Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

November 19: Ephesus et al, Turkey

by William on 2008-12-16

This morning was hard. We got out of bed at 6:00 because we needed to be ready to meet our excursion party at 7:15. We ordered breakfast in our room by filling out a card last night and hanging it on our doorknob. Even though we specified that we would like breakfast delivered between 6:30 and 7:00, it was delivered at 6:15. Celebrity likes to go the extra mile, it would seem. I ate my part while Rebecca finished her shower, then she ate breakfast while I showered.

We met in the Theater with several hundred other people that were going on various shore excursions. It was almost our turn to leave, when the excursion staff announced that the gangway was closed while another cruise ship docked on the other side of the pier from us. We waited about 15 minutes, and then the staff cleared us to go on our excursion.

Our tour guide was a Turk that spoke decent English and was very entertaining. He knew a lot about the sites we visited. We first rode on a bus to Ephesus, where we walked around the ruined city. We saw such sites as various temples to Roman emperors, homes and shops, the Library of Celsus (at one time, the third largest library in the world), and the famous theater at Ephesus, which is where Paul is reported to have preached. At the end of the tour of Ephesus, we heard a fanfare played over the loudspeakers and saw a crew of Romans coming out. It was really a bunch of actors putting on a show, complete with gladiators, a juggler, and a Roman emperor and his retinue. Great fun!

Our next stop, after a 1.5 hour bus drive, was Miletus. There is a magnificent old theater there, and Miletus is mentioned in Acts as one of Paulʼs stopping points after he was effectively banned from Ephesus. A short drive later, we went to Didyma to see the ruins of a Temple to Apollo. There was also an oracle at Didyma, one almost as famous as the oracle at Delphi. And after all this, we were treated to a buffet lunch of Turkish food at a restaurant that overlooked the temple. The food was different. I had expected it to be more like Greek food, but alas, it wasnʼt. They even brought out platters of grilled fish, with head and tail and eyes and all. Too much for us to handle, so we passed.

The tour ended with a stop at a Turkish rug shop, where there was a presentation of how rugs are tied and their stock of rugs for sale. We hadnʼt planned to buy a rug, but they had one that was really pretty and a good size for our apartment. We thought that would be our big splurge for the trip, so we haggled with the salesman and finally came away with a rug. I just hope that it matches our furniture!

After all that excitement, we decided to take it easy that evening, went to dinner, and then came straight to bed.