Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Selcuk and Ephesus Museum

We left Istanbul this morning. We didn't have to rush to the airport, which was nice. We got to have breakfast and then relax in the hotel for a little bit.

Isa's putting on a brave face there. Unfortunately, she got food poisoning last night. This is more like how she felt this morning:

The 90 minute flight from Istanbul to Izmir was wonderful. It's one of the least expensive flights we've ever taken ($20 each, I think) but they still gave us a warm snack. So good. And the view was surprisingly nice too.

We flew Atlas Global because upon arrival in Izmir, they have a free shuttle bus that took us the 45 minute drive down to Selcuk, where we were staying. Isa found the bus out the terminal all the way to the left, and we waited for about 20 minutes (we didn't have any luggage, so we went faster than everyone else) and then we were on our way. The road from Izmir to Selcuk looks a lot like Southern Utah, if you're curious. Mostly nothing, but a few mountains here and there.

The bus dropped us off about a 2-minute walk from our airbnb - Ali Baba's House. He also owns a kebab shop, and we met him there. After he helped a few people at the restaurant, he drove us up the two blocks to his house and checked us in.

We decided to take it easy because Isa still wasn't feeling 100%. So we went to the Ephesus museum. The afternoon is definitely the time to go. We had the place entirely to ourselves.

The museum is definitely worth visiting before going to Ephesus, since it gives you a lot of context for the city and its history. Watch the movie. It's cool and only about 10 minutes. The computer animations and explanations are really interesting.

Since our camera is still new, I thought this would be a good time to play with various settings, since I had lots of subjects to photograph and nobody to have to work around.

After the museum, Isa was feeling better so we got some pastries and then started wandering. We found a hill with some ruins and then continued down the hill to Isabey Mosque. Yeah. Isa has her own mosque!

And except for a few kids playing around inside on skateboards, we had this place to ourselves too.

After exploring the mosque and its grounds, we headed back up the hill to the ruins again. It turns out, they were the exterior ruins of the Basilica of St. John. As in the St. John that wrote the Gospel of John. They were closing soon, but the lady let us in. We were the only two in here too.

Ok, I lied. We did run into somebody else.

So apparently, this is the hill where St. John sat and prayed and wrote the Gospel of John. On this same hill that we were standing on. How cool is that?! We were pretty excited about that.

So eventually John passed away and he was buried here on this hill.

And then they built the entire basilica over his burial site. And it was kind of a big deal. The place was huge!

The sun kept setting, as it does. And it got prettier and prettier.

It started lighting up the ruins...

And then setting in the midst of them...

So we walked over to the edge of the ruins and watched the sun set into the horizon over Isabey Mosque.

By the time we left, the ruins were very closed. The giant wooden entry doors were shut (thankfully not locked). But the attendant was gone, so we were a little concerned that we got locked in.

We meandered through downtown and over to the train station, to buy our ticket for tomorrow. But we were denied again. Looks like we'll have to buy it tomorrow. Hopefully a train comes through at all - this station was almost completely under construction.

On the way home, we pet the cats for a little bit - there are so many cats in Turkey!

Good day in Selcuk. Tomorrow is Ephesus!

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