The next chapter of my vacation started in Selçuk, a small touristy town located near the famous ancient city of Ephesus. My journey there from Eceabat was a lengthy one, but, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t much mind the coastal drive in my comfy travel bus.
My hotel was just a short walk from the bus stop, but we had arrived pretty late in the evening, so once I’d gotten my room and had settled in a bit, there wasn’t really time to do much of anything else. I asked the owner for a dinner recommendation, and went to his suggested place just down the street. Selçuk proved pretty small and quiet, but I enjoyed my stay.
In the morning I embarked on my tour of Ephesus and the surrounding area, which is just a 15-minute drive from the town. My tour van picked me up and we started up Nightingale Mountain to the House of the Virgin Mary, a pilgrimage site believed to be the place where Mary lived out the final years of her life. There was not much to see in the area, and the experience held no spiritual significance for me, so we didn’t stay long, but I could tell that for many visitors it was immensely meaningful.
After finishing at the House of the Virgin Mary, we descended back down the mountain and into Ephesus. The tour would take over two hours, our guide said, and there were no toilets and no water available in the site, so we’d all have to plan accordingly. Needless to say, it was absolutely blistering (38˚C, or over 100˚F, to be exact…), and vendors camped out around the entrance took full advantage of this: “Hats for good price! Much cheaper than headache!” “Would you go into the desert without water?” “Buy now or be sorry later!”
Being the organized bunny I am, I already had a supply of water, and being too cool for school, I had no need of a hat or a bathroom. By the time the tour finished, I was sunburned, parched, soaked with sweat, and had to pee like a racehorse.
Ephesus was neat, though, and much more visually appealing than Troy had been, though my guide was rather lacking in knowledge and historical facts. Here’s a nice visual tour anyway!
After getting whooped by the sun, we had lunch and then headed on to the next several parts of the tour, which included the Artemis Temple, a rug maker, and a leather outlet. The day was an exhausting one, but I certainly saw a lot, and had a well-earned rest before my tour to Pamukkale the next morning. I’ll post photos of that soon, but in the meantime, here’s the rest from Ephesus!