After spending a bit over an hour at the Ephesus Museum, we walked a few hundred meters, to a place that Greek Poet Antipater of Sidon, along with several others declared as the Seven Wonders of the World. It was such a grand sight that Antipater wrote: "But when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the other Wonders were placed in the shade, for the Sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus." We walked down a short driveway, and viewed the Temple of Artemis.....
Yes folks, all that is left of the Temple of Artemis is a column of fragments, standing down a dusty driveway, in a field. A sad sight of something that Philo of Byzantium said, " He who had laid eyes on it will be convinced that the world of the immortal gods has moved from the heaven to earth." So what happened to this Wonder of the Ancient World. In an act that goes to show you the quest for fame at any cost isn't something new; on July 21st, 356 BC (supposedly on the very day that Alexander the Great was born) a young man named Herostratus, seeking immortal fame, set fire to the Temple of Artemis. The temple was eventually rebuilt, but never to the same level of grandeur. Eventually the temple was sacked by the Goths, and when Christianity became the religion of state, destroyed.
We circled back a bit, and walked back toward our hotel, passing the Isa Bey Camii (mosque), coming up in a future post. Here's a photo of the mosque from the Basilica of St John.
So of course our next stop was the Basilica of St John.
Roman Catholic history believes that the Apostle John fleeing from Jerusalem, ended up in Ephesus, where he wrote his gospels and the book of Revelation. Theodosius had a church built over what was believed to be the tomb of St John. Justinian had an even greater temple built on the site during his reign.
Much of the basilica was turned to rubble due to earthquakes and was just a pile of rubble when restoration began. Enough of it has been restored so that you can get some idea of what a grand structure it once was.
What really makes this site worth visiting are the views from Ayasuluk Hill.
When we awoke, the sun was starting to set, so we walked back across the street to the parking lot of the basilica.
And took a photo of our hotel.
We had heard that the food at the Hotel Bella was pretty good, so we thought we'd enjoy the views from the terrace and have dinner.
Dinner goes like this, you can choose a protein and meze for a set price, or just a choice of three meze for a cheaper set price. The Missus didn't feel like meat, so I ordered a Adana Kebab and the Missus just mezes. Of course, this being Turkey and all, everything started with a ton of bread.
My meal came with a soup; in this case tomato, which was in serious need of salt.....
Knowing the Missus loved celery root; I chose the celery root with vegetable hot meze. It was very mild in flavor. My Adana Kebab, this one a combination of beef and lamb was not very spicy, tender, but not especially moist.
The eggplant stew was also pretty bland.
The stuffed eggplant was also quite good.
The slightly bitter greens and the mushrooms were my favorites in the dish.
I had this pegged as "tourist food". But in Turkey, it's not the usual bad renditions of European/Western cuisine even for tourists. Most times you'll get Turkish food, even if it's toned down a bit. Of course, no meal is complete without some baklava and tea.....
All of this was ok, the views were nice, the sun was going down, and I was feeling a bit unsatisfied. So what to do?