Ephesus, Turkey: Ruins, Carpets, and Real Fake Watches…

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We had some pretty bad weather last night and we knew that the weather was windy and rainy and the swells were getting bigger so we couldn’t get into the Kusadasi port right away. We gathered downstairs in the metro theatre with our groups when the captain made the announcement that we wouldn’t be going to dock until the weather calmed down (and there were 2 other ships waiting ahead of us).

Naturally, Mike and I went back upstairs to talk a nap – for 1.5 hours – and then the captain came over the system again to announce that we had come into port but we were a little late! Excursions would still be going ahead but we would have an extra hour in port before we sailed off.

We got ready again and headed down to join our group and we were off to Ephesus! Our tour guide today was Tahir and he informed us that we are actually on the Asian continent surrounded by the Aegean Sea, but that they are in fact part of Europe. Istanbul (the capitol) is connected by a bridge that you can drive across the narrow straight. P.S. For those who don’t know, Troy is in Turkey! Awesome.

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I wanted to list all the ruins we walked through but there was a lot, including the temple of Hadrian, the Greek theatre and the famous Library of Celsius.  Ephesus is one of the largest ancient cities that is relatively intact after archeological excavation. While walking down the main street we noticed that the columns were built with iron bars through the center for strength to endure all the earthquakes, backgammon & Chinese checkers were engraved in marble stones that the children used to play on and the street randomly had holes for portable street lights at night.

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One of the stories we were told involved the Diana temple for Artemis, it used to have 120 columns which was destroyed the same night Alexander the great was born and he therefore got blamed for it. “The gods were busy helping with your birth and they couldn’t protect the temple.” Another story was about a statue for Nike, the goddess of victory. Apparently the guy who made the “check” symbol for Nike shoes got the idea from her skirt. He only sold the symbol for $25!

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There were mulberry and pomegranate trees are everywhere. Turkey is well known for their hand crafted carpets, they use fibers from mulberry trees to make some carpets. Tahir told us that ~55% of worlds marble is in turkey and that the columns are made with a hammer and chisel, but they’re smoothened with the world’s hardest material, SILK!

It began to rain just after the Library of Celsius for about 3 minutes, and the weather changed again, similar to NL, we walked a little farther through the city and on our way out we saw the greek theatre, massive!

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On our way out we saw this gem, surrounded by people trying to sell you everything they own…

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We sat through a very entertaining carpet demonstration. Silk carpets cost ~3 times as much as wool carpets but look amazing! We were told that because silk is so fine, and the carpets are handed crafted, it can damage eyesight, therefore it takes longer to make because people only work for about an hour a day on silk carpets. Silk carpets change colour when turned around because of the way the knot falls on the threads, it hits the light differently.

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We went shopping through the town, picked up my free turquoise stone from Facet Jewelry store (I had a coupon!), and bought some souvenirs, carpet bookmarks, coin purses & postcards and pashminas.

Once we finished up we headed back onto the ship and grabbed some dinner, we sat with a nice couple from Ireland celebrating the 26th anniversary! We chatted about bars, culture and buddiwassisname (if you’re not a Newfoundlander, you probably don’t know who that is). Then we chilled by the pool/in the hot tub for a while. Complaints? None.

The show that night was “Master of the House”, 4 singers from west end London who performed some musical theatre 🙂

I’m currently sitting in my stateroom feeling like I’m in an earthquake because the boat is rocking back and forth, apparently we’re driving right into another storm so it’s only going to get worse. I guess I’m pretty lucky that I don’t get overly motion sick, but I can’t imagine this is pleasant for some other people. We shall see what tonight/tomorrow brings!

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