Family Travels
We visited Turkey as a port of call during
our 2008 Mediterranean Cruise.

The Port of Kusadasi is brimming with
vendors who agressively hawk their wares.  
Most try to entice you in for a rug weaving
demonstration (and opportunity to buy)

We took a seven hour excursion into local
ancient sites of Turkey--Ephesus, Didyma
and Miletus.  We highly recommend the
tour offered by Royal Caribbean.

Even as seasoned travelers, we were leary
about trying to "do Turkey" on our own.

We had a wonderful guide, who loved his
country, and we thoroughly enjoyed our day
Dating back to the 10th century BC a Didymaion
(temple) has stood here.

Destroyed in 494 BC by Persians, Alexander the
Great conquered this area and resantified the
temple.  For the next 800 years, the Oracle of
Didyma rivaled the Oracles of Delphi.

Pilgrimages were made to consult the Oracle.
Ritual baths, sacrifices, tributes (bribes) abound.
Priests determined who got to ask the questions.
The Oracle, who got inspired by dipping her foot
into a spring, answered.

In 303 AD -- a bad answer, ("lets get rid of
Christianity and instill pagan worship (like us)
again") and Didyma was done, priests executed,
and temple closed.

A massive earthquake in 1500 AD destroyed
what had not been scavenged over the years.

Today, all that remains are 3 of the 122 columns,
but the bases of the columns inspire you with
their size and carvings.
Date Last Visited -- 2008
Two of the Main Sites
The Great Library of Celsus
and the
Great Theater,
which seated 24,000
St. Paul preached here after his
famous letter to the "Ephesians"
Ephesus is absolutely the best  ancient site
we have ever visited.
The scale of the city, the sheer number of
buildings, are amazing.

Filled with history, dating back to as early as
2000 BC...we know Ephesus because of the
Bible's New Testament book of Ephesians

The theater, where St. Paul taught in 50 AD
is impressive...seating 25,000.  St. John is
buried on a nearby hill.  Even The Virgin
Mary lived just a few miles away.

Ephesus is awe matter what
your religious faith.  
Minoans from Crete, then Mycenaeans from the
Peloponnese, then by refugees from Greece
during the Dorian invasion.

In 499 BC Miletus was destroyed by the Persians
and was surpassed in importance by Ephesus.
For centuries, locals followed the Sacred Way in
annual pilgrimage 12 miles to Didyma's
Temple of Apollo.

This city was located on a peninsula with three
harbors and trade routes made it an important city.
 Now five miles inland, due to silt build up, it lies in
ruins under excavation.

The Theater is impressive.  St. Paul preached here
during his Third Missionary Journey