There are 3 rules of Ephesus; don’t go on a Sunday when its packed, don’t go mid morning when all the tour busses go and don’t walk uphill against the tide of other tourists. I guess we’re just bloody incorrigible because we did all these three things.
We had a lazy breakfast at our camping ground cooked by Rosa the Italian owner which included cigar boreks and her mums homemade apricot jam.
At 10:00 we cycled leisurely out the Ephesus only 2 kms or so down the road, parked at the lower gate and entered from there.
It was pretty busy but nothing like the guide books would have you believe. Not so many people you can’t even see the ruins for anything. In fact it was good because you got a feel of the bustling capital this place must once have been.
We saw a reenactment of Cleopatra’s visit to Ephesus complete with Egyptian dancing and a gladiator duel.
We walked up past the amphitheater and library onto the main street. It was hard to believe how well preserved everything was.
One of the best parts was the public latrine. We eavesdropped in on a tour group and apparently the Latino was a very social place. Everyone would catch up with their mates and gossip while casually doing their business.
Further up the street was the temple of Domitrian who ordered the the temple to be built in his honour before he died and then when he did the people of Ephesus promptly ripped it down because they hated him.
We also really liked a sculpture of Nike because of the detail that remained on it.
On the way back down we went to the terrace houses. It cost extra but everyone we’d talked to said that it was well worth it.
It was the only part of Ephesus where you got a feel of the actual size and look of what the buildings must once have been. There were some great frescos and mosaics but my favourite was some little gladiator etchings Roman children had carved into their walls.
From Ephesus we rode back into Selçuk for a bite then caught the dolmus to Şirince a town 10 kms from Selçuk that’s popular because of its pretty buildings, fruit wine and souvenir shops that line the streets. It was a tiny town but everyone single street was chockers with them! It was like the Grand Bazaar but outdoors in the mountains.
Funnily enough they had the best call to prayer we’ve heard. Each man that does the call has a slightly different manner and this one had a beautiful voice and was very melodical.
We sampled some fruit wine; I liked the pomegranate, dad the mulberry and Jordy the strawberry but after carrying a glass bottle of olive oil and two jars of homemade tomato paste from the Çinar’s we weren’t stupid enough to buy any.
Jordy bought a scarf for his girlfriend (yep we made hundreds of girlfriend jokes! The best one was from a few days ago; we rode through a town called Kemalpaşa and now we call him Tayapaşa) and then we dolmuşed back.
Left over pasta and more mashed potato ended up as dinner but while not as good as last night was sill nice with everything being so fresh. I didn’t believe Jordy when he said he could eat 1.5 kilos of pasta in two days but he proved me wrong!