Our next destination would be Kusadasi , where the Regal Princess was scheduled to dock at 08.00h. As you know my wife Marian is not very much in favor of seeing “stones”, so this time chose not to land early and later with our son David to go shopping. The ship would depart at 5:00 p.m., so that was available for just over 8 hours to visit all places that offered us this destination. Below I detail the most significant:
- Ephesus : One of the largest Roman settlements in Asia Minor .
- House of the Virgin Mary : Last known place where lived the Virgin Mary .
- Basilica of St. John : Built by emperador Justiniano over the tomb of the Apostle John .
- Ephesus Museum : Small museum in Selcuk which houses an incredible collection of Hellenistic and Roman statues.
- Terrace houses : Located in a recently excavated near the temple of Hadrian , decorated with mosaics and frescoes.
- Sirince : Picturesque traditional village located between hills.
- Shopping : Kusadasi is a paradise for lovers of shopping, where you can find “genuine fakes” and the famous Turkish carpets.
I had breakfast with Guille and Joseph traveling companions who would go with me to Ephesus, House of the Virgin Mary and Sirince , places we had selected from the above. As soon as we disembarked a veritable avalanche of taxi drivers offered us their services, whose prices ranged from 50-80 euros ( Ephesus ) and 100 euros ( Ephesus + House of the Virgin Mary ). As we wanted to visit Sirince we had considered the option of renting a car.
We left the port and took the first street on the left ( Ataturk Bulvari ) and after walking about 200 meters, right in front of a statue with 2 men and a woman holding hands, locate a rental company car. After some “negotiations” we get to 14.00h we rented one Ford Fiesta, including gasoline for 40 euros. They gave us the option of a larger and older car for 30 euros, but we had to put gasoline. We believe that 10 euros was preferable to have included fuel, since its price in Turkey is quite high (about 2 euros per liter) and increased consumption that is expected to have the old car.
In the car we took the motorway towards Selcuk, about 20 kms from Kusadasi, where are located the ruins of Ephesus. We watchful eye a little and friendly bus driver guided us to the southern entrance of Ephesus, although I recommend you to begin the visit by the northern entrance because this way you do in the path downhill, which is grateful after 2 hours walking in the sun.
The entrance fee to the ruins is 30 Turkish liras (11 euros) and the parking costs 3 euros. Comment that entry may only be paid in lire or credit card.
Once inside the enclosure only he detracted we arm ourselves with our camera, water bottle and start enjoying the remains of one of the most fascinating archaeological remains of the capital of Roman province was home to more than 300,000.
We can find the Grand Theater, which seats more than 25,000 people sitting where it is said that St. Paul preached against the pagans, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, Curetes Street, Odeon, Marble Street, Library of Celsus, eastern area, etc…
I advise to visit early because when we arrived there were few people, but by mid morning is amazing the number of tourists who came to be, with the consequent difficulty walk the streets and access the various precincts of Ephesus .
Tired, after about 3 hours visit, we returned to the car to go to the House of the Virgin Mary, following the signs ” Meryemana ” of information panels. As we went to Ephesus we turn right in the direction of Selcuk, where upon arrival we returned to turn right and after about a kilometer to the right again. Interestingly we arrived at the northern entrance of Ephesus, so they really had done was skirting the enclosure. We continue along this road uphill for about 9 kilometers until you reach the place where is located the House of the Virgin Mary. The ticket price is 15 lire (5.5 euros) and parking 1.5 lire (0.5 euros). You can pay in euros without problem …
It is a place of worship and pilgrimage, located in a beautiful grove. Getting off the car you can be seen that virtually the only sound you can hear is the rustling of birds.
According to Christian beliefs after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John brought there to Mary, where he lived until his last days.
After waiting a few minutes we agreed tail inside the small brick house where the image of the Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Christians but also by Muslims. It really is amazing peace and tranquility that permeates this place.
Next to the house there is a wall filled with countless pieces of paper. written wishes and tied by visitors to the place it is.
We went back to get on the car to head back to Selcuk and once there follow signs to Sirince, located about 8 kms, through a narrow mountain road.
This little town was initially called by its inhabitants Cirkince, which translates as “ugly as could be” with the intention not to receive visits from foreigners. Later they changed the name to Sirince “nice”.
It is a town that lives up to its name, synthesis of Greek-Turkish cultures, packed with houses built on the slopes of the mountain and stalls where we can find all kinds of souvenirs and food of the area, such as olive oil, wine, cheese, etc …
Really worth visiting this quaint place, but unfortunately we had to return to the ship and did not set out all the time that we wished to use there. Maybe another time ….
After buying a few souvenirs we came back to take the car to travel the 28 miles back to Kusadasi .
While Guille and Joseph returned the car I went to a pub in the port where I found my wife and son. After taking a well deserved beer we embark to Regal for lunch.
Complementing this tour I will tell you, if you still have time and desire you can do the “shopping tour” that made my wife Marian. Not more have a stroll around the shops harbor or visit the Grand Bazaar, directly opposite the port exit. There you can find “genuine imitations” of big brands, watches, poles, etc … and, of course, the famous Turkish carpets. Yes, I recommend you to be pacient, see a lot of shops and prepare to haggle prices to get the best price, generally giving traders less than half of what they ask. You know … ‘The goal is to get that fool you as little as possible !!!.
Date Posted: July 4, 2014
I would like to apologize to my english speaking readers since this website was initially built in spanish language and after receiving numerous requests I have decided to translate it into English. This article have been translated automatically, so some meanings may not be completely correct, but I think it’s enough to share my experiences with my readers.