Monday, 12 August 2013

Shore Tour to Magnificent Ephesus, Turkey

The amphitheatre at Ephesus
Pete and I did separate tours from Izmir. His one was called 'Magnificent Ephesus' and involved quite a lot of walking over uneven terrain and cobblestones of the archaeological site. Because I don't walk so well some days, I did a shore tour that was mostly by bus called 'Gates of Ephesus and  Basilica of St John'.
   'Magnificent Ephesus' shore tour started with a bus ride from the port at Izmir to the upper gates of Ephesus. This was an interesting drive, through the countryside which was being intensively worked with plantations of fruit trees including pomegranates, oranges and dates. 
  Once at Ephesus, the guide gave all the passengers audio headsets so they could wander around the ruins and still hear his commentary.
The Library of Celsus at Ephesus
  Among the many interesting ruins were the Library, the Temple of Hadrian,  the Scholastic Baths, the agora, the amphitheatre and the terrace houses. Of particular interest to Pete were the mosaic pavements and the fragments of carved columns and slabs lying around.

Wonderful mosaics at Ephesus

Also of interest was a pageant acted by local people of life in the 3rd century AD. They were dressed in costumes of the day, some as Roman soldiers, others as upper class Ephesians, some as musicians playing trumpets and others as orators wearing togas.

A pageant depicting Ephesus in the 3rd century AD
And of course, there was the obligatory tourist shop stop that all cruise ship shore tours seem to have; this time to a carpet store.

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