From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Turkey - Day 4 - Selcuk (Ephesus)

From Selcuk (Ephesus)

After breakfast, we were dropped off at the bus station and caught a quick dolmus (small bus) to Ephesus.  Ephesus is today considered to be best preserved remains of the Roman Empire in Turkey.  As you can see from the pictures, much of it has either been preserved over the last 1800 years or has been renovated.  As with any of these sites, there will always be more to do, but they have reconstructed enough to give you an idea of how the Romans lived so long ago. 

Of importance at Ephesus includes the ruins of the theater, mini theater, library, and villas.  We really enjoyed seeing the villas, which they had completely covered to protect against the elements.  Inside were amazing floor mosaics and wall paintings that were still intact.  There were 7 villas and they were quite large. 

We spent nearly 3 hours touring Ephesus, including St. Mary’s church which is also on the grounds but built after the original buildings.  It is said that the virgin Mary fled to Ephesus after the death of Jesus and spent her final days there.  The church was built to honor her and became somewhat of a pilgrimage site for Christians during the middle ages.  Outside of town, there was a house that was supposedly the virgin Mary’s house, but I’m not sure that is real or not.

Just outside the city of Selcuk is one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world, The Temple of Artemis.  It was once a magnificent building honoring the goddess Artemis, but it was destroyed by a mad man who wanted the glory.  It is said that Artemis was not present to protect her temple because she was the birth of Alexander the Great.  Cool story, but all that remains of the temple today is a few cornerstones and one of the columns.  It is still cool to have been there though.

Selcuk is a quaint little town that relies on the tourism of Ephesus.  The streets are very nice and there are tons of cafes and shops that line the streets.  On the hill overlooking the city is the ruins of St. John’s cathedral.  Jesus’ most loved apostle apparently came to Ephesus in his final days and wrote some of the New Testament here.  Like St. Mary’s temple, the ruins of St. John’s became a pilgrimage site for many Christians. 

We headed back to the hostel after seeing these sites, caught a nap, dinner, watched some downloaded videos of Dexter, and slept like logs for the night.

A great day overall with Ephesus as the highlight.  To be walking where the Greeks and Romans used to walk is pretty special.

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