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The site of Ephesus in western Turkey is one of the most well preserved Roman cities in the world.  The most famous building is the epic library facade, but you can easily spend a day walking along the Marble Street, exploring ancient amphitheaters, early Christian hideouts and churches, and our favorite: The Terrace Houses.  The houses are covered by a roof that make the whole thing look like a bit like a construction site, but inside is an ongoing excavation of an entire hillside covered with of the homes and mosaics of rich Roman families.  While the sites of Ephesus were indeed magnificent, our journey there was one of the more “interesting” trips we had taken so far.

After struggling to stay awake at the pier in Ikaria to catch a 3am ferry, we were frustrated to learn that due to slightly poor weather the ferry wouldn’t be arriving until nearly 5am.  This meant that we would miss our connecting ferry in Samos.  When the boat finally came, we made our way towards some seats so that we could get some rest, but we learned that because we had economy tickets, we didn’t have seats.  So we set our bags against a nice patch of carpet in an out of the way spot near a window and went to sleep against them (so they wouldn’t be stolen), with our jackets serving as makeshift blankets.  We arrived in Samos at 9am, and went to the nearby ticket office to learn that we had indeed missed out scheduled 8am connecting ferry, but there would be another one at 5pm.  So we spent the next 8 hours wandering around Samos, bleary eyed and exhausted, napping at various rocky beaches, and drinking as much coffee as possible.  FInally, our ferry arrived and (after paying a shady pseudo-official an additional fee to let us on board) we set off on the 90 minute ride to Turkey.  Then, after waiting another hour in the customs line and watching an irate lady get in an extended screaming match with the border control officers, we were in Turkey!

It so happens that my Dad has a dear friend in Turkey named Nejat who works as a travel agent.  Nejat is extremely nice and he was really helpful in hooking us up with great rates on a car, hotels, and plane tickets, but unfortunately when writing the directions to our hotel in Kusadasi (the border town in Turkey where we were picking up our car), one critical “left” was replaced with a “right”.  So we walked with our bags in the opposite direction of our hotel and got utterly lost in a massive bazaar.  Soon however, a nice Turkish guy sipping coffee with his friends in front of a watch shop offered to help us and he even called out hotel from his cell phone.  Finally,  (finally!) we walked the last mile to our hotel, set our bags down and collapsed.  The next morning, our car was delivered right on time at 8am, and we had absolutely no problems making the 30 minute drive to Ephesus.  An awesome advantage of staying the night nearby and getting there so early was that we had the place virtually to ourselves for nearly an hour before the hordes of tourists arrived.

  • Sphinx Guarding Ephesus
  • Library at Ephesus
  • Library at Ephesus
  • Library at Ephesus
  • Library at Ephesus
  • Sphinx Guarding Ephesus
  • Largest Jigsaw Puzzle in the World
  • Terrace Houses at Ephesus
  • Ancient Roman Houses
  • Medusa on the Gate
  • Mandy and Map
  • …and Then the Crowds Pour In
  • Entrance To Brothel
  • Amphiteater at Ephesus
  • Library at Ephesus
  • Library at Ephesus
  • Medusa on the Gate
  • City of Ephesus

Posted: November 27, 2012

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Middle East, Turkey

  1. dylan says:

    I was going to ask if you found the foot outline, but I see you did! Will you get to Olympos? Cappadocia? Wow, I’m jealous yet again. Enjoy Turkey!!!

    • Adam and Amanda says:

      Haha, yeah I totally missed it but Amanda went on a solo quest to find it. No Olympos but we did make it Cappadocia. Lots of updates coming soon… Thanks for the note Dylan!

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