Turkey
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Guest Post: Ephesus, Turkey

Guest post day! I am soooo excited to introduce you all to Stashy from Stash Matters! Stashy is a meticulous beauty blogger with a gigantic stash; brands from all over the world. Back in July, we decided to do a collaboration / guest post thing together. And here we are! The beauty blogger does a travel post and the travel blogger does a makeup post 😀 For this guest post, in her own words… Ephesus, Turkey

We had booked our cruise back in June and selected the ports primarily based around being able to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia and somewhere in Turkey.  This was all before the attempted Turkish military coup d’état in mid-July.  We were unsure if our ship would bypass this port when we boarded the ship in mid-September. Thankfully, we were advised that they only skipped the port immediately after the unrest, but resumed within 2 weeks once things settled down and it was deemed safe.  To provide a perspective, here is where Ephesus is located relative to Istanbul:
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What Ephesus is famous for are the amazingly well-preserved ancient Roman and Greek ruins.  In 2015, the Ephesus ancient city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.  While it was deemed safe, we still opted for a fully guided tour which included the following:
• House of the Virgin Mary: Collect holy water from the Fountain of Our Lady
• Guided Walking: View the Odeon, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, Library of Celsius, Grand Theater, and the Arcadian Way
• Amenities: Receive a gift set including a handmade pot, an evil eye, a map of the city, and bottled water.
• Lunch at Ephesus Park
• Shopping: Browse the shops in Kusadasi, and enjoy an optional carpet demonstration
Our cruise ship pulled into the Turkish port of Kusadasi at around 8am.
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View of the Kusadasi harbour from the cruise ship

The cruise excursion organizers then assigned us to various groups according to the packages we purchased.  By 9am we were off – it was a seamless transfer from ship to bus, where we me our tour guide, Bert.  The journey from the Kusadasi port to the Ephesus site took approximately 30 minutes and the drive was quite scenic, going up winding roads up a mountain.  Our first stop was at the House of Virgin Mary, a place that the Vatican has verified as the final place where Virgin Mary lived before she died.
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The statue of the Virgin Mary outside her House.

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The House itself is very simple and small. The interior is quite bare and has a small altar at the front. No photographs are allowed inside – there are 2 guards on duty to make sure no one breaks the rules!

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This massive pit used to hold rainwater for drinking.

We then went to the main attraction, the ancient city of Ephesus. This part proved to be our favourite – visiting the ancient sites really felt like taking a step back in time.
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We were quite concerned about the weather in Turkey since we had heard it can be quite punishing at the ancient ruins due to all the white marble and lack of shade. Luckily for us, it was “only” 24C and there was a nice breeze.

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These columns lined the streets as our group walked toward the center of the ancient city.

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Relief of Goddess Nike, who personified victory.

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Temple of Hadrian

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Library of Celsius

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Grand Theater

One of the shopping areas turned out to be slightly sketchy, but I came home with some Turkish Delights!

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“Genuine Fake Watches” 😛  We were told that even after the unrest had subsided, many cruise ships bypassed Ephesus. So many of the local shops were hurting for business and prices were some of the best if we were wanting to negotiate.

I didn’t think to take photos of the food we had at the Ephsus Park, but it was a buffet style spread which included a selection of traditional Turkish food. I couldn’t identify any particular dishes but ingredients included eggplant, lamb, olives, and lentils.  My favourite was of course the dessert section which included delicious baklava.
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This sign for the women’s washroom with the crossed legs made me chuckle.

It was then time for the government sponsored cultural portion of the tour – a rug making demonstration.  We were taken to a very slick showroom and shown how they double knot their handmade rugs:
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The rug making process is very labour intensive. A large size silk rug can take one person an entire year to complete!

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They showed us a variety of rugs and gave us refreshments… and then it was time for the hard sell. Sales people came out of the woodwork to sell us rugs – we had to make a hasty exit.  I did enjoy the Turkish coffee though.

Side note: there were a lot of cats around the ancient sites we visited! They were very used to having humans around and looked well-fed and clean:

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Tips:
  • Guided tours are your best bet – you’ll get so much more out of the ancient city rather than trying to guess what everything was
  • Book the tour online in advance of the cruise ship sail date to avoid disappointment
  • Skip the rug demonstration if you can sneak away 😉
Where was I?
Ephesus, Turkey via Royal Caribbean Cruise
The specific tour we took was called “Highlights of Ephesus with Lunch”:
Cost: $129.68 CAD / person
Duration: 5 hr 30 mins
Guest post by: stashy, who is normally a beauty blogger. But I love travelling as well!
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The best caption is of course the ‘Genuine fake watches’ *LOL* such subtle but clear marketing! Wahahah
Stashy has recently been on a GORGEOUS mediterrean cruise tour. I have never been on any cruise 😦 Check it out on her blog. You can stalk Stashy at: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest 😉
If you’re curious about my guest post on Stashy’s, click here.

44 Comments

    • It boggled my mind that we were just walking around structures that were built thousands of years ago!

      Like

  1. Pingback: Cruise Life – My Experience | stash matters

  2. I too visited Ephesus on a Royal Cruise. You are correct the tour needs to be guided and the rug show is interesting but a dash is important at the end

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the expression genuine fake! Makes me laugh everytime :’) Ephesus is beautiful but from experience skip the excursion next time, just walk a few feet away from the dock and a taxi will take you there for half the price

    Like

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