Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ephesus and Pamukkale

The first stop today was the House of Virgin Mary which is located on a hill not far from the ruins of Ephesus. This is a small Roman stone cottage, completely reconstructed. Below are the outside views since photo is not allowed inside. The first photo is the statue of Virgin Mary on the way to her house.

There is also a wishing wall on the way down. My missus is penning some wish, maybe it is "..............keep us away from the A(H1N1) flu........."!

Since this site has been authenticated by the Vatican, it attracts a lot of tourists and also pilgrims, both Christians and Muslims alike.

From here we went to a Turkish Delight supermarket in Selcuk to sample the different varieties of Turkish Delight and also the different flavoured Turkish tea. The shop did some roaring business from our group since most of us stock up the items as gifts for our return from this trip.

Finally it was the stop we most anticipated for the day, the ancient ruins of Ephesus and it did not disappoint. If you have a choice, start at the back entrance (which we did, luckily) and walk your way to the main entrance. In this way, you will see the grand Library of Celsius towards the end and thus it will not diminish your enjoyment of the other ruins. The weather was sunny and just great for photos.
(It was at the ruins of Ephesus that we had another scare. We met a large group of tourists wearing T-shirts that proudly says Mexico and they were following our footsteps, literally. Lest you forget, Mexico was where the whole A(H1N1) flu started and so we tried to keep away from them as far as possible!)

After a buffet lunch, we enjoyed a relaxing fashion show put up by one of the leather factories. Complete with apple tea or even beer if you prefer, on the house.

We continued our journey to Pamukkale, the famous "cotton castle" which is just next to the Roman ruins of Hierapolis. This is you two-in-one site but the main interest is the travertine of Pamukkale unless you are a history buff.

We then drove down to the park at the foot of the travertine where we had a very different view with a very tranquil stroll that was very soothing for the soul while the earlier barefoot walk on the travertine was soothing for the soles.

Our last stop for the day was at the C&H Hotel that has a thermal pool but most of us were too tired to try that and went to bed after dinner. It brought a very photogenic day to an end. Goodnight.

Ronald Kwok

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