Day 7....The ancient city of Ephesus....
Woke up this morning just as we were coming in to dock at Kusadasi in Turkey. Lovely views as we came in and it is a lovely town, a seaside resort town, very popular with the Turkish for their holidays. We had company again this morning, as another cruise ship- Regent Seven Seas, was docked beside us. We had booked a tour which left at 8am this morning to visit the ancient ruins of the city of Esephus. Wow! This was amazing! It was just as interesting as Pompeii! We had a great guide who was very informative so we learnt a lot as we went around. It was really hot though and much of it was out in the sun with no shade available, so the four hour tour was enough for us.
Ephesus was a large city of 250,000 in it's day! It dates back to the 6th century BC, and was a very important port back in the days of the Silk Road. There were a lot of wealthy people living in the city and many statues, temples, houses etc. It was settled by different races at various times, but the buildings and artefacts that have been discovered here mainly come from around the year 2AD or so, when the city was occupied by the Romans. The detail on the statues, columns, etc. including script is just amazing! They still have not excavated the whole city, and probably never will. But the Main Street was made of marble with marble pillars along the sides. There was a huge amphitheatre which could hold 25,000, a beautiful columned library, fountains to supply the towns water, temples, bath houses and even the public toilets(latrina), which had two rows of marble toilet seats! There also the terrace houses, where there is amazing mosaic tiles on the floors, with intricate patterns and pictures. The archaeologists are still working on some of the rooms and have tables of giant jigsaw puzzles of tiles which they are slowly putting together. All so fascinating! Ephesus is no longer on the sea, which is why the city does not exist anymore. There was a huge earthquake which caused the sea to gradually move further and further away - this happened over some years, and the site is now six miles from the sea. People left the city as it was no longer viable to them as they relied on the port for their businesses. And for centuries it lay there undiscovered.
After we left, the tour took us to the obligatory Turkish carpet shop!!! Of course we really needed to buy an $8000 rug! We got out of there as soon as we could! Had a look around the town of Kusadasi, nice to see, but mainly just cheap souvenir shops and restaurants. Came back to the ship for a swim and relax by the pool.
After dinner, we went back to the poolside as they were having a party night! Had a fantastic time!! Lots of fun and dancing! We then caught up with a British couple we had seen a couple of times before, Brian and Jane..after having a chat with them for a while we decided we would all go up to the sunset bar for one last drink.... Well one became two, etc. etc.... haven't laughed so hard in years!! Very funny easy going couple and we all got on like a house on fire! Eventually left the bar at about 2.30, knowing that we had to get up again at 6.00 for a tour we are doing in Santorini!! Such a great night!!