The next day on the cruise was a quick stop in Turkey – specifically Ephesus. We woke up (very early) in the beautiful port of Kusadasi. We boarded a bus and took a short ride to Ephesus. This is a place you really have to see to appreciate. Built in the 10th century BC, many are familiar with Ephesus from the Bible: the Apostle Paul lived there, preached the gospel, and later wrote a letter to the Ephesians (i.e. the book of the Bible).
This was our first stop at an archaeological site and it was just incredible. The fact that people dig up these pieces, figure out what they are a part of, know where and when it is from, and then put all these pieces back together is pretty much mind-blowing. The arches, the marble, the detail – there really is no way to describe it with words. They have recently opened the Terrace Houses to the public. These are houses of the wealthy families living right in the heart of the city. They have uncovered beautiful mosaic floors and colorful wall murals. The Library and the Theater were amazing structures and the theater is in good enough shape to still be used today for events! We also had a great tour guide who is an archaeologist, so she was able to tell us detailed and interesting information about the artifacts, statues, sites, and houses.
We also stopped at a carpet weaving factory. They demonstrated how the carpets are made (all by hand still) and how the silk is ‘harvested’. They can get a mile of silk out of one cocoon!! The carpets were incredibly beautiful but just a tad out of my budget (like 3 months of salary for a cheaper rug). The country really supports the sale of these, though, and covers the cost of shipping, taxes, and everything!
I would definitely recommend a visit to Ephesus, and now I want to see more of Turkey too! Back to the ship by lunch and off to another stop….