Ruined by the Ruins of Ancient Ephesus

Ruined by the Ruins of Ancient Ephesus

What superlative should I use to describe my visit to Ephesus… only the best preserved ancient city in the world! I should really just stop visiting ruins from this point forward because is anything really going to compare? I’ve been ruined for all future ruins! (See what I did there?)

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Now if you haven’t heard of Ephesus, it was an ancient Greek city on the Ionian coast, which is now modern day Turkey. It was the third largest city in Roman Asia Minor and the centre of trade in the ancient world. It’s also famous for being the site of one of the original seven wonders of the world – The Temple of Artemis. It’s basically just a pile of rubble these days, but still pretty cool.

Not much left of this world wonder...

Not much left of this world wonder…

Ephesus was nothing short of impressive. We easily wandered around the 2000 year old streets for hours, continually awed by the next monument around the corner. I was shocked when I learned that Ephesus wasn’t on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites only to find out that it was added to the list mere days after my return home. It’s about time!

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We majorly lucked out during our mid-morning visit. The weather was much cooler and we even had a brief rainstorm that kept us quite comfortable for our mostly exposed touring. And the crowds were relatively sparse, which is a total miracle when you’re visiting the number one tourism site in Turkey during high season.

Now I could continue to list off dozens of noteworthy facts and figures but I think I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Temple of Hadrian

Temple of Hadrian

The Library of Celsus

The Library of Celsus, built in 117 AD was one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus.

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The most magnificent structure in Ephesus, The Great Theatre, seated 25,000.

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Ephesus was a perfect start to my time in Turkey, setting the stage for some of the most awe-inspiring sites I’ve ever seen.

Departure Lounge: Greece & Turkey

Departure Lounge: Greece & Turkey

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!! Summer is swiftly approaching and with it… my next big travel adventure!

In many ways, this trip has been 5 years in the making. It all started in a crowded pub after the first day of an economic conference. My university friends, married couple Rachel & Caleb, were hilariously sharing the story of their disastrous honeymoon in Paris. It was a 3-week comedy of errors and the retelling had our table in stiches. But this story was more of a tragedy in truth because poor Rachel virtually swore off international travel ever since. Being the travel evangelist that I am, I promised that someday I would take her back to Europe and show her how awesome it can be. Well, that someday has finally arrived.

In just a few weeks I am travelling to Greece and Turkey with both Rachel & Caleb (wish me luck!) as well as my frequent travel partner Mindy. If summer in the Mediterranean can’t win them over, then nothing will. We only have 2 weeks but I am confident that our itinerary has something for everyone: Beaches, History, Culture, Adventure, and Food!

Itinerary

June 20-21: Athens, Greece

June 22-25: Santorini, Greece

June 26: Bodrum, Turkey

June 27: Ephesus, Turkey

June 28: Pamukkale, Turkey

June 29-30: Goreme, Turkey

July 1-4: Istanbul, Turkey

These are the activities I am most looking forward to:

  • Renting ATVs and driving around the island of Santorini.
  • Drinking wine while watching the famed Oia Sunset
  • Exploring Ephesus, one of the best preserved ancient sites in the world
  • Riding a hot air balloon in Cappadocia!
  • Sinking my teeth into Turkish cuisine (rumored to be A-MAZING!)

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I am SOOO excited for this trip and I can’t wait to start posting about it. Stay tuned this summer for all the details!

Where are your summer plans taking you? Have you been to Greece or Turkey? Any tips? Leave a comment below.