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Europe Cruise Day 25
Thursday, September 30th
Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Turkey

Day 25 Map

As you can see Kusadasi is back up close to Piraeus. Arrival time here is scheduled for 7:00AM. The time here is shown below.

 

The final shore excursion of the cruise is called The Best of Ephesus. and is scheduled to depart at 8:00AM and last for 7 to 7 1/2 hours. Here is the description.

Begin this tour with a visit to the house of Virgin Mary, where Jesus' mother is said to have lived the last years of her life. The site has been officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967. Then, visit ancient Ephesus, one of the most magnificent and best-preserved archaeological sites in the world. See the Odeon Theatre, the Market Basilica, Curetes Street, Bath, Celsus Library, Marble Street and the Great Theatre with a seating capacity of 25,000 people. You will also visit the Basilica of St. John and the Museum of Ephesus. Head back to Kusadasi for lunch at a five-star hotel with spectacular views of the sea. A folkloric show will entertain you during lunch. Returning to Kusadasi you can choose to shop in town, see a Turkish carpet demonstration, or return to the ship.

With this I complete the shore excursions for this cruise.

The ship is scheduled to depart for Piraeus at 6:00PM.

How it actually happened!!!
(written November, 2011)

The blog entry I wrote for this day says all that needs to be said at this point so here it is........

I have returned from the last Shore Excursion of the cruise.

The ship docked at Kusadasi, Turkey at 8:00AM this morning. The weather was partly cloudy with the high temperature expected to be in the Mid 70s F or about 25C. There has been quite a breeze and so the weather is very nice. It is quite different than Cairo on Tuesday. I would call this comfortably warm.

The final shore excursion was called “The Best of Ephesus” which was scheduled to take about seven hours. This trip included stops at the House of the Virgin Mary, the ruins of Ephesus, the Museum of Ephesus, the Basilica of St. John, and lunch at a local five star hotel in this order. 

The House of the Virgin Mary is the house where it is believed that Mary lived the final years of her life. The story seems to be that she went into hiding in her later life and came here to do it. I do not remember hearing any mention that she died here but I guess that it is possible. It is considered a Catholic holy site and services are often held here. It is located on the top of a mountain above the Ephesus ruins. It is on the same road but on the other side of the mountain. There is a spring here the water from which is said to be holy water. You can take some if you want. The house is small with a couple of rooms. Pictures are not allowed inside, but in an unusual move they have a picture outside that you can take a picture of. It is somewhat washed out from being outside but it conveys the general idea. The stop here was about 30 minutes.

The first two pictures below were taken on the way to the Virgin Mary's House which was the furthest point from the ship. The excursion worked back towards the ship from there. Here are those two pictures.

Kusadasi 1 Kusadasi 2
This was taken as the coach was headed out of the town.
You can see the ship at the dock just to the left of centre.
I thought this was interesting. It is a wingless airplane which I think advertises a flying school at a nearby airport.

The next group of pictures is of Mary's House.

House 1 House 3
The rebuilt house as one approaches it. It was rebuilt on the original foundation using original materials.
House 2 House 4
The line goes in the front and out the side. Pictures are not allowed inside but in an unusual move they have a picture outside that you can take a picture of if you wish, which as you see, I did. The picture was faded somewhat from being out in the sun all the time but it gives you a good idea of what you see inside.
House 5 House 7
I forget what this was but it was wrapped up paper that I think had messages of some sort on it. I would presume that this is (or was) a monk of some sort.
He sure has a sour look on his face though.
House 6 House 8
The spring I mention in the blog entry above. Lots of people, many, if not most, from the ship.

Here are some pictures taken on the trip from the house to Ephesus.

To Ephesus 1 To Ephesus 2
Taken as we started working our way down the hill. I think Kusadasi is behind the tree limb on the left. I believe this is the city of Selçuk where the Ephesus Museum that we go to after visiting the ruins is located.
To Ephesus 3
A slightly different view from lower down the mountain of the city.

Here is what I wrote in the blog about Ephesus........

Driving a short distance back down the road the excursions next stop was the main one, that being the ruins of Ephesus. It was built on the side of a hill. Ephesus has existed in 4 places over the years. This best known one is the third one. Back when this incarnation of the city was built the Aegean Sea came much further inland than it does now. The harbour was much closer than now. There is an enormous amount of detail which I will not go into here. Let me just say that the ruins are remarkably preserved and there is work for archaeologists here for years to come. This stop lasted just over 90 minutes.

Here are quite a few pictures of the Ruins of Ephesus. The first one is of the descriptive sign (provided by Samsung) as one enters the site.

Ephesus 2

Ephesus 1 Ephesus 3
The entrance. The ruins here go back to Roman times.
Ephesus 4 Ephesus 6
Some of the first ruins one encounters working their way down. Some of the better preserved columns.
Many of these have been reassembled from the original parts to show what they looked like
Ephesus Panorama 3
A small panorama to show some ruins that seem to have had a view.
The harbour would have been just down there back then.
Ephesus 5 Ephesus 7
This may be what was known as the Odeon, a small theatre that seated around 1500 people. Here is a full view of the small theatre.
Ephesus 8 Ephesus 9
Some of the upper hillside ruins. More of the ruins.
Ephesus 10 Ephesus 11
Lots and lots of people many from my ship. The marble walkway.
Ephesus 12 Ephesus 13
Some of the rather detailed stone carving. I think this was part of a column.
Ephesus 14 Ephesus 15
This was some bodies tomb from the first century B.C. I think. More of the marble walkway.
Ephesus 16 Ephesus 17
These two similar views look down the hill Ephesus was built on towards the best preserved of the ruins.
Ephesus 19 Ephesus 20
There was much stone carving done here. Heading down the hill with our tour guide giving us the details.
Ephesus 21 Ephesus 22
More of that complex stone carving from Roman times. I am not sure what this was but it looked interesting.
Ephesus 23 Ephesus 24
There is a foot on the shelf.
There must have been a statue there at one time
This is the Portico of Alytarch from around AD 400.
The mosaic is 50 metres long, only part of which you can see here.
Ephesus 25 Ephesus 26
Another part of the Portico of Alytarch
with the mosaic floor in front.
These are the ruins of the Temple of Hadrian.
Ephesus 27 Ephesus 28
This is labelled as
"Latrin, with constantly running water, A.D. 2nd cent."
Another view of the latrin.
Ephesus 29 Ephesus 30
Approaching the "Library of Celsus". A closer view of the library.
Ephesus Panorama 1b
A panorama showing the entire library from reasonably close to it.
It has been reconstructed from mostly original pieces.
Ephesus 31 Ephesus 33
Likely the most famous ruin standing here. A closer view. It was originally built around 125 AD.
Ephesus 32 Ephesus 34
A close up of the intricate stone carving on the facade. It must not have been too big a building.
This is what is behind the facade.
Ephesus Panorama 2a
When you come out from the room behind the facade this is what you see.
I think the stone arches on the right of this panorama and on the left of the panorama above is the Gate of Augustus.
Ephesus 35 Ephesus 36
A edge on view of the Library of Celsus
through the Gate of Augustus.
More ruins.
Ephesus 37 Ephesus 38
This circle had something to do with the development of current day mathematics but I do not remember the story. The Theatre of Ephesus. It could seat 25,000 people.
Ephesus 39 Ephesus 40
More of the ruins a bit farther away from the main site. This was one of the tourist shops after leaving the site.
I have a chuckle every time I look at the signs
on the shop in this picture.

Well I have finally made it out of Ephesus and we now continue on to the Ephesus Museum where there are far fewer pictures. Here is what my trip blog said about this.

The next stop was the Ephesus Museum. This is a relatively small museum which contains many of the items discovered at the Ephesus site. In some cases the statues that you see at the site are concrete copies of the actual ones. The actual statues are in the museum. There are coins, and some tools and mosaics, but mostly the statues and parts of statues, which in most cases are the actual original ones found there. It is not the most exciting place in the world but had some interesting things in it. Since this museum is small the stop here was only 30 minutes.

Here are some of the museum pictures.

Ephesus Museum 1 Ephesus Museum 2
Most of these were found at the site I had just come from. I think this is the other end of the room in the previous picture.
Ephesus Museum 3 Ephesus Museum 6
I believe these are various styles of "capitols" or tops of columns. You can see the fellow in the next picture on the right along with some of his other "parts" as mentioned in the next caption.
Ephesus Museum 5 Ephesus Museum 4

The sign on the front says
"Statue Parts of Emperor Domitian (81-96 A.D.)".

This is the Lady of Ephesus from the 1st century AD.

So after the short stop at the museum we continued on to the last sightseeing stop for the cruise. The blog continues.......

The final visit of the excursion was to The Basilica of St. John. This was the site of the first and last versions of the town of Ephesus. The various location changes were due to economic conditions of the times as well as certain strategic reasons. The exact reasons were hard to follow from the guides descriptions. It is also noted that the church was built 500-600AD time period with building materials taken from some older buildings near by. There is one well known temple, which I cannot clearly remember the name of, that had 128 columns and now is down to only 1 left because of all this scavenging of materials. It has a storks nest on top of it now. Many people still go to look at it but it is not much to see. This church also had a narthex that went all around the main sanctuary.

Here are some pictures of the church and the area around it.

Church Panorama 1a

This panorama was taken from near the church entrance and shows the last site of Ephesus during the Turkish era.
The domed structure on the far right is the Ise Bey Mosque built sometime in the 14th century.

Church 3 Church 4
The Ise Bey Mosque with the harbour opening to the sea in the distance between the two mountains. I think this is what little there is left of the Temple of Artemis.
The original temple was built here sometime around 3000 BC.
This is the temple that I mention in the blog entry above that I cannot remember the name of.
Church 1 Church 2
The Basilica of St John. The main entrance. It was constructed by Justinian in the 6th century. I think he is the same person who had Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (or Constantinople at that time) built.
Church 6 Church 5
The building was destroyed by a
major earthquake hundreds of years ago.
A look down the length of the church. St John's tomb is down at the far end and I did not take a picture of it for some reason.
Church 7 Church 8
I cannot remember what this is. This was something important. You can see our guide explaining it but I have no idea what it is now.

The blog continues.......

The final stop was lunch at a local ritzy 5 star hotel whose name I cannot remember. It was in an outside restaurant on a terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea. I believe there were 8 buses of people from the ship there eating at the same time. The arrivals were staggered a bit to help keep things from getting out of hand. All in all it worked fairly well.

The hotel was on the outskirts of Kusadasi. Here are some pictures of the lunch location and the view from it.

Lunch Show 1 Lunch Show 2
A Turkish folklore show during lunch. More of the show.
Lunch View 1 Lunch View 2
The view from the hotel towards Kusadasi. You can see the stern of the ship just to the left of centre. A wider view in the same direction.

Lunch Panorama 1

A full view from the deck of the hotel.

So, the last shore excursion of the cruise ends with my return to downtown Kusadasi. The blog continues.......

The bus dropped us off in the town centre. It is quite a small place but apparently a major resort town. During the summer season here, which runs from April to October, they have over 700 cruise ships stop here. Apparently the weather is the way it is today here most of time during these months. All we had to do is walk to the end of the main street to get to the ship. It was a very short walk. I was back on the ship shortly after 2:30PM. You can tell when you stop at a port the ones that get cruise ships regularly. These ports have cruise terminals and many facilities for the passengers. In the lesser frequented places the ship will often end up at a container cargo dock and for safety and security reasons shuttle busses are necessary to get those people that want to walk around just to get to the port gate. This is not usually a problem with the shore excursions as the busses are usually allowed on the dock to pick up (not to drop off though sometimes). Witness Ashdod, Israel last Sunday!

Here are some pictures taken after the drop off as I returned to the ship.

Ship 1 Ship 2
The ship from the shore. A closer view of the ship I have spent the last 23 days on.
Ship 3 Ship 4
Another one of the nose or bow on shots. The last view of the ship for this cruise taken along the dock.
Kusadasi 3 Kuasdasi 4
These fast food places are everywhere. The reason this was taken was because the Medusa head in the Starbucks logo means something relative to this area but I do not remember what now.

After boarding the ship these final pictures were taken.

Kusadasi 5 Kusadasi 6
The is the cruise ship Wind Spirit.
It sailed an hour or so before we did.
A view off the stern of the ship looking towards the hotel where I had lunch.
Kusadasi 7 Kusadasi 8
A closer view of the hotel. Lunch was on the veranda area you can see just to the right of the centre of the hotel. Downtown Kusadasi.

Kusadasi Panorama 1

A panoramic view of what one saw looking slightly to the right off the stern of the ship.
If one looked straight out one just saw the Aegean Sea.

The blog concludes today with the following........

So the cruise comes to an end with the departure in about 45 minutes, as I write this, of the ship for the 12 hour crossing of the Aegean Sea to Piraeus, Greece with a scheduled arrival there of 6:00AM tomorrow.

On to trip Day 26!

Page Created: August 3, 2010
After Trip Update Started: November 17, 2011
After Trip Update Completed: November 19, 2011
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:47 PM

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