Visiting Ephesus, Kusadasi

This is the continuation of our cruise trip on board of Celebrity Equinox along the Mediterranean sea. If you want to read since day #1, please click here. If you want to see our previous port of call, please click here.

On June, 7th, 2010 I woke up very early in the morning to watch the sunrise before our arrival at EphesusTurkey.

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Dawn in Turkey

I am not sure about the reason,  but the fact is that  I  prefer to watch dawn than dusk, although both  are marvelous.  Maybe it’s because dawn seems “happier”  as it brings in  the promises of a brand new day!?!

The ship docked around 7AM in order to allow plenty of time for  passengers to visit Ephesus and Kusadasi‘s main attractions!

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Arriving in Kusadasi, Turkey

We were one of the first to disembark. The pier is located at the town’s center, and it was fast and easy to go to the main square by foot.

The Turkish Market, famous for having many fake  items from famous brands was still closed at that time.

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Kusadasi Bazaar before the crowds

Anyway,  we went walking trough the narrow alleys to have a glimpse of the town.

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Kusadasi

When we were walking along the sea, this guy started to follow us. He was a sweet heart!

He stayed at our side for more than one hour! We went to visit the Fortress and there he was, at our side. He was always so near me that is looked like I was holding him by the leash! 🙂

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Our Turkish companion

When we were at the Fortress,  hubby went to a part of the cliff that I didn’t want him to go as I was afraid that he could fall into the sea.  Guess who  who was there, at his side, looking to him and taking care?  Yeah… our unknown friend, “The Dog” !  Pretty cool!  🙂

If I lived in Europe I would adopt him but…. how to explain to the cruise’s crew that our cabin would have a new guest?  🙂

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Visiting Kusadasi Fortress

Talking about history….

Kusadasi means “Pigeon Island”. This name was given to the island during the Ottoman times due to migrating birds that lived there.

The fortified Castle was built to protect the Ottoman‘s Empire ocean-going trade, which was vulnerable to pirates’s attacks, including the infamous Barbarossa.

If you are planning a visit to Kusadasi, don’t miss the Fortress.   Try to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Talking about crowds: They were everywhere in Kusadasi and Ephesus!

At the time we visited the Fortress there were only the two of us.   Ok… “us”  PLUS our accompanying dog!  🙂

You get wonderful views of Kusadasi when you walk around the fortress. We loved to walk there!

After visiting this special place it was time to go to Ephesus, the most important attraction of the day, in order to visit the Ruins of Ephesus.

We decided into not joining one of the  organized “land excursions”  provided by the cruise line, as they were very expensive.

We went to the tourist office and asked for directions to reach Ephesus by public transportation.

The girl gave us a map and pointed directions for the bus stop.   In fact, the “bus”   is not a  real “bus”:   It is a charter van that carries ten passengers.  All of the “buses”  at Kusadasi were like that.

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On our way to Ephesus by van

We met a couple of  German guys that were in our ship,  and they went in the same van.    It felt kind of “reassuring”  to know that two other people from the ship were in the “same boat”   albeit one of them didn’t speak any English and we don’t speak German.  🙂

The road twists along the coast with beautiful views to antique castles and turquoise seas.

When we got to Ephesus, we didn’t get “exactly”  there.  The driver said that the passengers should disembark (on the main road) and walk. He only pointed out the way we should walk and that was it.

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Traffic jam on the way to Ephesus’ ruins

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It was fast walking than by car or van

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Small places are not prepared to receive big cruise ships. This is the result. No one can move!

The reason he didn’t t take the passengers to the  site entrance  was to avoid the traffic jam, as there were dozens of buses and vans trying to get there.

Many “buses”  took their passengers all the way to the Ruins entrance but our driver dropped us at the highway.   We had to walk all the way.  It was a warm day and the traffic was so bad that we got there before people who were seating inside the cars and buses.

One enormous traffic jam, and of course the driver was aware of that, so he found “easier”  to get rid of his passengers dropping them almost 20  minutes walking away from the real point. Very bad tourist experience.Did I say it was a sunny day ?  Yeah…. it was sunny and hot. After walking and waking we finally got to the ticket office!  After paying the tickets we were allowed to enter the ruins of Ephesus.

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Finally, entering Ephesus!

Ephesus was founded in the 10th Century BC.  It was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city. In the Roman period Ephesus had a population of more than 250 000 people in the 1st century BC, which made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world.

One of the most famous constructions there was the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The town was partially destructed by an earthquake in 614 AD.

Ephesus is also one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation.  The book of John may have been written there.

Ephesus was conquered by Sasa Bey in 1304. In the 14th Century, under the Sejuk rules, important architectural works were added (like the Turkish bathhouses).   They were incorporated as vassals into the Ottoman Empire for the first time in 1390.  After battles, the city went out of this domain and back again to the Otoman Empire in 1425.

Ephesus was completely abandoned in the 15th century and lost her formal glory.

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Theater

There was a performance showing life during the ancient times. Nothing “special” though…

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Roman Library of Celsus

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Roman Library of Celsus

Ephesus was packed with tourists!  It was almost impossible to walk along the way, take pictures, etc.

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Packed crowds @ Ephesus

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Temple of Adrian

We were glad that we did NOT get a tour because it would be impossible to keep the group together and listen to the guide!   We saw many guides almost talking to themselves because people had no way to get near them.  Also the sun was hot and many people got distracted.

After walking a lot and taking dozens of pictures we decided it was time to return to Kusadasi.   We walked again (20 minutes)  to the highway in order to wait for the “bus”  (the driver had told us that the buses run along the highway).

While we were waiting (two more couples were waiting as well) a guy in a cab asked (in Turkish) something.  One of the people waiting translated as “He can take all of us to the town for price better than the bus” .    I was a little afraid accepting the “offer” as it could be part of a scam, and I was worried with my money and camera.   But….  staying alone on the highway didn’t sound as a nice option as well. So… the six of us got in the cab.

Wow…. the guy was totally crazy!  He drove like mad, as if he was driving a race car!  I was totally scared, imagining the moment that our great trip would finish hitting a post, a tree or another vehicle!

One of the couples went off during the journey because they were at a hotel on the way.    The cab remained with:   the crazy driver,  us and the other couple, all of them speaking in Turkish.

Wow… that was scary because we didn’t know what they were talking, so we imagined they were planning in how to rob us.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened.  The couple asked to go off when the cab reached the city and we said we would get off at the same place as we didn’t want to stay alone with the crazy driver till the ship terminal!

We walked along the market, that was now opened and crowded.   Fake merchandising of all brands.

I didn’t buy anything, firstly  because I don’t like to “bargain”  and  also don’t like people “singing in my years asking me to buy something”… Secondly and most importantly:  I don’t like copies.  Or I buy a real “Prada”  or I buy something authentic at H&M.

Copies?  No, thank you.
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Ephesus Center

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Ephesus

After walking since early in the morning it was time to return to the ship! We were missing the air conditioner and the pool!

 

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After warm temperatures outside and tiresome sightseeing, I’m happy to be back to the jacuzzi

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If you would like to see  the other pictures I took in Kusadasi and Ephesus (no people in the pictures!)… please visit my gallery on Flick  clicking here

Thank you for visiting!

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About CeciliArchitect

World Traveler ~ Photographer ~ Social Media Specialist ~ Tourism Vancouver Certified Specialist ~ Independent Tour Manager and Events Coordinator ~ Blogger ~ Architect & Interior Designer (in my previous life)
This entry was posted in Ephesus, Europe, Kusadasi, Travel, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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