Ephesus: Delightfully Deserted
The ancient town of Ephesus started out Greek but was later rebuilt by the Romans. Our group, lead by Kiwi Jan (one of the early risers), decides to be out the door and arrive 8:30 and we are duly rewarded for our early approach. We get the site to ourselves for a good 90 minutes before the hordes of tourists descend on the ancient town, sporting their loud clothing and impractical shoes, trailing their bored guides, group standards flung high, flapping in the early morning sun. We spend almost three hours on a self-guided tour with the help of both Jan’s and Erin’s Lonely Planet guidebooks, each one taking time to read out loud the unique aspect of the particular house or temple or building we are looking at. And Ephesus is quite the town. We begin with Harbour Street and quickly connect to the Main Theater. Delightfully deserted!
We continue down Celsius Street to one of the main attractions, Celsius Library, in its day as important as the Library in Alexandria, and take many photographs in the hot sun. Our tranquil visit and Turkey tour quickly fades as we see busloads of tourists washing down the ancient street, a noisy, gaudy, enveloping wave bearing down on us from the north gate. We continue our journey up to the end of the town and spend some time in the Odeon before we walk the 3 km back into Selçuk.