Sunday, 25 November 2012

Turkish Delight - Ephesus

If you've seen the pictures of Somerset on the news you'll understand why we didn't venture out today. I'm longing for some heat and sun after the days of torrential rain so got out the pictures of Turkey again to remind myself that there are parts of the world that are sunny and hot.

So this is Ephesus  - high on the "must visit" list of every visitor to Turkey and jam packed with bored cruise liner passengers who quite clearly would have been happier to stay on board their floating hotels judging by snippets of overheard conversation.

In any event it was busy - very very very busy. This should give you an idea. This is the main street. Fortunately the cruise liner parties started at the top and headed straight down to the bottom and back on to the waiting coaches. This did mean that the side streets were much less crowded and almost pleasant.

Trying to photograph Ephesus was hard - I'd get a shot lined up and in the time it took to click the shutter someone would have inevitably walked in front of the lens. So I bought a guidebook for some decent pictures. I did get a few though that I quite liked.

This is Nike - the winged Goddess of Victory. Part of the drape of her robe is the famous "swoosh" of the training shoe brand.

The Library - there was said to be a tunnel linking the library with the local brothel across the street. This was to allow the town worthies to hide their true destination from their wives....

 They did have some very grand public lavatories - obviously it was a communal event!

Much less crowded were the terraced houses. These are  a fairly recent excavation and are covered with a huge protective structure. They are also the site of the biggest jigsaw puzzle in the world as a team try and replace the beautiful marble cladding on the hall walls.

Entry does cost extra but it was well worth it. The preservation of the mosaics and wall frescoes is second to none.

and a close up shot.

Here as elsewhere Ephesus has been "reconstructed" by the frankly bizarre habit of just stacking random bits of stonework on top of each other. Here is a fairly typical example - I guess it gives the impression of a third dimension but I'd really rather they didn't!

More random stacking.

Looking up certainly bore fruit at times but I'm not sure that this bull actually belongs where he's been put.

You'd almost think we had the place to ourselves looking at this picture!

and lastly the amphitheatre - I managed to avoid most of the crowds but not the crane. I may need to develop some Photoshop skills and get rid of that :-)

So a whistle stop tour of Ephesus - the crowds did rather spoil it for me and it was probably my least favourite ancient Turkish city. 
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