To Walk Where
Paul walked and where John the Evangelist lived and very probably the Virgin Mary is such a humbling experience. Going to Ephesus was to connect roots. The trip on a minibus with the mechanism from the sliding door sitting on my lap made me realize how fortunate I am to be thin. If I had been a bigger person. . .
After a lengthy drive broken with a stop for breakfast, as we did start out from my hotel at 6 am, a coffee break, a stop at a ceramic shop where they made and sold beautiful ware - and I did look at a set of hanging lights, but reason got the better of me as i know that these places are more expensive than other places, a stop at the Sultan's Tent for lunch, and other people constantly being late for the bus, we made it to the Virgin Mary's house. It is a guarded place with jendarmas keeping an eye on the place. The Muslim's see Mary as the mother of a great prophet so they too revere her place. The house was very simple and had been made into a chapel which Pope John Paul II had visited. People were respectful and reverent on the site. But it was a bit of a mind disconnect as I thought there should be Orthodox nuns taking care of the place rather than those that were.
We went down the winding hill, it seems that all the roads leading through winding roads as Turkey is a system of valleys and mountains - at least in the south, and got to the ancient ruins of Ephesus. What a magnificent and important city it was in its day. The entire valley was enclosed in 7 meter high walls that were up to 3 meters thick. How much time, how many men must it have taken to build something so extensive. Most of that is gone as the stones were reused by other builders for other buildings. The Temple of Artemis - which was the main stay of the city as it was considered a holy city - was later dismantled to build the church of St. John the Evangelist, which was later used to build a mosque. See, environmentally friendly even back then.
Hospitals, banks, libraries, baths, brothels, markets, and of course temples to the gods, greek, roman, and caesars were built in one area while the residences were built in another. It was the birthplace of banking, of hospitals, and so much more. It was planned from the beginning as to how to build the city in a grid system that had running water, sewers, and other 'modern' aspects.
Awe inspiring and overwhelming describes so much of the ancient ruins. While we weren't even being thought of for discovery, and areas of Europe were running around in animal skins, these civilizations were flourishing in their arts and sciences.