Well another early start 0700 for our trip to Ephesus. Once we had tolerated all the usual moaners groaning about how far away the the coaches were parked from the ship and if the seat was as comfortable as the ones on some tour in 2002! We all settled down for the 1 hour drive. On arrival you enter an unremarkable Roman gateway that is quite dishevelled. You start about 50m along what is clearly a Roman road and you are met with the most wonderful sight of a Roman city. As you look down the first street to the ancient library your breath is taken away. With little effort you can transform yourself to 300BC and pinch yourself when you discover that they had running water to the house heated water heating systems a 45,000 seater stadium public baths hospital shops terraced houses and flats carved into the sides of the hills. Then remind yourself that so far they have only excavated 20% of what was a city of 250,000. This place is just going to get better and better, it should in my opinion be a wonder of the world. I'll just not here in case I forget the reason for the downfall of this city. starting in 300BC it thrived until 700AD when it's collapse was due principally to the fact it's harbour on a river leading to the Aegean sea silted up and prevented navigation thus making it redundant as a port and making access very difficult. The protection of hills all around that was why the location was chosen significantly contributed its downfall. The other reason was as the harbour area started to dry up the water became more stagnant and malaria was more prevalent thus taking many lives. So sad for a city that once had Mark Anthony walk Cleopatra along its harbour road showing her off to all that came to greet them. Just for the record this is also the city that Mary and the disciple John returned to in their old age and John finally died here.
Wow all the above in only 5 hours how I would have liked to have spent a couple of days here!