Monday, May 11, 2015


Our day in Ephesus began with a surprisingly beautiful drive from the port city of Kusadasi through a scenic hillside to the site of the house of the Virgin Mary.

According to some historians, John the Beloved has a cathedral that was built to him nearby because it was believed that he was entombed there, and since John was to care for Mary, the mother of Jesus, she would have been close by.  At some point, an area with a spring was found in a hill side, and it was decided that that area could have been a place Mary could have lived.  We didn't take any pictures inside the small hut, but here's one outside.

Nearby, there is a wall, similar to the wailing wall in Jerusalem, where people write prayers or notes on napkins or other paper and tie them together.

The next stop on the tour was to the city of Ephesus.  One of the first things the guide said when we got there was that we were allowed to touch the stones there because, "they're thousands of years old, you won't hurt them!"  We found it interesting how different that attitude was compared to the forum in Rome.

Jared came armed for photo-taking!

Ephesus is huge - and we were told only approximately 20% has been excavated.  They have tried re-building some of the roads and buildings that lined the main streets, which really gives an idea of what the city may have looked like.  The Greek Goddess Nike, the god of victory, was found at one place in Ephesus.

One of the most interesting areas we toured was the terrace houses.  These 2 series of homes that were built on top of one another in terraces.  The entire area was protected by a breathable roof, which made this part of the tour quite comfortable!

The walls of the homes were covered in thin marble artwork.  There were rows of tables where archaeologists were trying to piece together the thousands of pieces so they could try to put them back on the wall as they once were.

There were many rooms that had complete mosaics on the floors and much of the marble walls completed.

One fun thing to watch was people taking pictures.  There were many selfie sticks, and occasionally, poses like Kelsey's to get the perfect shot!

At the end of the long road stood the Library of Celsus and the South Gate, with many of the pieces rebuilt.  The staircase and columns were a great place for some beautiful pictures!

The Precoa men, together in Ephesus.  At some point, someone got a text regarding work (the marketing and IT departments were moving to the 3rd floor that day), and they couldn't resist having a conversation!

The Hornibrook girls (Tyler's and Michael's) were cute to watch together throughout the trip.  It was rare to see one without the other three!

The last place was visited in Ephesus was probably the highlight, the amphitheater in Ephesus where the apostle Paul preached. 

A few minutes after we arrived, we were treated to a beautiful rendition of "How Great Thou Art" by Freddie Ashby.  The acoustics were beautiful, and all in the amphitheater fell silent to hear the moving lyrics and melody.  The spirit was so strong - it was beautiful to sit where the Apostle Paul preached and to feel the same spirit that would have accompanied his own words.

The amphitheater's setting, next to a rolling hill, added even more beauty to the entire experience.

After we arrived back in Kusadasi, we found our way to a highly-rated lunch spot with Jim and Mel and Carson and Paige.  After getting a tour of our menu to come, Carson and Paige decided to try something a little less authentic Turkish!  We were basically told what to eat by the restaurant's owner, and then food just started coming out - and didn't stop!

The first course was a large piece of Turkish bread (Ramazan) with dipping sauces, including tzatziki, hummus, egg plant, a spicy one, and a tomato one.  There was so much food - and it was so good!  Even the dolmathes, the grape-leaf wrapped rolls, were great!

And then the rest of lunch came out (with more bread) and blew our minds again!  With 3 different kinds of kebabs, grilled veggies, and other meats, we had so many options of amazing foods to eat.  It is a meal we want to somehow have again!

After eating, we went shopping - we aren't necessarily the best price hagglers, but we ended up getting a good deal (which we found out because Jim went price shopping for Mel and ended up at the same store we did!).  We spent time shopping (successfully!) for scarves for Dani and all of our help at home and for pottery, which we were happy to find a beautiful and unique vase that we now have behind the kitchen sink to remind us of this amazing day.