Saturday, July 3, 2010
The ship docked at Kusadasi, Turkey today. Russel and I planned a morning tour of the ancient city of Ephesus, followed by some on-our-own exploration of the port town. Ephesus was about a half hour away from the port, and on our way we traveled along the shoreline. We arrived at Ephesus and were guided around the ruins, learning about the ancient city and its history. We saw a statue and temple dedicated to the goddess of victory, Nike (and now we know where the brand came from). Our tour guide claimed that she had a “swoosh” on her clothes, but I think it was just a coincidence. We also got to touch the pillars that made up the arch of Hercules. Legend has it that if you touch them both at once you will gain strength. Next we walked past the temple of Hadrian and Hadrian’s library, which was a massive two story structure. Finally, we walked down the same paths that are said to have been walked by St. John and Mary, and stopped by the amphitheatre where John gave his legendary speech. The amphitheatre seats 25,000 people - and the acoustics are so perfect that you can have a clear conversation between a person standing in the top row and a person standing on the stage. They actually still use the amphitheatre for concerts today - Elton John performed there a few years ago. After the visit to Ephesus, we headed back to the port of Kusadasi and wandered around the Turkish bazaar for a while. Their main specialty of course is carpet making - which we witnessed, and is quite an intricate art. There were also many jewelry and leather stores throughout the town. Mostly though, there is a market for “fakes” - watches, sunglasses, purses, clothing - you name it, they faked it. They weren’t’ shy about the fakes either - more than once we saw a sign on a store that said “Genuine Fake Watches” - ironic, right? After managing to escape the bazaar without spending too much, we decided to dip our feet in the Mediterranean at one of the local beaches. Finally, we got to touch the water of the beautiful sea we’d been staring at for days. The water is crystal clear up close and from afar gives off a turquoise tint, similar to the Caribbean. After the long day, we went back to the ship to relax and rest up for the next port: Mykonos, Greece.