Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
Language and Currency
What is Kusadasi Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
You will need a valid passport and also a visa is required to enter the country for all United States visitors. If you are flying into Turkey to board your cruise, visas are available right in the airport as a normal function of immigration. There is no need to acquire one in advance. If you are arriving by ship, the cruise line should offer to obtain one for you or help you obtain one.
The official language of Turkey is Turkish, but English is widely spoken (especially in the tourist and shopping areas). The currency is the Turkish lira. I would strongly suggest converting dollars to lira and investing the time to become familiar with the lira currency. The exchange rate is outrageous and it is quite possible to be short changed both in the conversion of funds in stores and in the making of change. Taxi drivers are notorious for shortchanging/over charging tourist using dollars for payment. This is one country that will require some thought and a calculator to convert currency.
Kusadasi from the Sea
Kusadasi is a smaller resort city residing on a beautiful bay that is one of the most beautiful. With a population of over 50,000 full time residents, Kusadasi offers excellent shopping, wonderful beaches and access to some of the most fabulous ruins in the world. There is much to see and do here.
Summers in Kusadasi can be downright hot so be sure to bring something cool to wear when tromping through the ruins. Winters are simply wonderful and resemble California's San Diego climate.
The Port of Kusadasi, Turkey
The port of Kusadasi is right in the downtown area. It is an easy walk into the shopping area, as well as over to Goveroin Ada (or Pidgeon Island) and the beaches beyond.
The Kusadasi Bazaar
The main shopping streets of downtown Kusadasi offer excellent shopping, as do the side streets, boutiques and mini malls. There are some nice boutiques along the coastline as well.
Kusadasi Shopping Street
Head past the Kusadasi bazaar and continue walking until you come to a broad shopping street. From here shopping streets extend in all directions. The narrow pedestrian streets offer some of the best shopping, but be prepared to negotiate.
Carpet salesmen are everywhere. Unless you want to purchase a carpet, stay on your toes. Beyond carpets, Kusadasi has a great selection of clothing, leather goods, ceramics, electronics, watches, jewelry, gold, Turkish crafts and collectibles (evil eyes are everywhere) and much more.
Guvntcin Adasi, a Small Fortress Worth Exploring
Right across from the port is a small island connected to the coast by a footbridge called Guvntcin Adasi. The walled fort contains a museum and is well worth exploring. I once spent an afternoon sipping Turkish coffee and listening to classical music here and will remember it forever.
Kusadasi itself is wonderful, but the reason to come to Kusadasi is to visit Ephesus some 30 miles away. Even if you couldn't care less about ancient history, you will find Ephesus the highlight of your cruise.
Library of Celsus
Ephesus was once the most powerful city in the world. Cleopatra walked its streets and it still reflects its former glory as it is so preserved that you can imagine its citizens going about life as you explore its many ruins. At the very top of the hill is the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Hand carved pillars lie about everywhere and as you make your way down the hand hewn stone streets you cannot believe that all of this existed just after Christ was born. For me, I thought the Library of Celsus was the most fascinating sight. It is so detailed and even today you can see the intricacy hand carved into the massive stone work.
The Great Theater, Ephesus
The Great Theater was also awe inspiring. One can just imagine the population of Ephesus listening to the speeches given in this arena. You can actually climb all over the theater that is centuries old.
Stone Walkways Through Ephesus
All in all, the area of Ephesus contains more than 30 separate buildings and structures that are linked together by stone walkways and streets. You can easily see the aqueducts that carried water throughout the community and I was impressed with the quality of life the inhabitants must have enjoyed. Beyond Ephesus are a number of other sights that are visited from Kusadasi that are frequently offered on shore excursions. Here are some of the more important ones.
The Home of the Virgin Mary
The Church of the Virgin Mary is just beyond Ephesus and it is believed that after the death of Jesus Christ, St. John accompanied the Virgin Mary to Ephesus, where they both lived the final years of their lives in a small house. This church was erected on the foundation of that house, and its authenticity was officially confirmed by the Archbishop of Izmir in 1892, and more recently reaffirmed by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.
The Basilica of St. John is whjere St. John, one of Jesus Christ’s disciples, spent the last years of his life writing part of the New Testament. Over the spot where he was supposedly buried on Ayosuluk Hill, this magnificent church was built in the first half of the 6th century AD. Unfortunately, the church now lies mostly in ruiins.
Didyma, was a famous temple for its oracles. This temple dedicated to Apollo was the richest and biggest of the Ionian temples on Anatolian soil. The reason for which the harbor of Panamos near Didyma became very busy and was visited by lots of commanders, ordinary and respected people, is that they wanted to learn their future from the priests of the temple. Didyma is located 75 km south of Kusadasi and is generally offered on a full day tour usually including the following two attractions.
Priene is about 35 km from Kusadasi and is worth being visited for its Athena Temple, located on the highest point of the city. The Stadion, the Prytanion, the Temple of Demeter and Persephone, the Bouloterion, the Gymnasium and the Amphitheater are all included in the tour.
Miletos is one of the oldest cities of Ionia, located about 60 km away from Kusadasi. The city was on the point where the Buyuk Menderes ("Meander") flew into the Aegean Sea. Because of the alluviums, The most important monuments to be seen at Miletos are: the Bath of Faustina, the Delphinion (small temple dedicated to Apollo Delphinion, protector of ships and harbors) and the amphitheater.
The Temple of Hadrian, Ephesus, Turkey
Yes, Ephesus must not be missed. You will love it.
Not that I am aware of, how about you?
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