Chris and I hopped a Dolmus mini bus for five turkish lira each to drive to the entrance to the ancient ruins of Ephesus. First stop was Maramura, the house of the Virgin Mary. It was believed that John the Baptist brought her to retire here. An invalid catholic nun Saint Catherine had vivid dreams that her house was on a hilltop near Ephesus, and described what it looked like exactly. Two missionaries journeyed up this huge hill over a hundred and thirty years ago and found it's foundation. Today it is a tiny chapel with a shrine to honour Mary. We were given a blessing while we were in the house by the Catholic Priest there.
Next stop, ancient Ephesus. These ruins are the best in all of Europe. The blue sky was magnificent as we strolled through columns and marble streets surrounded by still in tact structures built 2000 years ago. Bath houses, terrace housing, a theatre, and incredible library. The stunning 25,000 seat amphitheater is phenomenal. We envisioned the likes of Apostle Paul preaching Jesus story of love and grace, and thought about John baptizing people close by. This ruins was at its peak in the first century A.D. And it is documented that Paul spent many years here. So in a sense we were walking in his footsteps. The incredible thing is that they say only 18% of Ephesus is uncovered. It was so worth our trip!
We are staying in the nearby town of Kusadasi which is a port town for Greek Islands and cruise ships. Our preference is the sleepy town of Selkuk away from the madness. Tomorrow we will visit the ruins of Aphrodesia, and walk the calcium carbonate cliffs of Pummakale.