September 27, 2004

Exploring Ephesus & A Farewell To Turkey

Today our Blue Cruise crew dwindled to four (j, me, and Kiwis John-O and Suzanne). The Quartet journeyed via overnight bus (our third in 1.5 weeks...not ideal for sleep, but a good way to save precious days and precious dollars) from Fethiye 6 hours north to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus, a remarkably preserved city halfway up Turkey's West Coast.

The city was founded by the Hitities more than 4,000 years ago and had six subsequent incarnations, the most recent and most intact being the Roman version, whose period lasted from 300 BC to 300 AD. While only 25% of ruins have been excavated those that now see the light of day are numerous and impressive:

Avenue of the Politicians

The centerpiece of Ephesus is the two-story library which had a convenient underground passage which connected it to the brothel across the way so that "studious" husbands could read up on anatomy without irking their wives:

I was accompanied to the red light district

The clever Romans also signposted their den of iniquity with a non-so-subtle pictorial that still survives centuries of gawkers:

The left-foot indicates that the house of the rising sun is located on the left, the cross that one should turn at the intersection, the circular hole that coin is required and the beauty on the right is self evident...or as our tour guide quipped, "No Money, No Honey". Ain't that the truth ;-)

The city also featured an amphitheatre with a seating capacity of over 20,000 whose marble-paved street was graced with the footfalls of Marc Antony a couple thousand years prior.

Tragedy or Comedy? Perhaps Tragicomedy

And, what tour would be complete without a potty run, especially given my bladder-challenged wife ;-).

On the throne

Post tour we are heading to Greece via ferry. While our tour through Turkey was a bit of a whirlwind (see below) we thoroughly enjoyed it.

And, keeping w/ tradition, our likes/dislikes are as follows:

Stuff we found endearing about Turkey:

Stuff falling somewhere on the amusing/annoying/disturbing scale:

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