Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ephesus, Turkish Carpets & the House of Mary

Ephesus. Where do I even begin?
Imagine the people who wandered these streets: the Apostle Paul, who lived in Ephesus and wrote 1 Corinthians here, the Apostle John (buried nearby), Alexander the Great, Cleopatra... The amount of history in this place is stunning, and it's considered the best preserved site of the ancient Roman world, buried underground until excavations began in the late 1800s.
And for the kids, this doubled as a playground as they hopped and skipped over felled columns and crumbled ruins! 
We practiced identifying our column capitals again - Ionic!

 This was the first (smaller) amphitheater.
 The kids went all gladiator on us.

And steps away, I felt like I was back at the Forum in Rome.
Lorelei took this pic - she developed quite an eye for photography, and loved catching things at various angles and flipping the phone in many directions.
 (If it seems like Lorelei's in more photos than Gryffy this trip, it's probably because the boy's over being photographed. I was edging on Paparazzi-stalking my kids. Lorelei seemed to like it, though!)

 There were a few tour groups here and there, but the place wasn't very crowded at all.

 The goddess of victory, Nike.

 I love these capitals, a combination of Ionic (scrolled) and Corinthian (leafy).
 Temple of Hadrian.
 The most stunning ruin of all, the Library of Celsus.

I love the way the light streamed in and cast a warm glow in the late afternoon.

This is the larger Ephesos amphitheater. I have a DVD set of Elton John playing a concert here, brilliantly lit by candlelight.
 Steps away from here stands a gladiator graveyard. The kids loved peeking inside the cracked tombs, searching for skeletons. All they found were cobwebs, though.
We then went on a tour of a Turkish carpet business - the detail and arduous work put into making these is truly extraordinary!
 They treated a room full of tourists to teas and alcohol - Mark and I sampled the ouzo, and the kids enjoyed an amazing apple tea which tasted more like juice.
 With our shoes off, we sampled the textures underfoot of these gorgeous tapestries of color! If Ephesus was our playground, this was our trampoline and gym.
 The kids tossed and spun rugs, which change color depending on their angle and the lay of the fibers. They thought it was pure magic!

 Gryffy fell in love with these big white dogs.
We also took a side trip into the hills to visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where it it believed that John brought Mary after Jesus' death. Pope John Paul II, Benedict and Francis have all paid a visit.

 This is the small house of Mary, which has a deeply peaceful ambiance. I spent some time inside at a small kneeler as tourists passed, praying using the rosary I'd made just before our trip. There were fountains nearby with water that's considered holy, where I washed my face and dipped the beads.

 We had to don scarves to cover our heads. Lulu is such a beauty in blue, the color of Mary.
 It was extraordinary to think we were perhaps so close to the footsteps of the Mother of God.

1 comment:

  1. Just awesome. Thank you for taking the time to write and post. It is so enriching for those of us who haven't had the chance to visit Ephesus yet.