Monday, October 23, 2006

pictures from Ephesus.

Last Monday I got up REALLY early and caught a 6:30 am flight to Izmir, from where I got picked up and taken to see the ruins at Ephesus.

They were cool. Here's some photos, with commentary underneath.

Ephesus was one of the biggest cities in the world in the first century AD. The amphitheatre seated 25,000. The accoustics are still perfect. Two French guys started singing way down in the pit, there, while I was up top and I could almost hear them breathing between verses. And the view..oh the view. The harbor used to come up to the end of the road, in the distance, there. See it? And there were shops and stuff all along the road. I could really see how bustling and amazing it once was.

Winged Nike. Yeah, THE Nike that inspired the shoes. Apparently you get a hint of the swoosh in her robes. See it, just barely, under her right wing? Swoosh.

The tourist highway. The place was packed. But we all fit pretty well. It must have been an amazing city. There is a covered museum that protects the remains of some terraced houses. The painted walls and mosaiced floors were exquisite. They had hot and cold running water. Gorgeous.

A view down towards the library. You can see the harbor area in the distance. The amphitheatre was around the the hill, you'd go towards the library and then right, along the tourist highway.

The remains of the library. It must have been an awesome building. The detail work was incredible. I had problems getting pictures because there was a large group of very loud Americans who kept taking group shot after group shot right in front, and always dicking around with their overly advanced digital cameras. Is it only me who's noticed, or has the digital comaera totally slowed down the picture taking process? I used to be polite and wait for folks to take their pictures, but it takes so damned long now, I've stopped waiting. You get three to five seconds and then I am walking on. Sorry, but if your camera takes that long to take a photo, you need to get a disposable and hurry it along.

View from below the amphiteatre. To my right and behind was the road to the harbor.

Me posing on the latrines. Ephesus has some of the few remaining latrines from the Greek times. They were very advanced, apparently, in their plumbing. The latrines sat above a stream that washed all the ick away. The more important people got to sit on the holes that were at the beginning of the stream, I believe, so that they did not have to smell the offal of others. It was a communal thing, for men only, of course. They had musicians entertaining them while they crapped. Women apparently had to go climb a hill and squat behind a bush. Hmph.

Sign advertising the modern day toilets. This sign cracked me up. It was for the toilets on the way out of Ephesus. I did indeed feel the magic atmostphere, though it cost me 75 cents, not 50. I didn't really notice 25 cents more magic atmosphere. No music or lute players or anything. They did have toilet paper and soap, though, so that was pretty magical compared to some places I had seen. AND they had sit down style western toilets, not those stand up kind like alot of places.

I spent the night in Selcuk, which was not far from Ephesus at all. From there I could walk to the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, of which almost nothing is left), St. John's Basilica, the Virgin Mary's House and some other sites.

In Selcuk I also learned the Turkish wine is pretty tasty when you drink it, but it will definitely hurt you the next day. I spent the evening hanging out with some folks at Jimmy's GuestHouse, where the very charming and darkly handsome Jimmy (Scorpio...always Scorpios) plied us with Turkish wine. The folks at the table included a cute 20 year old Aussie named Kate, a guy named Daniel from LA whose dad was the drummer for the band Little Feat, a contemplative guy named Ben from Atlanta who grew out his beard and was doing the wandering backpacker thing like a pro, and a guy from Austin who I ended up having mutual friends with back home. (Never fails, does it?) That's the thing about's a small town with far reaching tentacles. We all talked about the blues, bars, beer, how we all hated Bush (president, not band) and how we all loved Turkish food. It was a very memorable night. My favorite thing about travel is the people I meet and the conversations I experience.

I got up that day at 4am and didn't get to bed until after 1 am. I packed alot into those 21 hours, and I crashed HARD.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated. No spam gets through. Don't try it. I Love comments from real people though! Thanks!