The next stop on our cruise was Kusadasi, Turkey. Neither of us had been to Turkey so we were equally excited to see it as Greece.
We had booked a tour not knowing it began at 7am so when we found out, almost cancelled. We are both shockingly bad in the morning, particularly me, and we were dreading the alarm call from the afternoon before.
I am now so thankful we did not cancel!!!
We disembarked the ship and ambled onto the tour coach with no make up, sunglasses on and heads down! Shortly after, our tour guide came over the mic on the bus and we very quickly realised, it was going to be a fun few hours. We could tell he knew what he was talking about from the start and to boot, he had a great sense of humour. Before arriving to our first stop, we were already having a good time.
Our first stop was believed to be Mother Mary’s last home in her final years. It was a little red brick house which has been mostly redone with some of the original stone.
We couldn’t take pictures inside, but it was small and simple. There were items which belonged to Pope John Paul as well as Pope Benedict.
Amazing to think that Mother Mary lived and walked on the same floor as we walked on.
We didn’t know what those were; we thought maybe papers with people’s wishes on them. A lot looked like they had been there for a really long time.
After that, we were on the bus again heading to Ephesus.
For someone who loves history, it was an incredible place to visit. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city built in the 10th Century BC. It once had a population of 30,000-50,000 people in the Roman period but was mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 614AD. (Though it had been abandoned years before that.)
The marble slabs were the exact same as those walked on so many thousands of years ago.
The library was magnificent…it was rebuilt basically from scratch but using as much of the original stone as possible. You can see the difference in the pictures between the slabs that have been there when it was originally built and the new ones. I believe our guide told us 60% of it was original. That blows my mind!!
It was an incredible visit and one of the highlights of the trip.
Afterwards, we visited a carpet making warehouse where they had made the most incredibly beautiful carpets, some tastefully changing colour in different lights. Beautiful!! I wish I could have brought one home. Over a delicious traditional warm apple tea, we learned about the intricacies of carpet making while freshly made carpets pounded the floors at our feet in a dramatic display!
Even though we were only there for a few hours, Kusadasi really impressed both of us with their friendly people, beautiful green mountains and incredible historic sites.
I hope it won’t be too long before going back for a proper stay.