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Library of CelsusOct. 8-10, 1998  Ephesus, Turkey 

One of the highlights (and there were many), of our trip here to Turkey, is definitely our tour through the ancient city of Ephesus. Stretching almost as far as the eye can see, it is the most complete and well preserved archaeological ruin in all of the Mediterranean. It is so vast. There is just so much. Streets, columns, and walls skillfully chipped away from millions of blocks, of various shades, of marble in every direction we turn.

Curetes StreetThe sun is hot this day. We sit to rest, and take in (as best we can), all that we’ve learned about this once bustling center of commerce and trade, from our van’s tour guide. It’s a welcomed break. While sitting here on one of the smooth marble ledges of the Fountain of Trajan looking down Curetes Street (the main street of Ephasus, running from the upper market down to the library), it’s very easy to imagine. To imagine what it must have been like to sit here, at this very spot almost 2,000 years ago. . . .

Fountian of Trajan"Excuse me. Excuse me!" "Huh, oh, sorry." I was sitting here daydreaming, apparently in the way of a very thirsty farmer. I stand as to clear my spot so he can throw his bucket into the fountain for some soothing refreshment. He must be at the agora, or market, today selling his crops and buying supplies for his family.

Temple of HadrianWhile he knows his vegetables may not fetch top money in this very competitive market, what he does earn will give him a huge selection of choices in the biggest, and one of the only, trading centers within miles. The agora has really gotten enormous, I remember, it seems like only yesterday, when it was just what seemed like a few shops.

Market Basilica and the OdeionNow just the public section of the market wraps all the way around the top of town. Not to mention the other half, the merchant to merchant only section down by the seaport. It’s grown so much they have no more room. Heck, they can’t build into the sea. At least I don’t think they can.

Fountain of PolioAnyway, I dare not stand too far away from the fountain’s edge, for I might get run over by one of those speeding chariots. They’re not too bad going up the hill, but man do they fly on the way down! They think they own the road. And noisy! The clickity-clack, clickity-clack of those hooves, and the knocking of the wheels against the marble slabs, all hours of the day, enough to drive you crazy. Hey, I’ve got an idea!

Column lined street through the upper agoraMaybe I’ll get that guy (the one who’s always on the next corner making speeches to anyone who will listen), to give a discourse about turning this into a pedestrian only street. Yes, that’s it. The soft sounds of swishing togas and nice leather sandals passing by. Rather than those darn chariots. Of course then again, maybe I should be happy with the way things are. The town elders call it progress.

The Great TheatreThis city has come a long way since it was moved and rebuilt for the gazilanth time. Plagues, temples burning, every time something happens, the city moves. It wasn’t until the Romans invaded that things really started happening. Last I heard, we had almost 250,000 people living here.

Ephesus city latrineHeck, on the weekends, or after a big play in the theatre (it seats 25,000), I sometimes have to wait 20 minutes just to get in (let alone sit down) at the public latrine house (it only seats 25). It’s just nuts. On top of that, real estate prices have gone through the clay roof. You can just forget living up on the hill across from the newly remodeled bathhouse. Nothing but rich snobs. They think they’re so cool. Word is that they’re talking about resurfacing the sidewalk on that side of Curetes Street with fancy mosaics. Now I’ve heard it all.

Library of Celsus with the Gate of Mazeus and MithridatesOn the other hand, those rich folks do help pay for some of the nicer conveniences of the city. For instance, they’ve donated some of the books in the library. Hey, now there’s an idea! I’ll go to the library and read a little. Nice and quiet. But there’s so much to read, so much to learn, and so little time. O.K., O.K., you’re right, I could read a little faster if I didn’t always choose a seat next to the window. It’s just that with the girls gymnasium right next door, it makes it hard to choose any other seat other than one of those on the second floor in the corner.

The lower agoraThe scenery’s much better there than from on other side. It makes me tired just watching those two guys build that huge gate to the city center all by themselves. Especially in this heat. It IS HOT. I’d give any thing for a nice, cool drink of  . . . .

The Arkadiane (Habor Street)"Here Hun, want the rest of this water?" Laura says as she taps me on the shoulder with the bottle. "What? Huh?" "Yeah, sure, I guess so. You know, I think I drifted off for a minute." I offer. "By the way, where did our guide go?" I ask. "Oh really - down towards the library? No kidding? What a great idea, wish I’d thought of that."

House of the Virgin Mary

House of the Virgin Mary Dcp00454.jpg (144359 bytes)

 

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Last modified: August 19, 1999    Photographs and text 1998 Scott and Laura Kruglewicz. All Rights Reserved.

 

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