If you love a good crumbling column or two, then you would enjoy a visit to Ephesus in Turkey, the ancient Greek city where the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was located. All that is left of the Temple now is a nice teetering column, but the rest of the town still provides plenty of visual wonders to enjoy.
I confess, I was not a student of history in my formative years, and somehow Ephesus just slipped right under my radar. (However, I did pay attention during Pompei, as you know from the earlier post.) Ephesus is reached from the port of Kusadasi--just rolls off the tongue, yes? It's a pleasant drive through the Turkish countryside once you leave the port; along the road I saw potentilla bushes growing wild and beautiful .... why don't they look like that in my backyard at home? This was another very hot day, well over 100 degrees, and there were no shade trees in sight. I was sorry not to have brought an umbrella for heat and sun protection, as the usual sunglasses and hat weren't doing a very good job.
We walked the ancient streets lined with slabs of marble that once graced the sides of buildings. Ephesus was a sizable city at one time; makes Pompei look like Munster compared to Chicago, and it had everything ... theatre, library, shops, dozens of temples and, as a consequence, lots of crumbling columns. Our only respite from the heat was a tour of the hillside excavation where a massive home is being reconstructed; it was under cover and provided a much needed break from direct sun. Some of the interior rooms are shown in the photo above; it is remarkable to see firsthand.
After spending several hours exploring Ephesus, we dragged our wilted bodies back to the bus, but not before stopping at the tourist shopping area where I saw this wonderful sign, and where I successfully bargained in the parking lot for 20 bookmarks that are woven miniature Turkish carpets. The book club will love these!