Thursday, December 21, 2006 Turkey Turkey

Two visits to Ephesus

We briefly had the place to ourselves [Enlarge]

Our tour resumed the morning after arriving into Selçuk and this time we were with a group of about 12 for a trip to Efes (the Roman city of Ephesus), which was much better. Grand Wonders Tours even turned up, which was more than they had managed the previous evening.

Efes is about 3km out from Selçuk town centre so the minibus trip there only took a few minutes. The ruins themselves are incredible—you literally can walk down Roman streets, go in to the houses and temples and sit on Roman toilets. Our guide was good fun but she didn't know very much outside of her script.

For us there were two highlights: the Celsus library, whose tall facade has been reconstructed from the original pieces; and the huge open-air theatre. In fact we liked Efes so much that we went back there by ourselves the next day and sat watching the world go by in the top seats of the theatre. We could see for miles around and we discovered that the ruins are right next to a skydiving centre which took us back to our days of throwing ourselves out of aeroplanes (we weren't tempted to have another go).

We also visited the Artemis Temple, one of the original seven wonders of the world, but now a bit flat and pretty disappointing after Efes. The last standing column had a birds' nest on top and the flooded ruins were home to a flock of geese. Finally we had a look round the excellent Ephesus Museum in Selçuk, which is where most of the valuable bits and pieces from the excavations have ended up.

Our Efes photos are here.