Day 4: We arrived at Selcuk at about 07:00 am and checked into ANZ Guesthouse. We visited Ephesus and explored the ruins and then visited Mother Mary’s home, which many Catholics consider a pilgrimage. Later in the evening, we browsed through the Saturday Market at Selcuk.
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Day 5 – Ephesus I am a history lover and this was probably one of the days I was looking forward to the most. Ephesus, or Efes, was the ancient Greek city and is said to be built in the 10th century BC. It later fell into Roman influence and came under Roman Empire. The city was completely destroyed and abandoned in 14th century AD and all that lies there now is the ruins. We took a public train from Izmir to Selcuk and reached in about one and a half hours. From there we boarded a minibus to Ephesus and reached our destination in around 15-20 minutes. The entry ticket to the ancient city cost us around 1500 INR. Honestly, Somya and I were a little surprised by the high cost of ticket. But, all of the money was worth it. As we stepped inside, in front of us lay a beautiful town destroyed with time. With every step I took, I could feel history coming to life. On the marble roads I could feel the sound of Tongas and bullock carts that must have been filling the city with life during ancient times. I could imagine people dressed in Roman and Greek attires walking around. To me, each broken and intact stone in that place had come to life. I felt shivers running down my spine. I had never felt history so closely. Not even while visiting the Indian Mughal monuments. Here, history was much older and gripped me with much more intensity. First in line was a stadium and theatre (teatro). While walking towards the stadium I observed a huge sewer line and big marble stones broken and randomly placed with inscriptions on them. The stadium was fascinating but not as fascinating as the ancient library. It was huge and I could feel scholars walking there, looking for books and silently sitting and reading. I saw a supposed brothel of the time, which was locked. I managed to steal a glimpse of the rooms inside. We walked for several miles and saw many fascinating structures. Most intriguing was a church of mother Mary. It still had a cross in black made on one of the walls. The church was constructed at a little distance from the main town so there weren’t many tourists at that point so Somya and I had some peaceful moments there. The other side of the church opened to a room which led to a gallery. The gallery was open and faced beautiful green mountains. Strong cold wind blew on my face as I stood on elevated ground looking at the mountains and I stood grasping the moment for a long time before Somya got bored and asked me if we could go. Reluctantly, I left with her and we exited the beautiful city. I took a last look at the city before finally moving on to have a cone of local ice cream. The ice cream was tasteless! We bought some souvenirs from the shops in the vicinity and then boarded a minibus back to Selcuk. On way to the tren estacion (train station), there was a beautiful lane decorated with trees and flowers, which had nice cafes. Old men sat at the cafes and bars playing board games. We chose a café, which had “free wi-fi” written on it. Somya recommended that we eat Ravioli, a famous Turkish Pasta prepared with Yogurt. Now, we did not know that the Pasta had yogurt in it and Somya is allergic to Yogurt. Me being me and being hungry, ordered a separate Ravioli and asked her to order her own. Somya was heartbroken after seeing her Ravioli and decided to stay hungry in order to not spend any more money. I, on the other hand, had to finish two Raviolis and ended up feeling sick. Nevertheless, the Ravioli was tasty but it was not something I could eat a large portion of. Finally, we boarded a train back to Izmir and while on our way back from the metro station to our house, we lost our way. And it started raining and had gotten quite cold. But, we were still feeling happy as we had thoroughly enjoyed our last day in Izmir. We did not even want to leave our pretty little abode.
Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, was in Ephesus. • The statue of Artemis and her temple at Ephesus were built around 550 B.C. The temple of Artemis was deliberately burned down by Herostratos in an attempt to gain fame in 356 B.C. supposedly when Alexander the Great was born.
Ephesus is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey and is the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean which enable one to genuinely soak in the atmosphere of Roman times. Do you know that the Seven Churches of Revelation (mentioned in the Bible) was in Ephesus? (Revelation 2:1-7).