FEBRUARY 8, 2015 (Sunday)
Very busy and wonderful day today. After coming back exhausted from our Free Walking Tour of Athens yesterday, we slept and slept and woke up refreshed and ready to hit it.
We left our room and headed for the Blue Lagoon for breakfast at around 7:30 AM. We each had their eggs, a muffin and some fruit (and, of course, coffee). What is nice about the NCL Jade is that they have different places to eat so you don’t get burned out on just one.
Around 8:30 AM, we were able to leave the ship.
Nice new building at the port.
A private residence. Edie was taken with it from first sight.
Ship’s photographer, trying to sell souvenir photos. A hard sell at premium prices.
Traditional garbed dancers greeted us as we left the ship. They danced for a really long time before everyone was ashore.
Many tours were waiting.
Right near the exit gate of the Kusadashi port we met our tour guide – Ergin Ince. We also had to wait for the others on the tour – a nice man, wife, and their two daughters from Argentina, and a man, wife, and their mothers from England (Paul, Jean, Marie and Marian). Such fun getting to know them and what characters the English people were. Loved it.
Our man, Ergin.
Nice shops just outside the port building.
Always nice merchandise.
When the tour did start (around 8:45 AM) we were put into a very comfortable van and we headed towards Ephesus.
Our van – Pretty woman hopping in.
Topiary, a port fort and a grand bazaar.
Nice statuary and fountain.
As we head out for Ephesus.
Peace and Friendship square.
Our ship in port. Kind of fills the place up.
The first of several times I thought, “Aliens must have landed here.”
Saw several places like this.
3.75 times 3.8 equals 14.25 Turkish Lira, equals $5.43 per gallon.
Interesting short shifter on the big Mercedes van.
Nest of a stork.
I was a little nervous, they are military, we blitzed right through. They were assisting police with this check point. Tourism is king now.
Looks like Turkey to me.
The minarets and domes took on an alien look after awhile, even though I am the alien here.
Ruins start to show up as we head to Ephesus.
We are close to where it is believed Mary lived out her life. We did not visit her supposed house. This statue was placed by the Vatican. Paul taught in Ephesus and fled when there was a revolt against his teachings. Saint John brought Mary here and there was a flourishing church called St Mary and centuries later one called St John, where he is believed to be buried.
Market outside the entrance.
In Turkey – no pay, no poop.
I was going to get a pair for Edie until she assured me it would be a total waste of money. I thought she liked to dance.
We were dropped off at the top of Ephesus and Ergin said we would walk down and around to pick up the van again. Not sure what to expect but there were so many marble columns and pieces of marble lying around. Ergin did an excellent job of explaining everything and telling stories. He was very knowledgeable and we thoroughly enjoyed him. I was enjoying seeing all the sites but when we crested a hill (on the marble road) and saw the Ephesus library, named, the Celsus Library, it almost took my breath away. How beautiful it was and how magnificent it must have been. Before we could get to it, however, we went through the terraced houses that they are excavating. Some of them were very spacious and they believe were owned by wealthy people. It took about two hours to go all the way through the terrace houses, the walk through Ephesus, the stadium, and everything else. Fascinating.
Going into the ruins.
We are far away from the water. The river has silted up what was the harbor and the place lost its status as a major trade route in about the 13th century A.D.
Various Bathhouse. Bathhouses included a cold room, a lukewarm room and a hot room. Temperatures were controlled with airflow through the floors.
There are several cats here.
Looks like a basket from Corinth. Corinthian capital.
Ionic with the scrolls, but a ram’s head is added, mixed capital.
Ionic capitals with the scrolls.
Trying to put it back together again.
It wasn’t this way in the day.
Ionic. As I look at the picture, I don’t remember seeing the shed.
An iron pin, sunk in one, secured with melted lead, and then the next section is placed on top and the pin fits into a tightly notched hole.
Revealed a securing pin hole.
Solid column period construction. Greeks liked sections, Romans liked solid columns.
Cats here act like cats everywhere. If your a stranger, you might get a purr or you might get a claw.
Our guide mentioned that there is a law that is quite protective of the cats and dogs.
Pretty woman at it.
Headed down – two story is library of Celsus at the end.
Not sure who this is.
Must have been so grand in its day.
She was like high, as if on some kind of drug. So alive and excited, what fun to see her so happy.
Looks like Greek to me.
The Trajan Fountain. It was a two story structure with great statues and flowing water. Some of the statues are in England museums.
Hermes, god of merchants and traders, known for his cunning. Winged sandals and the staff of Zeus.
One of the cruelest rulers ever, especially harsh on the Christians. His temple was completely destroyed and scattered.
Once a lovely fountain. Ergin in the background.
Winged goddess of victory, Nike.
The Memmius Memorial. A wealthy family built the fountain and the relief of Nike. While they were at it they had reliefs of some of their family members built and installed nearby.
What a great header. The ends pushing against solid rock structures on both sides and the center span cut to push all downward weight to the outsides. Nice work.
Store fronts on the marble road with terrace houses behind.
Public latrines. The holes are self explanatory. The gutter in front of the seats had clean water running through it. Folks used a stick with a cloth on it to dip in the clean water and then use that to clean themselves.
Hard to imagine, sitting with the crowd….
Hadrian’s temple. We saw his gate and library in Athens. This was built by a wealthy admirer, aka a suck-up.
Corinthian capital and a story of the founding of Ephesus on the relief with all the human figures, although the founding myth involves a fish, a boar and a man.
Reliefs on Hadrian’s temple.
It’s a story – gladiators, a wild boar, a fish somewhere.
The archaeologist fill in for the missing pieces, but don’t continue the patterns. They hope to yet find the missing fragments lost in the ocean of time.
Goddess of fortune in the center of the forward most arch.
Her name is Fortuna.
On the second wall is a relief of Medusa.
Medusa, started as a great beauty, got raped by a god and her punishment was to be made hideous with poisonous snakes for hair and a look that could turn you to stone. Talk about blaming the victim.
The cover was built to protect the ruins and provide a path for tourist to explore and discover. Without the covering the site would weather away within a few years.
Covered entrance to the terraced houses.
I thought for sure i was smiling for this picture.
Inside the terraced houses, a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The marble was placed against the wall and hot lead was poured behind, allowed to cool and held the marble to the wall.
Like today, the bigger the room, the wealthier the family.
Slabs held to demonstrate how it was.
A fountain. Theorized that secret conversations were held here to use the water sound to cover the sound.
A board holding original construction together.
Original stairs to a second floor.
Beautiful marble wall.
Original stairs beneath the diamond plate.
Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, just need cable.
Original marble wall covering.
The kitchen. In the terrace houses, it is always next to the bathroom. Yuck.
Corporate sponsors of the work here. Our guide told us that Bill Gates was a big supporter as well.
Nursery with cherubs on the wall and the diagonal line is where there was a staircase.
Nice lion, must have been a boy’s room.
Stainless steel railings and glass floors, very nice set up.
Arch for a header above the door.
Plumbing, unfortunately they used a lot of lead.
From one of the top condos.
The sea horse and Triton.
Mosiac tile floors in many places. Color means owners, black and white only means slave quarters.
They create headers over doors out of arches. Stucco on the walls for the base of the frescoes.
Pretty woman near the end.
God bless the elephants, their ivory was precious back then, and the skill of carving it was as well developed as at anytime in history.
Beneath these hills are more fantastic ruins waiting to be excavated.
In the top ten cities of the world for 20 centuries and I had never heard of it before. Marble roads, shops, arena, harbor and trade center making everyone wealthy.
At the top exit with a deck to look out over the lower part of the city.
The marble road, with a sidewalk. So many…Alexander the Great 334 B.C., Marc Anthony and Cleopatra, 30 B.C. Caesar Augustus, 2 A.D. Mike and Edie, 2015 A.D..
I love life, the tenacity and struggle to find a way to live.
We are at the Library.
Statues of Sophia, Arete, Eunoia and Episteme, acting as symbols of Celsus’ wisdom, knowledge and virtue. He is buried in front of the library.
Christians took to knocking the noses off to prevent pagan worship.
Bet it was great in its day.
I can’t imagine the hard work that went into the cutting, forming, polishing and placing of all this incredible stone.
Looking up at the front ceiling at the Library of Celsus. It has been pieced back together by Austrian and Turkish archaeologist.
Grumpy and four of his close personal friends, posing, all.
Grumpy and Marie at the Library of Celsus.
Next to the library; the Mazaeus and Mithridates Gate.
Different than any other stone around here.
Ergin tells us it is a meteorite.
Grumpy with his walking stick/mono-pod.
Pretty woman zipping to every corner.
Grumpy wondering, “what the heck happened here?”
Hercules gate. Reliefs of Hercules on the stones. Gate was built in the 4th century AD and the reliefs were taken from a building from the 2nd century AD.
Ergin was an excellent guide. He was patient and did his best to answer each question and give some of the history of the place.
Seating for 25,000. Gladiators and drama.
Ergin, making a call near center stage.
Not hard to imagine it full of people.
Marble restored by the archaeologist on the lower portion, removed by ancient recyclers in the upper portions.
Across from the arena, gladiators.
Looking back from here it is easier to see it holding 25,000.
The road that lead to the harbor. Camel trains brought goods, ships took them away, and brought other goods to be sold. Middleman is always a profitable position.
Burial crypts on display.
Shops, at the end of the Ephesus tour, flying the Turkish flag.
Always a gift shop at the end of the tour. we bought a book.
Once we left Ephesus, we were taken to a restaurant and had lunch. There were so many vegetables and very little meat. It was a buffet so we were able to try a little bit of everything, and everything was good.
Turkish stop sign.
The drink cart (sold separately).
Interestingly decorated ceiling.
One of two buffet lines.
2 of 2
Easy to be a vegetarian in Turkey.
It was okay, we didn’t go back for seconds. We think the brown chunks were chicken.
Our favorite were the potatoes.
Nice window treatments.
After we ate, we were driven to a place called Naturale and were given a private fashion show (including runway and beautiful male and female models). What was so fun was that they took people out of the audience to model some of their fashions. This place, Naturale, dealt mostly in leather from sheep and goat. The leather was so soft and wonderful but the prices were very high. (If we were rich, maybe.)
Pretty woman contemplating a stroll on the cat walk.
I thought the plastic chairs were highly fashionable.
For me, a fun show!
The models were really good with the reversible coats.
They reversed the coats with a single sweeping move that took it off, reversed it and put it back on without a stop.
While spinning around.
Edie thought the men were handsome. They had the same practiced moves.
Loud music is blasting.
Cute little Argentine girl and the coat looks great on her.
Marion on the cat walk.
She is really strutting her stuff!
The Argentine, a model, the Argentine’s daughter behind, and Marion.
The Argentine gentleman modeling a nice leather coat.
Pretty woman sporting her Costco vest.
Huge selection of leather goods.
Grounds at the leather fashion house.
Back into the van and driven to an ancient bath house. The people of Ephesus were ahead of their time in that they really didn’t waste water and knew how to build things to their fullest potential. The bath house was fenced off and the only things allowed inside were chickens. Ergin said whenever you have a bath house, you have a mosque. People use the bath house before they go to mosque. It’s part of the religious ceremony to cleanse yourself before prayer. According to Ergin, this particular mosque is older than the blue mosque and is the second oldest mosque known. It was very beautiful, but very basic. We did get to see people praying and one gentleman was washing his feet before going into the mosque.
All that is left of a temple.
Bathhouse from the 1300’s. Chickens roam there now, people not allowed.
Entrance to the Mosque.
The Isabey Mosque was built in 1375. The call to prayer tower, called a minaret, is too old to use.
Woman in inner courtyard,
Front of the church, direction of Mecca, domed portion of the Mosque.
An interesting mix of recycled, new, brick and wood
The lights are hung very low. A hold over from the days of candles and the decision to not let the soot and smoke from the candle get on the ceiling.
No shoes on the rug!
The tiles have fallen over time. If someone finds one and brings it in, it is rehung to the ceiling.
At the back of the Mosque, prayer clock, showing the 5 times for prayer and the temperature at the bottom.
The mosque was built with recycled materials from Ephesus. A Corinthian capital, unfinished, turned upside down and used as a pillar support.
After the mosque we were driven to a candy type store, who specialized in oils and figs. We were given samples and a speech about different items. They guy giving the speech was quite funny. We ended up buying some Turkish delight for the kids (from The Chronicles of Narnia).
The tour took us to a little specialty shop. The proprietor spoke very good English and put on an infomericial for us.
Free samples, pretty woman is there! Flavored olive oils and fig candies.
We also stopped at the top of a hill overlooking the bay to take pictures of the NCL Jade.
On the way back we stopped for a chance to photograph our ship in port, again.
Some nice views along the way back to the ship.
A waterpark in Turkey.
By this time it was around 3:30 PM. Quite a long tour, but a wonderful one. Michael and I were both pretty wiped out, but glad we got to see as much as we did. The whole tour was $75.00 USD per person, and included everything (admission, lunch, transportation).
Peace and Friendship square, nice to see again on the way back..
Past the shops again. Still nice merchandise.
Great chess sets here.
Edie really liked the private house in back of her. Didn’t know she wanted to live in a fort.
Has a cold tropical feel.
Never heard of it and now I’ll never forget it.
We got back to the ship and just lazed around for a little bit. We didn’t want to sleep because we wanted to sleep all night tonight. Around 6:00 PM, we went to the Grand Pacific restaurant for dinner. Michael had a salad, spaghetti, and cherry pie. I had a salad, pasta, and cherry pie. Very good. This particular restaurant is more formal than the Alizar, but had basically the same menu.
We came back to a sweet bunny.
Dinner in the Grand Pacific.
Heavily Hawaiian themed.
Salad with ranch on the side, Edie had the same.
Spaghetti, very delicious.
Edie’s penne pasta with a marinara.
We both had cherry pie. They are made solid.
Corn starch, or something, takes up all the liquid.
Interesting to see a King’s statue today.
We headed back to our room after dinner and debated whether or not we wanted to go to the show. We decided to go to sleep instead. (We’re old and tired and can’t do it all anymore.) That was our day. Hope yours was great!