Ephesus, Turkey

Monday, August 18

It's hard for me to even capture in words how I felt walking around the ancient city of Ephesus. So many famous people in antiquity have walked these same cobblestones, including the apostle Paul.

Ephesus is considered the most restored ancient city in the world, and they are still in the process every day of putting it back together. The great amphitheater stands, much as it would during the Roman Empire, and the famous Ephesus library has been careful pieced together to stand as the crowing masterpiece of the entire park. It really is a wonder.

Kevin and I had a walking tour in our guidebook, and felt with each step that we were walking back in time, it was truly marvelous. Here are a few tips if you plan on seeing Ephesus:

1. Go later in the afternoon: We didn't arrive at the park until 3pm, and it was perfect. It was cooler, and there was a slight breeze. And more importantly, all the cruise ships dock early in the morning and throngs of people come stomping through the park earlier in the day. At 3pm we felt in parts as we were the only guests there, we were quite stunned!  

2. See the Terrace Houses: Along the main thoroughfare is an exhibit that has been enclosed called the Terrace Houses. To be honest, Kevin and I would have walked right by them unless some previous tourists to Ephesus had told us we HAD to see them. Essentially these were the homes of the nobility, and right now you can walk through an exhibit where you will find archeologists hard at work restoring them. You can see much of the homes, with gorgeous mosaics, frescos, and the outline of each room. Absolutely worth a visit for a small fee!

3. Listen in on a guided tour, or get a guided tour: Kevin and I were really over guided tours at this point in our trip, so we opted to just listen in as we walked along. If you are fresh on your trip and ready to download lots of history, get a guide! So much history is packed into this place!

4. Make sure to enter at the entrance, and not the exit: You would think this would be obvious, however the shuttle from Selcuk to Ephesus dropped us off at the exit, and, having no idea, we entered there (which you can do). This wasn't a huge deal, except our tour book started the walking tour from the entrance {which makes sense} and so we had to read backwards, and move in the opposite direction as most people! Oh well!

5. Read The Mark of the Lion Series to prepare for your trip: Have any of you read The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers? It's a fictional series that takes place in Ephesus, and honestly, really made the city come alive for me! Plus, it's one of those books that will make you cry, it's so good! Hadassah, anyone?

Overall, I was completely humbled by the magnitude of walking where Paul walked. Kevin and I had been reading Ephesians, and parts in Acts where Paul had been there! It just made the history come alive! Kevin and I loved everything about exploring Ephesus! Enjoy the pics, they are some of my favorites!! 

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