TURKEY’S AMAZING EPHESUS - We got it all to ourselves !
Wow we've literally come here during epic epic sunrise light wow! Welcome to the Grand theatre! It brings the words 'public toilet' to a whole new dimension having a chat with your neighbour whilst you're doing your business! Why have you got a cat on your shoulder? We're Marianne and Chris and we've been travelling full time since May 2018. It is best atmosphere ever!! Whilst attempting to drive around the world in Trudy our home on wheels this happened .... All British travellers abroad are advised, advised to return now! As borders closed around us we decided to wait it out in Turkey until we were able to continue our adventure East.
Good morning, good morning! We're up bright and early because today we are heading to the famous Ephesus! Yes we are, we're going to get there, try and get there when it opens to beat any tour groups, if there are any tour groups with Covid going on. Marianne's already fed the local dog, oh he's gorgeous! Let's go to Ephesus - coffee! We had a good night's sleep here last night, we didn't actually get a chance to look around the town. So we might come back here after Ephesus. There's a serious over-landing vehicle for those of you that want to go seriously off-grid and it's nice and quiet this morning because everybody's still asleep. It's very pretty, it is a very pretty town! So we have arrived .... Good morning! We have arrived at Ephesus, we think we are parked in the top car park. The sun is just coming up,
it's freezing this morning, I would say it's very cold, it's four degrees maybe? So the we we've parked in the top car park because we read when we did our research that the tourists, the buses, the big tour coaches tend to go in the lower car park. Because there's two car parks, so we've come up here thinking we'll get in and get to some of the sites before they get too busy. It's half past eight, which is the opening time here in the winter, in the summer I think it's eight o'clock. It is during the pandemic though, so they may not be open, well we hope they're open, I'm sure they're open. And how funny is this? There's a store here selling 'genuine fake watches' is that not the best marketing name ever? Possibly i should think a lot of people have photographed it and talked about it, but we'll see, looks like they're opening and we're definitely the first ones here apart from the local dog! Good morning mate, you're definitely not hungry, the staff have just arrived so we're definitely the first ones here.
I think so, so entry into Ephesus is a 100 TL per person, unless you have a museum card. It is definitely worth getting one, they let you into multiple museums, so if you if you're here touring around it's definitely worth getting one. Wow how many cats have we got this morning? Like most parts of Turkey you know the tourists come here and feed you don't you? Oh i'm beeping! It's so lovely, i love it you know, and the security guard just turned up with a bag and all the cats followed him for a feed, there is loads of cats! All of the cats are following us ....
We were first here apart from the cats, it's amazing, it's literally the sun is just coming up, we've come at the best time and yeah we've beaten the crowds! This is amazing! Look at the light! Wow we've literally come here during epic epic sunrise light. I suppose that's one of the tips for coming later on in the year. In the summer the the sun's up really super early, but now it's, what date are we? we're probably about the 27th of November, it's four degrees, so it's really chilly but perfect light.
Quite often when you come to ruins, it's it can be a little bit disappointing. But Ephesus is obviously one of the most famous ones because it's fantastic! Look how much they're showing, look how much detail, so much still is here, all the different ruins. and all the different cats! And then up through this staircase, wow look at the detail here! You can see how beautifully it's been restored and maintained ... Wow Fantastic all these archways, wow and here's to one of the amphitheaters here. As we've been driving around Turkey what's absolutely lovely is the trees are just starting to change colour and loose their leaves, and in this morning light, the reds are really showing up which is lovely.
I can't believe we've got the place to ourselves, Covid and low season and early in the morning seems to be the perfect combination because we are literally the only ones here at the moment. It will be interesting to see how busy it gets, I don't think there's many people that get Ephesus to themselves. I think that's the benefit of either self-driving or coming in a van, you actually are able to get there right at the beginning of the day before anyone else gets there. Look how much these have been worn out over the years there, there's literally the stonework here, has been worn away! I'm looking at this and there are so many beautiful pieces of stone masonry and work, but doesn't it just look like the most ginormous jigsaw puzzle ever, with the biggest pieces! You're getting a bit of morning love? Overlooking Ephesus coming this early, this time of year, we're towards the end of November, the sun comes up quite late and at the moment the lighting is not quite there. We're going to just hang out here at the top for 10-15 minutes just to get the best lighting, because it will make a huge difference, the main street here through Ephesus, look you can see it behind me, there's not one person in the shot! The library in the distance is just starting to be lit up, with the golden sunrise, that's happening right now and it's going to look absolutely stunning in about 10-15 minutes, when the sun just pops over the hill behind us! We've arrived at the Celsus library and it was the third largest library in ancient times, in fact this library had the capacity to hold 12,000 scrolls. The internal part of the library has only two stories but from the outside on the facade there are three, and that makes it look this glorious! Unless you've got a very good imagination and I'm not one of those people, it's very tricky when you have a pile of rocks or some old pots to imagine how amazing or how the life would have been, but I've got to say, this library is, it's just fabulous because there's so much of it that is still standing and the walkways around it and the streets and the roads that would be going to it, you can really get the feel of how it would have been and how magnificent and enormous it would have been, so yeah i really am enjoying this, it totally totally gets the imagination going!! When we were researching this, we found out that in fact Mark Anthony gave this library to Cleopatra, now that is the sign of love ! I have to say my first present from Chris was a Dyson hoover! It's a very good hoover! Originally Ephesus was an ancient Greek city founded in approximately 1000 BC, it was later taken over by the Roman Empire and became a major Roman city.
Ephesus was a massive city of ancient times, and up to a quarter of a million people lived here. In fact they've only excavated about 25 % of this city. You can see the crane behind me, they're still doing excavation work here so who knows what they are going to discover in the coming years ahead. So Ephesus had a very advanced aqueduct system to supply water to the city and you can see the drain holes here, which will lead to part of that system under the main street here. When you visit Ephesus there are these boards dotted around with a number on it, which indicates that you can get an audio tour. But on the boards they have the information in Turkish, in English and in German so if you don't get the audio tour, then you can read up some information as you go around. The city went from the mountain this side all the way to the other mountains that you can see in the distance behind me, you can see how big this city was.
Coming up to some of the columns, look at it it's like there's a wood grain in it, it's actually definitely stone and it's got like glittery bits in it at all as well it's very pretty. Look how big some of these stones are, it's hard to imagine what it would be like walking around this place all those years ago, people romans dressed in togas going about their day-to-day business, that is the amphitheater! It would be very cold in a toga today, it would ! At the amphitheater going up the steps, it's really high and in fact it's hard to believe that how many people were here? 25,000 and today there's just us, a cat and some workmen! Welcome to the Grand theatre originally back in the Greek times this was used to do performances and shows on the stage, but during Roman times there were some gladiator battles on the stage 25,000 people looking down on you! It is the biggest theatre Roman theatre I have ever been to and there's nobody here, apart from the workmen, a cat and Marianne. What's amazing is that Ephesus was originally built as a seaport, it was next to the sea! Today looking at the view behind me we're three miles approximately from the sea!! Over thousands of years the Küçük Menderes river deposited so much silt that Ephesus became further and further away from the coast. And that actually led to its downfall because it was no longer a major port trading city. So it's now quarter past 10 here in Ephesus and we've only seen two other couples in the whole of Ephesus. I would probably say that during normal times, that is almost impossible.
As i said earlier the different signs dotted around give you a little bit of information and this one says "the house of so-called pleasure" Well i suppose prostitution was the first industry of the universe, so yeah i'll leave that up to your imagination! We've arrived at somewhere that is slightly different, we've arrived at the public toilets here in Ephesus and they really are public! You can see literally males and females would have sat next to each other! It brings the word public toilet, to a whole new dimension! Having a chat with your neighbour whilst you're doing your business! Apparently back in the day the servants would have sat on the cold stones to warm them up for their masters and what a job, you can see here and there they would have had like a sewage system the drainage because there's channels here. Amazing - Uh I'm not warming up your toilet seat! So we've arrived in the terrace houses here in Ephesus they've got this massive area that is under cover, where they've got some preserved houses. There would have been six dwellings living here, look at this! It really is a wonderful thing that they've got here under this cover. We come up here now for an aerial view, there was lots of people living in Ephesus, they had major earthquakes in the third century AD that put an end to these residential homes.
As we've come up to the top here you can still see some of the really ancient paintings on the walls and how it would have been decorated. You can see the grand mosaics on the floor, they saved the best view till last, look they've got this glass floor in case you're scared of heights and you can see the mosaics and the columns underneath and then you get the view of the whole complex of houses and dwellings here. They would have had quite a view from these houses looking down the main street, here the library, just on the left the theatre that we went to there and uh Trudy's parks all the way up the hill to the top car park up here.
Another interesting fact about Ephesus it has a strong biblical importance, apparently the apostle Paul lived here and wrote the first letter of Corinthians here in Ephesus, and in fact "love is patient, love is kind" were the words that we used at our wedding so many years ago! What's funny is that the shop that we saw this morning the 'genuine fake watches' actually is a souvenir shop, it doesn't seem to sell any watches! So it's definitely a bit of a publicity stunt but entertaining all the same. So we've climbed the hill, we've come back to Trudy and we're just going to make a coffee, have a bit of a quick bite of breakfast cereal, and then we're going to go and try and find the a very special church in this area. Wow what a stunning view this morning, that's where we slept in the town there last night and then after we visited this church we're going to go up into the mountains to a village called Sirinçe which is famous for wine.
I don't know how high up the mountains it is but we'll find out! So we've arrived at the house of the Virgin Mary, entrance was 45 TL each plus 15 TL parking and if you do have a museum card it isn't valid for this particular site. So we've arrived at the house of the Virgin Mary and apparently the Virgin Mary after Jesus was crucified, she fled and apparently lived here. My understanding is is that when Jesus was crucified, he asked John to take his mother to somewhere safe and this is it! It became a World Heritage site in 2015, it is said that the first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary is actually here, this is where we are and it's originated in 431 AD. I can actually hear a service going on now, so we won't be able to do too much talking, but we'll we'll film it share it and then chat to you guys in a minute. So that was very interesting, a quick stop there, to go and have a look apparently the first church of the Virgin Mary, we couldn't film inside, but outside they had a photograph on display showing the church, but definitely a thought-provoking place to have a wander round. Very peaceful to think that the Virgin Mary apparently used to live here yeah, it was very atmospheric wasn't it and very emotive and the chapel was so like cozy and small and the different brickwork and stonework, really really really old.
Wow we've arrived at the celsius museum, no library! Three two one back in the Why have you got a cat on your shoulder? i don't know i was leaning on the post and the cat has decided that i'm a pirate! So we're walking back up to Trudy and there's a wheelchair sign on this hill, i have to be honest, i don't think you'd want to go down this hill in a wheelchair! Nope! would you? no in fact i said to Chris as we walked up, we need to watch out for spinning out of control wheelchairs coming down !! leave Marianne alone