It took two hours to travel from Izmir to Selçuk. The journey began at 8:30 am and I was so excited. It was straight forward and I quickly found myself staring at more than 2000 year old artifacts. Looking around, I took some photos and then a bottle of water because the sun was really smiling.
Soon after, I met a local who showed me the Basilica of St.John for free! He also told me the story of the Sheep castle and I learned my first lesson; don’t wear sandals to visit Ephesus! I like nice people. I wanted to get down to Ephesus at this point, so when he offered me a ride, it took all my willpower to say no, one chance even in foreign lands is very real.
After a nice lunch, I headed to Ephesus, but stopped to check out the Temple of Artemis one of the seven wonders of the world. Sadly, earthquakes have reduced it to one column. After photo ops, swatting the locals and their persistent sale pitch, I made my way to Ephesus. I got a ride on an okada (motorbike) from a local salesman, my first since leaving Nigeria…Lagos actually…
A wonder, just pure wonder. If you have ever read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians or Ephesians, you might start to see ghosts here. Paul also lived in Ephesus for a bit and it is thought that the Gospel of John was written here. The sites are well preserved and maintained regularly. I got to see the church of Mary, stadium, gymnasium, Hadrian’s wall/temple, Heracles gate, the Celsuis library, terrace houses, Odeon theatre and THE theatre, reported to have been the largest in the ancient world, and…Nigerians! We are truly everywhere.
After battling Japanese tourists, the sun and my thoughts for 2 hours, I made my way back to Selçuk in a horse and carriage, I had to catch the train at 3:53pm to start the 2hr journey to Izmir.
I got to my gracious hosts home (Airbnb) just past 6pm, and after a hearty meal, fell into a deep sleep. I was woken up by protestors and while the sleep was sweet, my body testified of the wonderful journey I had undertaken.