The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Saturday June 26, 2010

Day 36 Kusadasi and Ephesus
This morning we sailed into the beautiful, Turkish harbour of Kusadasi with its huge statue of Ataturk overlooking the city and harbour. We took a bus for the 15 km ride to the ancient city of Ephesus where St. Paul spoke to the Ephesians and where Mary and St. John are believed to have come to live about 50 A.D. Here we saw the ancient ruins that have been preserved from Hellenistic and Roman times. The Greeks built in brick, but the Romans built in marble. There are marble columns, marble stones in the streets and marble seats in the theatres. The Ephesians were interested in making money and so subjected themselves to whoever was in power. For this reason, they built temples to whichever Roman emperor was coming to visit, and they were quick to change the name of the emperor that the temple was dedicated to whenever a particular emperor fell out of favour. We saw remains of temples dedicated to Domitian, Vespasian and Hadrian, as well as the Trajan fountain. While the statue of Trajan has been removed to the museum, the orb representing the world he had conquered is still there. Originally, Trajan was depicted with his foot standing on the world. It is interesting that as far back as the first century, A.D. the Ephesians depicted the world as a sphere. We walked down Curetes Street, named after a class of priests of Ephesus, from the Heracles gate to the Celsus library. During this walk
we saw the Trajan fountain built between 102 and 114 A.D. At the fa├žade of the fountain, there is a pool in the centre and there are two tiers of columns on three sides. Between the columns there are niches with statues. Originally, water ran into the fountain under the foot of the statue of the Emperor Trajan. We saw the Scholastika Baths, which were owned by a woman but were only used by the men. There was an apodyterium where the men disrobed, there was a sauna where they sweated, and a caldarium where the servants washed and massaged their masters. Before leaving the baths, the men would swim in the frigidarium. These baths were built in the first century A.D. The latrina was a public toilet for men. They sat next to one another while they relieved themselves and talked politics and listened to live music. In front of the latrina there is a water channel and the floor is covered with mosaics. The southern section of Curetes Street is also covered with mosaics. It was cordoned off to stop people walking on it but this did not stop the local cat, who walked the full length of the mosaic looking for a sunny spot to sleep. We walked in the enormous theatre which seats 24,000 people where St. Paul scolded the Ephesians for selling idols of other gods such as Artemis. Because of this speech, which would rob the sellers and makers of these idols of their livelihood, Paul was imprisoned on a mountain top in Ephesus for three years. The library was the second biggest in the ancient world and was built with two walls, one inside the other to prevent the humidity from ruining the scrolls. It was a wonderful feeling to walk these ancient streets that Greeks, Persians, Romans and Turks have walked before us. (Barbara) The Turks have done a great job setting up the Port of Kusadasi for cruise ships. It is clean, attractive and efficient. We had a competent, enthusiastic guide and the vendors were friendly rather than intrusive – happy to talk to you without pressing for a sale at all costs. It would have been worthwhile staying a full day to appreciate everything fully. It was amazing to think we probably walked down the same main street as St Paul, St John and Mary. At 1 pm we sailed for Istanbul. (Bill)

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