Ephesus is actually a Turkish National Park. In the early morning hours, our cruise ship put in at the port of Kudasasi, an Aegean resort on the Turkish coast. Ephesus is a short drive from the port, and a group of 8 of us set off for the park, with our guide and driver.
Not far from the entrance of the park, the main street of ancient Ephesus begins. We landscape photographers often wish for an opportunity to photograph sites devoid of people. That is unlikely to ever happen for the average photographer in Ephesus. The mass of humanity in all of the sites we visited in Turkey was impressive.
But, standing in the main street, the view down the hill, culminating at the 2-story Library, is still pretty awe-inspiring. The street is flanked on either side by a mix of public buildings and residential living quarters. The sophistication of the living quarters of this society is pretty amazing. The ruins are in under a constant restoration, and they continue to uncover some pretty amazing stuff. The rooms had ornate and intricate mozaics on the floors and walls, “plumbing” (clay pipes) and other “modern” touches that, given the number of years ago, are pretty impressive.
Its hard to know whether this is just part of the “shtick,” but one of the more memorable and humorous anecdotes from our guide was the explanation at the men’s public toilets, shown here. According to the guide, the local businessmen and municipal officials would visit this place during the day and conduct “business” while taking care of their “toileting” needs. Hence the colloquial term “doing your business.”
There is much impressive architecture here, including all three era columns, sculpture, symbols of medicine, health and law, and the center attraction, the library. There is an awful lot of the history of civilization in Turkey. There is much more, in the original center of the civilized world; Istanbul (or Constantinople), next.
Thanks for reading.
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