Our "I don't look like a Turk, but I'm Turkish" Tour guide.
The city itself was very picturesque and has been around since the neolithic era. Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, have all lived and thrived in this beautiful location during their perspective political successive takeovers. The city is steeped in history and it is thanks to John Turtle Wood, a British Archeologist, who in 1863 started to excavate the land. Progress stopped soon after in 1894 but resumed later with Otto Benndorf as the leader in 1895; however, again excavations have slowed because there is no real way for Turkey to truly protect the treasures once they have been unearthed. They are just left in the open again to face the world's harsh eroding capacities. To the left is a picture of their brilliant plan to save the structures. This road was all tile and beautifully preserved, our tour guide said it led to the upper class homes. The upper class homes, homes that had running water, bathrooms, you know all the luxuries we have today.
That being said, this is the public bathroom:
If you were wealthy enough you would have a slave sit down before you used the toilette, to warm up the stone a bit ensuring a more pleasurable experience.
The Celsus library is an example of gorgeous 117 A.D. architecture with large Corinthian style columns holding up the second floor. The library supposedly held around 12,000 manuscripts behind second walls to preserve the scrolls from the heat. The Center of the Library's columns are a bit longer/bigger than the ones located on the ends. This is to give an optical illusion of a larger library as you can see above! (mind the bottom level of columns in particular!)
To make the columns they would carve out the blocks of stone and stick a piece of steel down the middle and let it protrude a bit from the top so as to hold the next piece in place, they then would pour concrete into the column to hold the piece of steel straight.
There was a really cool old amphitheater where big name stars still play today... Elton John being one of them!
From here we watched the most bizarre show ever, it was to show how the Ephesians lived.
I was slightly obsessed with all the cute Kitten's for one of my pledge sisters Heidi's sake. They were adorable.
At the end of the tour we were taken to a little shop by our ship's port and given the traditional Turkish Apple Tea and biscuit. The Tea was delicious, warm with just enough spice to pleasure the senses. Apparently business here is done first with a shared cup of tea offered in friendship and hospitality. Then they all, no matter the store claim "I no work for commision" If they are old? They state their age. They all seem to think by saying they'll give you a good price, you'll believe them. "You like? I'll give you a good price." When you ask what the price is, they reply "For you? Good price." Failing to actually answer with a price. The tour of the little shop however was much different than the market place. I enjoyed it. They brought out many different examples of Turkish handwoven rugs, they were all beautifully made. There were rugs on top of rugs on top of rugs, it was insane the amount of rugs that were rolled out in hopes of selling a few. They even had a young girl there creating a silken welcome mat as we were watching them roll out designs and fabrics.