Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Basilica of St. John and Ephesus - Day 14 and 15

Nov. 10. Day 14

We had breakfast on the boat and then did a short cruise to the harbor of Marmaris.  We said our goodbyes to the crew and set off for a small fishing village (Akyaka), to talk to local fishermen, especially local fisher women.  We were met by the chairman of the board of directors for the Mediterranean Conservation Society.  He told us how his group was trying to bring back the marine life from over fishing.  We talked to a local fisher woman and a family fishing.  Then we went on a short boat ride up the Azmak, a beautiful crystal clear river.

We drove to the site of Basilica of St. John in Kusadasi (6 AD).  We stood over the burial site of St. John, the apostle of Jesus, who is thought to have authored the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel of the Bilble while in Ephesus.

We stopped for a short time to Artemis temple which in ancient times was one of the seven wonders of the world .  Not much left of it.

We are staying our last two nights of our trip at Yedi Bilgeler Hotel and Winery in Selcuk.  When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with a tour of their winemaking room and did some wine tasting.  Lovely setting for our last nights.

Nov. 11 - Day 15

We left the hotel early so we could have a lot of time in Ephesus (2 AD).  This is a world famous ancient Greco-Roman site and one of the largest and best preserved ancient cities in the world.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Below- the amphitheater where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians

The amphitheater - 

One of the thousands of cats at Ephesus -

After Ephesus we stopped at a charming village, Sirince, with cobblestone narrow streets for a delightful lunch and last minute shopping.

Next we visited the Ephesus museum which displays many of the artifacts found while excavating.

We drove to the House of Mary, supposedly the place where Mary, mother of Jesus, is buried.

The last night is always a Farewell dinner where we say goodbye to the wonderful friends we have met on the trip.  From left to right: me, Lynn, Jean, Barb, Jack, tour guide Ahkut, Carol, Ruth, Pat, and Coop.  Some are leaving earlier than others tomorrow so it was hugs all around and best wishes to all.

We will miss our zany tour guide and wish him the best in his future.

At airport on Nov. 16:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Viago Nella Esperanza Cruise - Day 12 and 13

Nov. 8 - Day 12

We are staying by the sunken baths of Cleopatra, built for her by Mark Antony.  After breakfast we do our longest hike from Cleopatra's bath cove to Agalimani Cove.  We went up and over the island and stopped at a goat herders home.  He makes wooden spoons so we had another shopping opportunity.

Breakfast on boat:

Above I am with goat herder and the spoons I bought.  Below is the goat herder with the baby goats. 

This is a one day-old goat that everyone got to hold.

After the hike we went back to the boat, swam for awhile and then headed out for another moaring place.  We cruised in windy weather so we stopped earlier than planned.  

Nov. 9 - Day 13

Left early to get closer to Ekincik Cove where a small rver boat met us and took us up the Dalyan River.  This river snakes amid bamboo and cat tails.  Along the way we talked to a local crab fisherman and we ordered blue crabs to be ready when we started back for our boat.  We visited the ancient Lycian site of Caunus (9 BC), a beautiful ancient site where we clambered around an ancient theater, baths, and temples.  In the theater locals were gathering olives so we helped them. We returned to our small boat and continuted on to see the Lycian temple tombs hugging the rock face.  We stopped for a short time in the town of Daylan and looked around.  Returning to our gulet, we picked up our crab and watched as a loggerhead sea turtle came to the surface.  That afternoon we motored toward Marmaris for our last night on board the beautiful boat.

Above and below - women harvesting olives and tour group helping.

Ruins of Caunus

River boats on the Dalyan

On the way back to our boat we stopped to check out a cave.  Notice the clear turquoise water.