Kevin, at the ancient city of Tlos, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Kas, Turkey until December 8th.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ephesus area... part two...

This is the second blog post from today. Make sure you check out the first one if you missed it at https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/11/the-ancient-city-of-ephesus.html 

We had a busy day yesterday. The first part of the day was at the Ephesus ruins, but then we checked out a few other things in the area. We thought about driving up to the House of the Virgin Mary, but I read a couple of reports that said it wasn't worth the 45 lira ($7.75 CAD, $5.90 USD) per person entry fee, so we didn't go there.

We did however stop in at the free Grotto of the Seven Sleepers. Good thing it was free, because there wasn't much available to see. You can read the story about it here...


But it's all fenced off and you can't access anything.

I poked my camera lens through the gate for this pic.

So that was kind of pointless. Good thing we were driving right by there anyhow. From a few kms away, we saw the Selçuk Castle. It's not much of a castle really... more of a walled compound on top of the hill. Still, we set our sights on making our way up there, maybe only for the view.

From a distance, Selçuk Castle, and the city of Selçuk on the right.


If not for the tourists visiting Ephesus, Selçuk  would just be another farming town. Instead, it has lots of hotels, restaurants, and guest houses catering to the tourists who come by the droves to visit Ephesus. So glad that we didn't end up choosing to stay there, because we did think about it.

First stop was the Ephesus museum where many artifacts that were discovered at Ephesus are on display. Entrance fee of 25 lira ($4.25 CAD, $3.25 USD) was included in our combo ticket.

Head of Zeus. Carved sometime between 69-96 AD.

The statues at the museum in Aphrodisias were in much better condition.

But there were several pieces that were simply amazing. Now, we're not much for museums to begin with. It's easy to get "museumed out".  I've often said that you can only look at so many pieces of broken pottery.

This carved piece of ivory was amazing.

And this little dude with big ambitions was kind of funny!

The figurine of Priapus is marked by its oversized, permanent erection. In Greek mythology, this peculiar deity was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens, and male genitalia. 

It amazes us that they had the technology 2,000 years ago to make a piece like this.

This statuette of an Egyptian priest was labeled as being from 600 BC!

A stash of coins.

A life size statue of the Goddess Artemis from the 2nd century.

Another statue of Artemis from the 1st century.

Archeologists who discovered those statues in the 1950's were amazed at how good their condition was.

Outside of the museum, we were approached by a guy asking if we wanted to buy old Roman coins. I laughed at him because I had just finished reading an article about the shysters that you will encounter around the popular tourist sites in Turkey. One of the reasons we try to avoid tourist sites. 


Views from the hill overlooking Selçuk.

Next, we drove up to the St. John Basilica.

This huge church was built around 600 AD. Again, a severe earthquake totally leveled it sometime between 1365-1370. The ruins are kind of interesting, but only to give an idea of the size of the place.




This church stood for over 700 years!


The castle is just up the hill from the church.

Rubble. I guess they just don't know how to put the pieces together.

Inside the castle walls.




On one side of the castle is the city of Selçuk.

On the other side, fertile farmland.

Ruth spotted this colorful little bird.

He posed for us for a while.

This is the prettiest bird we have seen in Turkey so far!
He is a European goldfinch.

What a busy day we had! 

Today, we are off to do a 12 km (7.5 mile) hike in the national park.

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11 comments:

  1. It is ALL so amazing, words alone can't describe feelings of seeing these pictures, so very, very marvelous!!!

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    1. Yes, it was very interesting and amazing, especially when you think how old some of those items are and just trying to imagine what things looked like back then in their heyday.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your very interesting travels! The statues of Artemis intrigued me. I remember a similar fountain at Villa d'Este in Tivoli (near Rome). My art history professor introduced it as "the many-breasted Diana". A little googling shows that Diana for the Romans is generally considered equivalent to Artemis for the Greeks. In fact, apparently she is "Diana of Ephesus". https://www.romeartlover.it/Tivoli72.jpg https://www.flickriver.com/photos/meggallucci/34584938251/

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    1. More interesting info on Diana/Artemis: http://albertis-window.com/2011/02/diana-of-ephesus-keeping-abreast-with-iconography/

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    2. We are glad that you have been enjoying our travels.

      Thank you for the links, I couldn't get the first one to work but the second one did. Very interesting reading on the differing opinions on the Artemis/Diana statues and the meanings behind them.

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  3. One of my favorite museums. It has truly amazing artifacts. We've yet to get to the castle. It was closed for many years, and the last time we tried they were doing some restoration work, thus admission was limited.

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    1. It definitely had some amazing artifacts but we actually liked the museum at the Aphrodisias ruins site better. The statues there were amazing and for the most part in better condition.

      We enjoyed the castle but you haven't missed too much by not seeing it. There really isn't much to see in the castle as such but the views were really nice from the top.

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  4. Your photo of not knowing how to put the pieces back together reminded me of a story of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was a volunteer docent several years ago when an exhibition of them came to Grand Rapids, Michigan. After they were discovered, the condition of the scrolls deteriorated quickly to where they had little fragments, not knowing where they went. Because the scrolls were made of parchment, which is animal skin, decades later once they had DNA testing, they could group the fragments together based on which animal the skin came from from DNA testing.

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    1. Wow, that would be pretty intricate puzzle work to do, even with the help of the computers and the DNA testing. The fragments would have been so small. Stuff like that takes lots and lots of patience!

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  5. Amazing. Incredible. Loved the information and photos! That finch was very pretty indeed. Thanks again. Safe travels.

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    1. Glad they you enjoyed the post and the pictures. I loved that bird, it was so pretty and we really haven't seen many pretty birds here in Turkey so far.

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