Saturday, July 21, 2012


Really wide beach, isn't it!
This area of Turkey is experiencing a little heat wave and temps are averaging 10 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the normal summer highs.  The intense heat is too much for Bill and me, and too much for the grandkids.   They were asking if we couldn't just return to the marina in Marmaris or find somewhere else with shore power so we could run the air conditioners.  We were not ready to return to Marmaris to just sit there awaiting the family members who will arrive in a few weeks, so we headed to Selimiye with hopes of getting on the town dock which we knew had shore power.  We had visited Selimiye last year via rental car and we liked it.  We looked forward to returning there with our boat. 

Sardenyu Restaurant, were we first docked
We arrived in Selimiye around 3 p.m. on Monday 16 July and found the town dock full.  No space for us.  Bill took the dinghy to check out other dock possibilities while I slowly circled the bay.  He radioed that he had found a spot at one of the restaurant docks.  Soon we were backed in and docked in front of the Sardenyu Restaurant.  The cost for this dock was 30 TL per night, including shore power.  Eating in the restaurant was not required but expected.  Bill and I ended up eating there each night.  I fed Elisabeth and Zachary on the boat and let them watch movies while Bill and I ate ashore.  Technically, we ate on the dock itself.  The restaurant moved tables onto the dock each evening and served meals there.  Sardenyu turned away customers each night because they were fully booked.  I would estimate they served about 250 people each night.
BeBe is the boat in the middle.  Remember, Bebe's draft is 2.1 meters.
That water is deeper than it looks.  Amazingly clear!

Unfortunately, the shore power on this dock was insufficient to operate the air conditioner during the day.  It ranged 196v to 208v during the day.   But we could run one unit at night when the power draw on the grid was less.  So Bill and I slept in the aft cabin bed with Elisabeth sleeping on the settee next to our bed, and Zachary slept in the passageway berth.  We closed off the passageway from the main saloon with the curtain and placed a fan at the opposite end of the passageway to suck the cooler air from the aft air conditioner and disperse it into the passageway.  This enabled all 4 of us to sleep comfortably.

Swim area at end of the dock at Sardenyu Restaurant.  
We liked this dock very much.  We were at end of dock next to the small swimming area so the kids could swim right off the boat.  We stayed here 3 nights and then moved to the town dock as soon as a space became available there.  The cost for the town dock for our 16-meter boat is 50 TL per night.  The shore power is better supplied on this dock and ranged 215v to 231v.

We took the kids to meet the Captain Osman, the 'gold toothed man' we met last year when we visited Selimiye by rental car.   He claims he brought all his money with him when he moved from Greece to Turkey years ago -- in the form of gold filling his mouth.
Captain Osman, the man with the gold teeth; keeps his fortune in his mouth.  Serves delicious
traditional Turkish casseroles in his sidewalk restaurant on the main harbor shore.
Walked around the bay searching for a
restaurant recommended by a friend.
 Missed it while admiring their wine
grapes hanging over the walkway.
The arrival of our family members has been delayed a few days so we are not hurrying back to Marmaris just yet.  We like Selimiye and will wait until closer to their arrival before moving back to the marina in Marmaris.  The weather is supposed to moderate back to normal summer temps over the next few days.  It will be nice to feel normally hot again rather than super hot.

The restaurant we were looking for was Girit.
Found it on our way back---beneath the grapes.

There are places to swim and Zach can kayak when boat traffic isn't active.  And plenty of restaurants to enjoy.  Even a few small stores to buy basic groceries.  And a bakery that bakes the best bread we have found so far in Turkey.  No reason to get in a hurry to leave this wonderful place.

Care to eat lunch seated around a tree?  Literally around it.

Switching to a completely different topic, since the country of Turkey did not come to be until 1922 (previously the Ottoman Empire), I have wondered exactly where the Turkish people originated.  After all, even though the country of Turkey did not exist, there are many references to the Turks many hundreds of years prior to the formation of the country named Turkey.  Here is a link to a very brief explanation about the origins of the Turkish people:
Origins of Turkish people

Feeding ducks on our walk around the bay

According to our Lonely Planet guidebook the Selimiye area is filled with caves and people at one time lived in these caves.  Selimiye is situated on the Bozburun peninsula about an hour's drive northwest from Marmaris.  This peninsula is the southernmost known boundary of where the ancient Phrygians lived.  

The following is taken from the Lonely Planet:

Elisabeth's Aflak moment

The Phrygians immigrated from Thrace to central Antolia region around 2000 B.C.  They spoke an Indo-European language and used an alphabet similar to Greek.  They established a kingdom with its capital well east of here, roughly 60 miles west of Ankara.  Their small empire flourished under a successive line of Midas and Gordias kings, until it was overrun by the Cimmerians in the 7th century B.C.  The Cimmerians sacked and burned the capital and murdered many Phrygian leaders.  Yet the Phrygian culture continued to flourish under the new leaders and subsequent Lydian overtakers.  

Considering they lived in rock dwellings, the Phrygians were a sophisticated people with a dedication to the arts.  Phrygian culture was based on Greek culture, but with strong neo-Hittite and Urartian influences.  They are credited with inventing the frieze, embroidery and numerous musical instruments, including the double clarinet, flute, lyre, syrinx (pan pipes), triangle and cymbals.  The Phrygian civilization was at its most vigorous around 585 to 550 B.C.  Study of the Phrygians has provided anthropologists with fascinating insights into a culture that bridged the gap between primitive and advanced in central Turkey.
That looks like a small castle on top of the hilltop.   Our Lonely Planet travel guides does not identify
this structure and there are no signs visible.  Not walking all the way up there without some incentive.

Left Marmaris and worked our way to Knidos

Being a girl
After installing our new bimini and extension and the interior curtains, there was no reason to hang around Marmaris.  We left Yat Marin marina in Marmaris and motored to 25 NM to Serce Limani, where we stayed for 2 nights.  As to the quality of the jobs performed in Marmaris, I would rate it "about what I expected."  The bimini and extension are constructed in a heavy white vinyl that the shop ordered just for us.  The vinyl that was normally stocked was too thin in our opinions; we would rather pay a little more and have better quality that will last longer.  The zipper compartments on the underside of the bimini that fit on the stainless steel frame were heat welded, not stitched.  This is something that we insisted upon.  Stitching will leak; heat welds will not.  The cost was about half the cost of obtaining an original factory replacement from Amel.   The curtains were made from the same custom fabric as the original curtains.  Luckily for us, the original owner left enough fabric on the boat for this replacement job.  The lining used by the shop in Marmaris is nowhere near the quality of the original lining on the curtains made in France, but I was realistic and did not expect that same high-quality material.  Bill ordered the proper lining material online and I will replace the linings next winter.  At least those old faded curtains are gone and the brighter print curtains make the interior of the boat look nice.   BTW, we also have a complete set of the original Amel curtains for the entire boat.  But I don't care for that pattern or colors so we will save those until it is time to sell the boat and the new owner will have brand new original curtains.

Presenting my award

On the first night in Serce Elisabeth dressed up and acted like a diva and presented us with 'awards.'  

Presenting Bill's award
Zach are a good sport about it, but not having sisters he really wasn't accustomed to this type 'girl thing.'  

The expert charterers
During our 2nd day in Serce Limani a charter boat of 5 Australian men anchored way too close to us.  We and 2 other boats were on swing anchors in the far western tip of this long narrow bay.  There was ample room for the 3 of us to swing at anchor.  Until the Australians arrived and anchored in front of us and took a stern line ashore.  I watched them anchor and make a large curve around backing to shore; this would later give them problems.  One of the swing anchored boats left soon afterward.  Just before dark we heard men yelling our boat name and ran up on deck to discover that our stern was practically on top of their bow.   They thought we were adrift when we swung so close to them when the wind changed direction.  
Charter boat; beware!

We were not adrift and our anchor had not budged.  They had anchored inside our swing range.  Freaking experts did not know what they were doing. This problem was really our own fault because we should have asked them to move rather than let them anchor so close.    Now we needed to move and it was almost dark.  We took in 11 meters of chain; swung the stern to the opposite side of the narrow bay; let back out that 11 meters of chain plus 6 more meters; and tied a stern line ashore.  We did it this way to help keep the chain from curving around boulders on the sea bed.

The next morning these expert charterers attempted to leave and discovered their anchor was wrapped around boulders.  I feared that would happen when I watched them do that big half-circle backing to shore the previous afternoon.  Took over an hour to free their anchor chain.  Then we weighed anchor with no problems and also left the bay.  Checked our electronic chart when we pulled anchor and confirmed that our anchor had not budged from where we had set it 2 days prior. 

Needs a daylight viewable DS.  Good thing this girl never
gets seasick.  This is what she does while sailing.

We motored to the bay at end of peninsula because there was supposed to be an ancient fortress to climb up to.  But we could see from the cockpit that the fortress was not impressive -- just walls.  So we continued on toward Datca.  The wind changed direction numerous times, always on our bow.  Finally we changed destinations and sailed towards Bozburun.  We encountered difficulty tying the stern line ashore in the small bay where we first attempted to anchor.  The current was too strong and kept turning the boat parallel to the side of the bay and we needed the boat stern-to towards the side of the bay.  We declared it not worth the trouble and motored on to the main anchorage at Bozburun, which thankfully is a lovely swing anchorage.   Total mileage for the day was only 24 NM.

Knidos merchant bay.  Can see stone breakwater on right side of bay
entrance.  Left side of breakwater is sunken.  Beware during entry!
Just as we finished pulling up the anchor in the first bay, the electric windlass quit working.  At least it broke at the most opportune time; it could have quit on us when there was still lots of chain to pull up.  I very slowly motored in lazy circles while Bill diagnosed the problem and effected repair.  The electric contacts on the control board had melted together.    We have carried a spare control board for this Lofrans windlass since Bonaire in 2007.  Carried that darn thing 3/4 way around the globe and finally had a need for it.  Bill replaced it and we set anchor......near S/V Songster, a boat that had transported on the same ship with us through the Somali pirates last year.  We briefly caught up with Jackie and Brian.  Glad to see they are both doing so well, and Songster looks really great.

After a couple of nights in Bozburun we motored 21 NM (and actually sailed for awhile!) to Kargi Koyu, where we stayed for only 1 night.  We liked this anchorage very much.  It would be untenable during southerlies, but was wonderful while we were there.  The water was so cold and felt wonderful on that hot afternoon --- 104F and 72% humidity.  The kids and I got into the water for a couple of hours.  Zachary swam much of that time while Elisabeth and I floated in the shade next to the boat.
Knidos theater and city ruins as seen from our docked boat.

Then on to Knidos, only 18.2 NM (on Sunday 15 July 2012).  The weather had become exceptionally hot and we figured if there were any cooling breeze anywhere, it should be at Knidos way out on the very tip of the Datca peninsula.   Maybe some wind would pass over the sea and be a bit cooler.  The plan was to arrive shortly before noon in hopes that charter boats would have left by that time and more charter boats would not be arriving until later in the day.  We wanted to be on the restaurant dock because too many people we know have dragged anchor in the notorious bad holding of this tiny ancient harbor.  
The Camel Hump at Knidos.  This was the bit of land (almost like an island except for the narrow bridge of land connecting it to the peninsula)  on the southwestern side of both the military harbor and the
merchant harbor.  It was directly across from the theater.  The city was built on both the Camel Hump and on the mainland peninsula.  Supposed to have been a very beautiful city.  It would have been spectacular sitting in the
theater and watching the stage with the Camel Hump in the background across the tiny harbor filled with ships.
The buildings house researchers and archaeologists working at the site today.

Our plan worked well.   We stopped well outside the sunken rock breakwater wall and lowered the dinghy.  Bill and Zachary went to the restaurant dock and inquired about available docking space, cost and electricity.  It was extremely hot and we desperately wanted air-conditioning!  Docking space was available as long as we didn't mind allowing 2 or 3 boats to raft up on our side as more boats would arrive later.  That was okay with us.  Cost was 45 TL per night.  Bill and Zachary returned to BeBe and we entered the harbor and docked.  Piece of cake.  

The water is so clear.  Knidos ancient merchant harbor.
And THEN the dockmaster told us that the shore power was for using battery charger only.  For 45 TL!!!  That was not good news.  But the power was insufficient voltage to allow us to use air-conditioning anyway.  We continued to watch the voltage and when it climbed high enough (as the evening cooled down) Bill moved our dinghy against the water discharge on our hull; we shut off the forward cabin and turned on the air-conditioning for a couple of hours.  We really needed to cool down.  My blood pressure got up to 212/96 which is an unprecedented high!  The only reason had to be the extreme heat.  This little heat wave is causing temperatures 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the normally hot temps for this time of year.  104F with 72% humidity is too hot!  That kind of heat is dangerous....especially for us old folks.  So, the dockmaster would have to live with us cheating on the air-conditioning for a few hours.  Once cooled off we were all happier with the world.  But we decided to stay in Knidos for only that 1 night and would search out a dock with shore power the next day.

Mainland side of the tiny military harbor.  The first nude statue of a female
was located on the right side background of this photo.  It was beautiful
Aphrodite.  The statue was carved by a Greek artist and intended to go to
Kos.  But the people of Kos were appalled by the idea of a nude female
statue, so it remained in Knidos and became a huge tourist attraction in
ancient times.  Had a door on the rear side of the mounting so tourists
could view her beautiful posterior. 
The restaurant had plenty of large fish for dinner that night.  The price was 120TL per kilo and you pay for the entire fish.  That would have made a fish dinner cost around 600 TL ($335 USD).  That is way, way, way too much for a fish dinner.  The Med is over-fished and as a result fish usually is quite expensive.  We will pass, thank you very much.  Berthing at the dock does not require eating in the restaurant.  When we were here last year the berthing cost only 25 TL but did require eating at the restaurant.  Now he charges 45 TL but does not require eating at the restaurant. 

The kids were not really impressed with Knidos.  They walked around a little bit once the sun had gone down.  And I made them read the guide literature about this site.  Sooner or later they each will write a blog about what they saw and what they remember about the history of this place.
Mainland section of ancient Knidos.  It was a large city built up far around the hillside and also on the opposite
Camel Hump too.  Our boat is docked on the opposite side of that dock.  Restaurant beneath the trees.

Ancient tiny military harbor on north side at Knidos
Bill and I had visited Knidos in late May last year when on our way to Samos, so there was nothing new for us to see here.  Visited Knidos 30 May 2011   I won't write again about Knidos except to say that this is not the location of the original ancient Knidos.  The original ancient Knidos was situated on the northeastern outskirts of present-day Datca.  Knidos was moved to this peninsula tip location because this was considered a superior port location for trading.  Plus, marble was a big trade item to Egypt at the time.  The marble was in the ground near the peninsula tip.  Why bring heavy marble all the way to Datca area; it was much easier to bring the olive oil and wine to the peninsula tip and all 3 major exports could be shipped easily from this location.   Plus, the northern small bay here was the military bay; and the southern bay was for merchant ships.   The military was already here and would provide protection for the merchants.

The next day we motored 40 NM to Selimiye in hopes of finding shore power for air-conditioning.  The little heat wave continues.  Local people say these little heat waves typically last about 2 weeks so we can expect abnormally high temps for another 10 days or so.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cleopatra's Pool, Hierapolis and Pamukkale

After touring Ephesus we boarded the bus for the ride to Pamukkale.  All we knew about Pamukkale was that there were supposed to be some shallow pools to walk in.  This is a very popular tourist destination and a unique place.  We arrived at the hotel around 9 p.m. and watched sunset from the restaurant roof terrace.  We were exhausted after getting at 5 a.m., riding several hundred miles in a bus and walking through the ruins of Ephesus in the very hot sun.  There were no English speaking programs on the hotel room television, but we were so tired it didn't matter.  We wanted a quick dinner, a good shower and and early bedtime.
Hierapolis theater ruins in background

Right side exterior of theater
The next day we had an early breakfast and were back on the tour bus by 7:30 for the short ride up the mountainside to Pamukkale.  Inside the entrance gate the first thing to visit is the ancient city of Hierapolis, a/k/a Herapolis.  Neither Zachary nor Elisabeth nor Bill could be enticed to get interested in touring the ruins of this ancient city.  Ephesus had been enough for them.  (for me, too; if I am going to be honest about it)

Hierapolis was an ancient city in the mountains that was naturally well protected on 3 sides.  The remaining side overlooked a fertile valley.  It was the perfect location for a city; not high enough altitude to get snow but high enough to provide relief from the notoriously hot summers of this part of the world.  Visitors came from the areas now known as Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Black Sea countries to partake of the healing qualities of the 17 thermal springs in Hierapolis.

Partially excavated ancient road; probably really an agora judging by the
columns along either side.  There would have been merchant shops
along each side of this city roadway.
As we walked from the entrance gate to the Pamukkale pools the closest Hierapolis ruins were the usual theater and a very large bath complex that has been converted to a museum.  There were many outlying building ruins but none of us wanted to walk around in the sun any more just to see these old stones.  The one thing that was good for the kids to see was a partially excavated roadway that we walked past on our way to Cleopatra's Pool.  It was an excellent example of how dirt has covered ancient places over the past 2,000+ years.

Rather than write about this ancient city that we were not particularly interested in, I will provide a couple of links in case any reader wants more information.  
Everything you might want to know about Hierapolis:  Wikipedia -- Hierapolis      Hierapolis tour

Elisabeth, Zachary and Judy in Cleopatra's Pool
The first place we visited was Cleopatra's Pool.  This thermal pool supposedly was a wedding gift to Cleopatra from Antony and they swam in this pool on their honeymoon.  Back then this pool was part of an elaborate bathing complex fed by natural spring water.  It is easy to envision what this must have looked like during Cleopatra's time.....with marble columns all around supporting carved stone cornices.

Exploring Cleopatra's Pool

Since then an earthquake destroyed the bathing complex and toppled Ionic columns into the pool, but the natural spring thermal waters continue to supply the naturally formed pool.  The damaging earthquake supposedly occurred in 2nd century A.D., but there have been many earthquakes in this region so who knows for certain exactly when all these columns and cornices toppled into the pool.  Once source cites 2nd century and another source cites 7th century.

Maneuvering over toppled columns

Warm spring water filling the pool

The technical specs are that the water in the thermal pool is 36 - 57 degrees Celcius (96.8 to 134.6 degrees Fahrenheit).  The pH value is 5.8 and radon value is 1480 pCi/l.  

Gingerly finding our way around broken marble things

The water contains bicarbonate, sulphate, carbon dioxide, partly with iron and radioactive combination.  The water in this spring is suitable for bathing, swimming, showering and drinking cures; and has 2430 MG/liter melt metal value.  (Whatever all that means)

It is considered a healing thermal spring.  

Attempting to stand on broken column

The day we visited the pool temperature felt about 38 Celsius or 100 Farhenheit.  The water feels silky on your skin and leaves no residue.  After soaking in the pool one feels relaxed. 
And she made it!  (briefly)

Toppled Ionic column

No kids under age 16
allowed in roped off section

Excellent photo showing the toppled columns and cornices in the pool.  Our tour group was one of the first to
arrive.  The pool very quickly became crowded with tourists.

Pamukkale pools at top of mountain;
Pamukkale town and artificial pools at bottom

Next we walked over to the top of the pools of Pamukkale.  Technically, I believe that Pamukkale is the town down at the bottom of this small mountain.  But the pools at the top are commonly known as Pamukkale.

Pools near top at Pamukkale

These are shallow pools formed by deposits of calcium carbonate that naturally occurs in the thermal springs that constantly fill these pools.  Down by the town there are several artificial pools that looks just like the real pools at the top.  

Fill trench

Bill stayed in the shade on the wooden deck at the top of the mountain while Zachary, Elisabeth and I walked through almost all of the pools.....along with at least a thousand other tourists.  Man!  Did that place get crowded!

Looks cold; but it isn't

The guide explained that some 5-star resorts had been built some time in the past that had diverted water from the natural springs that feed the Pamukkale pools.  My limited research indicates that since Pamukkale has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site that this water is no longer being diverted.  The guide disagrees with that and insisted that the water is still being diverted today.  As a result of this diversion (and probably also due to natural depletion reasons), the spring-fed waters of Pamukkale will dry up in about 150 years.

Looks like a wall of ice but is really just calcium
carbonate deposits over very many years
We all enjoyed Pamukkale very much
Isn't this a special place!

The pools of Pamukkale will no longer exist in 150 years.
No shoes allowed when walking on the pool area
Zachary at Pamukkale

Elisabeth at the fill source to the Pamukkale pools.
There was a trench to carry the spring water to fill all pools

Russian tourist near Cleopatra's Pool complex.
Wonder where she found that swimsuit.

BTW, it is common to talk about the fat American tourists.  Believe me, some of the Russian tourists have us beat....hands down!


Ephesus--Background used to be sea port.  Library behind Judy's head.

To ward off the mysterious evil eye.
Manufactured near Ephesus

Recently we took a what seemed like a whirlwind 2-day bus tour of Ephesus and Pamukkale.   We had ordered a new bimini and extension to be made in Marmaris (and new interior curtains) and wanted to stay in the Marmaris area awaiting completion of the jobs.  

We know better than to leave and expect jobs to be completed when we return.......that rarely goes well.  One needs to check in with the shop doing the work every other day to make sure your job gets completed and not shoved aside while someone else's more 'urgent' job takes precedence.

Bus trip

Originally we had planned to sail up to Kusadasi to visit Ephesus and 
This carving didn't fare too well over time
Pamukkale with the grandkids, but now that did not seem wise since we would have to be back in Marmaris to meet more family members in 3 weeks.  What if the meltimi blew too frequently and delayed us?  

The bus tour probably cost less than we would have spent on diesel to motor the boat up there against the prevailing wind.  And the boat would have been left in a marina while we visited the ancient ruins.....whether in the Kusadasi marina or a Marmaris marina.  Frankly, I was surprised that one-day bus tours to either Ephesus or Pamukkale are offered from Marmaris.  Both destinations seemed too far for one-day bus trips.  I decided to combine the 2 places into one trip since they are both in the same general direction from Marmaris.  As it was, we covered 480 miles in 2 days.  Glad I wasn't driving that bus.

Listening intently to guide explain how
Ephesians identified visitors as true Christian
or fake Christian.

A van picked us up at the entrance to Yat Marin marina promptly at 06:00 one morning.  We did not know what to expect.  He dropped us off at a round-about and told us to stand by the side of the road and wait for the bus.  10 minutes, according to the van driver.  He took my receipt, which worried me because now I had nothing proving that I had paid cash for this little tour.  If the bus didn't show up then we had just lost several hundred dollars.  30 minutes later a bus did show up, but that was the Polish language tour bus.  Then a Russian language tour bus arrived.  Finally the English speaking bus arrived and we were off.  We were lucky.  There are different levels of comfort on these tour buses and we chanced to get on the Royal Coach which had thicker seats and was more comfortable than the other 2.  I know this because I later had occasion to ride in the Polish bus for a side trip.

Ancient Roman aqueduct near Ephesus
A half-hour or so outside Marmaris we stopped for a buffet breakfast, included in the tour price. It was the typical Turkish breakfast of olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese and boiled eggs.  Back on the road again the the tour guide started his spiel.  He was a Turkish guy who was from Sydney, Australia; and he spoke with the distinctive Australian accent.  Bill understood about every 5th word and was soon asleep.  Several hours later as we were approaching Ephesus there was an old Roman aqueduct right on the side of the highway.  Amazing to me that this was still standing after roughly 2,000 years.

Socrates room display at Ephesus museum
Bill and Zachary opted to go see the Ephesus Archaeological Museum while Elisabeth and I took a side trip up to the top of a nearby mountain to visit the House of the Virgin Mary.  Elisabeth was convinced that Mary could not have lived in this little house because there was no bed or table.  Explanations that a bed or table would not have lasted this long did not dissuade her from her doubt that Mary had indeed lived out her final years in this house.  Supposedly, after the crucifixion of Christ it was feared that Mary might also be killed.  So St. John whisked her away from the Holy Land and brought her to Ephesus, where she lived out her final years in safety.  Believe me, it is very doubtful that one could have gotten to the top of that hill without being seen on his way up.  So it did appear a safe place to hide in full view.  

Steep pedestrian road ends at the library.  Notice
silted in level land in background.
We returned to the museum area and switched back to our assigned bus.  Next stop was a buffet lunch.....also included in the tour price.  It was so hot and so crowded that it was difficult to enjoy lunch.  Next we would be walking across the Ephesus ruins in the heat so the last thing anyone should have wanted was a full stomach.  We were stressing water consumption to the kids even though there are no restrooms at the Ephesus site.

Too many stone ruins to remember

I am not going to even attempt to describe the history of Ephesus.  The basic highlights are that civilization is known to have existed here as a city 8,000 years ago.  That blows my mind to realize that humankind lived in a city that long ago; not a small village or town, but a real city.  There have been 6 locations of Ephesus, all situated within the same geographical area; sometimes on 1 side of a mountain and sometimes on another side of the same hilltop.  There was a large deep water harbor nestled between the many mountains.  As the river flow diverted over the centuries the location of the city would change.  The site we visited was the 3rd Ephesus city.

Hadrian's Gate?? At library headed toward theater.
Note inscriptions on top section.
It was a port at the time this city was occupied.  A main road with shops along either side came up from the port and then formed a 'T' several hundred feet in front of the theater.  This theater is the largest known theater of the ancient world.....and there are at least 2 more upper levels that have been excavated but not yet put back into place.  The acoustics are most impressive.  Voices from the stage can clearly be heard even at the upper seats in place today.  

Intricate carvings

The other entrance to the city was a main road on the mountainside that led to a port on that side of the mountain.  All of this is completely silted in today; the seaside is about 6 miles farther west than it was during the time this third Ephesus was occupied.   This is very obvious when viewed from higher elevations.   

Baths at entry to third Ephesus

Every visitor to the city was required to enter the baths immediately upon arrival.  Entry to the city was forbidden until the bath had been attended to.  There were several reasons for this custom.  First, to see if the person had any weapons hidden in his clothing.  Second,  to prevent spread of disease.  They did not understand germs yet but they did understand the need for cleanliness.  Third, healers were in the baths to surreptitiously inspect the naked bodies of visitors for any sign of illness or disease. 

Thousands of intricate carvings at Ephesus

A major Temple of Artemis was built in Ephesus.  The guide explained several times about how the original religion from Anatolia region north to the Ephesus region was the worship of the mother goddess.  The main aspiration of mankind at that time was to procreate; more people meant greater chance of survival; so the worship of a fruitful woman resulted.  

The original mother goddess was replaced by Artemis, another form of mother goddess.  Artemis was replaced by Virgin Mary as the symbol of mother goddess to people of this region.  Frankly, I never considered the Virgin Mary to be a mother goddess, but why not.

Ephesus latrines

The main pedestrian road within the Ephesus drops 60 feet in a fairly short span.  So it is a steep road.  Several smaller roads lead off this main road; some to residential areas; some to the latrines; and many buildings which I don't remember.  

Ancient symbol for doctors and hospitals
Ancient symbol for pharmacy
Also along this road was the hospital or infirmary.  On the road in front of the hospital is a stone carved with the same symbol that is used to signify doctors and hospitals today.  Across the narrow road from the hospital is another carved stone with the same symbol used today for pharmacies.  Just shows how long these 2 symbols have been in use.

If a patient survived his stay at the hospital it was customary to leave a part of his body behind when he left.  Patients usually chose to cut off an ear and leave it as a symbol of gratitude.  And we think hospital bills are high today!

Gates of Hercules to keep chariots off the road

Near the hospital are 2 columns placed on either side of the road.  These 2 columns are called the Gate of Hercules, the carved images apparently representing Hercules.  These 2 columns effectively narrow the road so that chariots could not pass.  These columns insure that the roadway was used only by pedestrians.

Library of Celsus at Ephesus

Library of Celsus

More intricate carvings up high
The main pedestrian road ends at the Library of Celsus.  Then another road turns right through the Gate of Hadrian and leads to the large theater.   The library was very important.....there were only 2 libraries in the world at that Alexandria Egypt and Ephesus.   It is unclear which was built first.   (I've read that there also was a library in China, but the guide did not mention that one.)  The Library of Celsus must have been a very impressive building during its heyday with all the statues and carvings.  Only the 3-story facade remains standing today and is well-weathered by time. 

Sign at the library
An unusual thing about the library is that it is constructed over large vaults where it is assumed some important dead people were buried.  The term for this construction escapes me at the moment, but it was unusual for the time.
A marble floor drainage tile near library

Largest theater of ancient world

Ephesus was also the location of the first known bank in the world.  The guide referred to it as the original Bank of Asia, supposedly because it was used to finance much trade into and from Asia.  

Drawing by Elisabeth of the advertising stones
Another 'first' for Ephesus was the the world's first known advertising was located here.  And what was advertised, you might ask.  Why, the world's oldest profession, of course.    Stones were embedded in the roadway down near the port entry.  On these stones would be engraved the image of a woman; her name; a heart that was shattered or broken; a circle representing coins or money; and a uniquely shaped footprint.  
Main road to port
The meaning was:  If your heart is broken and you have some money, choose a woman who appealed to you and follow the footprints to her home or brothel and her companionship could be purchased.  I'm sure those images really were accurately portrayed.  Truth in advertising.  Sure.

Elisabeth at Ephesus
Zachary at Ephesus
We were only at the Ephesus ruins for a few hours and that was plenty of time for us to see all we were interested in.   It was very hot; I was very glad to have brought a big umbrella.  The kids  quickly lost interest in old stone ruins.  We returned to the tour bus and they shuffled off everyone who had signed up for only the single day trip to Ephesus.  They would return to Marmaris on another bus.  People who had signed up for the 2-day trip shuffled off the Russian and Polish buses onto our bus to continue on to Pamukkale.  We arrived at the hotel in Pamukkale around 9 p.m. just before sunset.   
A very hot, sunny day at Ephesus