Kusadasi and Ancient Ephesus, Turkey

Friday, May 30, 2014

I don’t think any of us knew what to expect in Turkey and I believe most of us came away from the experience pleasantly surprised.

I love when that happens!

We had another very busy day. I was running a little late this morning and almost got left behind! I am so glad my group waited for me. Whew!

So, this is Kusadasi . . . 

Kusadasi is a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast. It’s primary industry is TOURISM. Yeah, I can see why! Our guide told us that during the summer months, people flock to this area from all over the world to stay in their vacation homes. Kinda of like Florida, I guess. Ha! Ha!

Our first stop was The House of Mary which is believed to be where Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived until the end of her life. The place has an interesting history and if you want more information you can Google it and read about it’s discovery.

Wishing Wall at The House of Mary.

Bruce, photo-bombing!

Diane listening to her tour guide.

Driving between sites, we were struck by how similar the terrain is to California. I shot a few photos as we were driving down the mountain from the House of Mary and I commented to the group that the view looked like Camarillo at the top of the grade! See for yourself:

Is it Turkey or Camarillo?
Christie and Bill in Turkey.

Next stop was a tour of a Turkish carpet factory.  It was so interesting! I enjoyed learning how silk is extracted from the cocoon of a silkworm. The cocoons are soaked in a vat of very hot water and then the worker uses a brush to tease out a hair-thin thread from each cocoon. She wraps the thread to a spinning wheel and extracts all the silk from the casing. Who knew?  

These precious ladies make beautiful hand knotted or flat woven carpets that are like works of art. I now understand why these carpets are so expensive and why they are valued heirlooms that are passed down for many generations. I’m so glad I got to see this!

Look at the detail in this handmade piece!

A work of art!

Only natural fibers are used in handmade rugs.
The most common materials used for the
pile are wool, silk and cotton. In this photo I was trying to
see if I could tell the difference because they were all so soft.

After a nice lunch with the group, we headed off to see the ancient city of Ephesus. I don’t even know how to describe what I saw and felt as I walked through the ruins of this city. For starters, because of the nature of my work, I have such an appreciation for architecture, layout, materials used, and design. I can’t imagine how the trades were able to do such intricate work without the benefit of modern machinery and equipment.  How did they haul all that marble and hoist it up so high to make the columns? Why did they use marble as street pavers? It must have been so slippery when it rained. 

I am also so appreciative of the privilege of seeing these places in person! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by God’s goodness towards me. He has allowed me to stand in history! I close my eyes and try to hear the voices of the past. Some believe that the Gospel of John may have been written in Ephesus; the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians – another book of the New Testament; and Ephesus is one of the seven churches of Asia that is listed in the Book of Revelation.

Below are pictures of the ruins of Ephesus. I wasn’t able to write down the descriptions of each site; there was so much to see, our guide moved along pretty quickly.

Bill in Ephesus.

Notice how the capital hasn’t been fully excavated.

Stone carving of the goddess Nike (Greek mythology) who
personified victory. Nike, Inc.’s famous swoosh logo was inspired
by this goddess. Who knew?

Original marble steps.

Intricate mosaic design in the sidewalk.

Library of Celsus.

Theater in Ephesus.

Cute little girl.

Our group. The woman to Bill’s left was our tour guide.
After Ephesus, we made a stop at a leather outlet store. We were invited to “shop the runway” as models modeled the latest styles of leather coats and jackets in a fashion show. They were exquisite! I wanted one of each! Turkish leather products are made with lambskin which is very soft and very beautiful. (It makes sense since lamb is a staple in the Turkish diet.) I resisted the temptation to buy but several members of our group showed up at dinner wearing their new purchases and I was bummed I wasn’t sporting a new jacket of my own!


Back in Kusadasi, we walked along the harbor and enjoyed the view before returning to the ship.

This man was looking so intently at
something, he was unaware of the camera.
Scott enjoying the view.
Everything in this shop was white.
I couldn’t tell if this man was making
a net or repairing one but I enjoyed
watching him work.
Serenade of the Seas

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply