked instantly. Lourdes loves to take photographs and Dana doesn’t. Krishnan and Dana immediately bonded over how their respective wives carried several cameras on every trip etc etc.
It was truly a boon having Lourdes and Dana with us on this trip as Lourdes took some of the best photographs of Krishnan and I. I took some pictures of both of them for their collection too.
The entrance to the Ephesus ruins is deceptive. One would think there would be just some rubble and a few columns looking at the underwhelming entrance. Once you enter though and walk a 100 metres, the ruins run over acres ! The remains of a library, toilets with running water and even an amphitheatre with a seating capacity of 25000 are well preserved.
The acoustics of the amphitheatre is so well designed !! Krishnan and I got onto the stage and spoke normally while Lourdes and Dana went to the topmost row of seats. They could clearly hear us without the help of any modern speaker system.
Read more about Ephesus.
House of Mary and Temple of Artemis
From the Ephesus ruins we made our way to the house of Mary and the Temple of Artemis. On the way we stopped at a market to buy water and snacks. I found “genuine fake watches” being sold and our favourite, freshly squeezed orange juice !
The house of Mary is supposedly where the Virgin Mary had lived the final years of her life. Its a small house and a small shrine.
From the house of Mary we drove down to the temple of Artemis. This temple is just ruins and hardly anything exists as a full structure. Before reaching the ruins though we stopped at a leather goods store and watched a fashion show.
One of the main features of Artemis (Diana in Roman) was the universal sovereignty of nature. Domestic and wild animals, fish in the water and birds in the air were all under her protection. As goddess and protector of nature, Artemis was considered responsible for both agriculture and for livestock.
Our Ephesus tour ended with a drive to Kusadasi, the City of birds. We have a hotel room booked in this city and plan to do the tour of Pamukkale tomorrow.