Celsus library

Full day Ephesus tour [YQrtw Day 55 Jun 1]

Location: Selçuk, Turkey

[I am writing this in the airconditioned room my mom and I rented for 4 hours. It was half the price of a full day room but having a bed, electrical outlet and hot shower is so totally worth it.]

YQ in Ephesus

Another packed day of sightseeing ruins. Hurray! Unfortunately, we had to check out before our tour bus came to pick us up so there was no more dilly dallying with luggage packing.

Today’s tour group was small, we only had a total of 6 audience. The Brazillian guy from yesterday’s bus ride was on the tour as well. He didn’t seem to talk as much as he did. Maybe he exhausted his conversation topics.

Our tour guide was Ruya and our driver was Ucuk. Our first stop was the ruins of Ephesus which is considered to be second best conserved ancient site after Pompeii. As I’ve not been to Pompeii, Ephesus was rather impressive.

Unlike a lot of ruins which had only a few blocks of building standing (I’m looking at you Temple of Artemis), here, we saw a lot of colomns which were restacked by the archaeologist so we know where they were.

Nike

YQ and mom in Ephesus

The thing that will be stuck in my head forever was the public toilets. In one of the rooms, they reconstructed what a 45-seater toilet would look like.

Public toilet in ancient Roman times

Every rich man who can afford the toilet gets a hole. In the ground, there is a small ditch of streaming water so they can wash their hands or their bums.

The toilet seats line up three sides of the wall. In the middle is a fountain that helps with covering up strange noises that comes from everyone’s backside.

The 3km or so walk from the top of Ephesus to the bottom didn’t feel very long because there were so many things to look at.

Ephesus was also home to the third largest library in the ancient times. But the only thing that survived was the large facade which reminded me very much of Petra in Jordan.

Celsus's library

Killer souvenirs

Honest advertisement: Genuine fake watches

When it was about time to leave, Chatty Brazil and friend were still not on the bus. The guide told us that she dare not go and ask them to come to the van. Previously, a guide was beaten up by a mob of shopowners for calling his tour members back. The guide did not survive. Gulp.

After a quick lunch, we were off to the place where Virgin Mary supposedly lived for some time.

There was no actual house to see but a church that was built on top of the house.

Church of Virgin Mary

Around the area were several taps with spring water. Mom and I filled in half a 1.5 liter bottle of spring water. The water is considered to be holy but I didn’t feel any special effects after drinking.

Make a wish, or a thousand

There was also a wall for people to write their wishes. Whether the wishes were granted, I am not sure.

Our next stop was an old mosque. Inside the mosque, there were a few columns taken from the Temple of Artemis.

Unlike the other fancier mosque where the colors all bloom in your eyes. This mosque had plain walls which gave a relaxed look.

Subdued mosque

There was only one column left at the Temple of Artemis.

It’s rather hard to imagine how glorious it was, based on this one column.

Temple of Artemis

Souvenir stops

While being on a guided tour is relaxing, the part where they bring you to souvenir shops is really tiring.

Our first stop was after the Church of Virgin Mary. We saw the making of very pretty ceramic but I did not have the luxury of buying them. One small bowl costs US$16!

Turkish ceramic

Our next stop was a leather outlet store. They even had a fashion show where models paraded their collection.

Everything in the shop had a 3 digit price tag in US dollars. Gulp

Catwalk for the leather fashion show

The leather store did have a really cute puppy that was wandering around lost, looking for its mom.

Puppy

Selçuk weekly market

Mom and I managed to catch Selçuk’s Saturday market where we bought a few souvenirs and necessities. I now have sneakers for the cold South American weather.

Mom’s really good at this bargaining thing. My strategy for bargaining is to be stubborn about how much I am willing to pay.

Selcuk weekly market

Sex tea

Last week on YQtravelling…

It was mom’s first day in Istanbul. How time flies.

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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