There simply are no words to describe it. Our second visit to the ancient city of Ephesus was every bit as awe inspiring as the first, and I expect our next visit to be the same. I could spend days here, but an awesome way to get a taste of the history of this fascinating place when visiting on a cruise is to book a private tour, which I arranged through our travel agent. We booked a private tour last time we were here, and enjoyed such a positive experience that we even requested the same guide. We were very excited to learn that our requested guide, Tuba, who works with Sea Song Tours, was available.
On arrival at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey, we proceeded to the terminal building where Tuba was waiting for us with a van and driver. Enroute to the ancient city, Tuba expertly provided us with information on the history of Ephesus, its development and ultimate destruction by an earthquake.
After a drive of about 15 minutes, we arrived at the archeological site encompassing Ephesus. We did not have to wait in any lines for tickets or touring as our guide had already obtained our tickets in advance. We simply went in and started exploring. Each step of the way, Tuba took the time to explain the history behind what we were seeing. Along the way, we viewed the Odeon Theatre, and the Hadrian Temple. Dedicated in 118 AD, to Artemis, it was very impressive. When you consider these magnificent buildings were constructed not hundreds, but thousands of years ago, it is difficult not to marvel at the engineering capabilities of the time.
Among my favorite features of the tour, was our visit to the Terrace Houses. Located within the city, these magnificent homes were inhabited by wealthy residents of the city. These homes were discovered during excavations that began in the 1980s. I still can’t believe just how well preserved they are. The mosaics and frescos are breathtaking…..and believe me, I’m no art junkie/snob/whatever. Our guide was with us throughout our tour of the Terrace Houses, carefully explaining the architecture and history of each.
Following the Terrace Houses, it was on to the Celsus Library, and then the stadium, once capable of entertaining up to 25,000 Ephesians. After our tour of the archeological site, we were driven to the Ephesus Museum where we able to see some artifacts and statues on display that had been removed from the site and sent to the museum for preservation.
I cannot adequately describe our day. And this site is by no means the only thing to see near the port of Kusadasi! We ended our day with a little shopping, and a major purchase by MrsMJ which will be subject of another blog.