Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Madding Crowd

I left Fethiye and headed off to Selcuk. In ancient times this meant leaving Lycia and heading through Caria and into Ionia. It also meant saying goodbye to the ocean and The Lycian Way.

Selcuk is only 3km from the world famous ruined city of Ephesus, where once stood one of the Seven Wonders of The World (The Temple of Artemis). Sadly, only a single column remains today so I didn't take a photo (even though I do like columns, as you all know).

It is also believed to be the site where John wrote the 4th Gospel and where the Virgin Mary died, so it's a place of pilgrimage for Christians.

The town itself is nothing special but it's surprisingly laid back when compared to somewhere like Agra (Taj Mahal) in India.

Slightly kitsch weddings happen...

...and men spend all afternoon playing games and drinking tea.

Never seen that game before. Backgammon and dominoes are very popular too.

I walked the 3km to Ephesus early in the morning in a vain attempt to miss the crowds...Oh.
Ephesus Main Street
This was a bit of a shock after having whole ruins all to myself. I tried telling myself that Ephesus had a population of 250,000 people at one time so it would have looked crowded even back then - but that didn't really help.

Maybe all visitors should be made to wear togas.

There were lots of columns and some impressive buildings.

My favourite building was The Library of Celsus with its statues representing Wisdom, Knowledge, Virtue and Justice.

The Library of Celsus

Sophia - Wisdom

Arete - Virtue

I later read that the statues were only copies and the originals are in Vienna - which makes a change from London.

Ennoia - "Is this Justice?" "No, just a simulacrum."

I paid an additional fee to see the Museum of Terraced Houses. Luckily, the additional fee keeps the number of visitors down. Nine houses have been excavated from a hillside and are protected from the elements by a NASA style high-tech enclosure. Walkways take you up above the houses and allow you to look down into them.

None had external windwows, all light came from internal courtyards.

The floor mosiacs and psychedelic 'wallpapers' were great.

Was Dennis Hopper your decorator?

But overall I have to say that Ephesus was a bit disappointing for me.

Too many people, too many hawkers and not enough cats.

Some, but not enough

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