Welcome to our new Sunday Spotlight feature in which one of our favorite travel bloggers shares five photos from one of their favorite travel destination. If you want to participate in a future Sunday Spotlight, please contact us.
Author Bio: I’m Ali Garland, an American expat living in Germany. My travel addiction led me to visit all 7 continents before my 30th birthday. I recently returned from a round the world trip and I’m now fumbling my way through life in Germany. I write about my travels and life as an expat at Ali’s Adventures. You can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.
I wanted to write about Ephesus because it was the one place in Turkey that really surprised me. Since I didn’t do much research ahead of time, I was just expecting some typical ruins. But it turned out to be an extensive complex with everything from rubble to almost fully intact buildings. This ended up being one of my favorite parts of Turkey when I was there with my husband in April.
After paying our entry fee, one of the first things we saw was the Harbor Road. When Ephesus was inhabited about 2,000 years ago, this road lead to what was the harbor at the time. Now the harbor is miles away, so it was interesting to see how much landscapes can change over time. Unfortunately it was closed off, but it did make for some nice pictures without any people in the way.
From there we wandered up to the theater. Like most ancient Greek cities, the theater was built in a half circular shape resulting in excellent acoustics. We sat in the stands admiring it for a while as tour groups went in and out.
A short distance from the theater was a small platform overlooking the agora. While we did enjoy walking through it later, this was definitely the best place to get pictures of the whole area where merchants used to sell their goods.
Finally we arrived at the main attraction, the library. This is the building that’s on all the postcards, and it was easy to see why. I was amazed at how much of this building still stood after all this time. I also found it interesting to read that the library was built in such a way so as to make it look bigger than it actually was since it had to fit into a small area.
Before continuing uphill to explore the rest of Ephesus, we decided to relax on the steps in front of the library to take a break from the heat. At most we sat there for 20 minutes and watched the main street go from nearly empty to full of tourists and back again. It made for an odd way of imagining what the city might have been like at its peak when over 200,000 people lived there.
During our three-hour visit, we saw more pillars, statues, and buildings in various states of ruin than I’ve ever seen before in one place. I was constantly in awe of what I was seeing. Ephesus was one of the few ancient places I have visited where I could really feel the history seeping out of every 2,000 year old stone.