Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Road Trip

Posted from Pamukkale, Turkey at 10:24 pm, July 24th, 2014

I slept in until 7:15 this morning, and it was glorious.

The plan for the day was to visit the ancient Roman city of Ephesus. The place is so old that it used to be located on the coast, but its port silted up and it is now located a few miles inland. O-L-D. I arrived when the gates opened at 8 AM in an effort to beat the crowds and heat, and then spent nearly five hours exploring ancient ruins and trying to imagine what life was like two thousand years ago. In addition to its theaters and famous library, the town is home to an amazingly well-preserved “terrace house”, complete with frescoes, marble paneling, and mosaics. With a little imagination and some modern amenities, you could easily see how these 2nd century apartments would rival any millionaire’s home today – the Romans were awesome.

By early afternoon I was ready for the three hour drive inland to Pamukkale, home to giant travertine terraces and the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis that sits on top of the travertine hills. I’m sure there was probably a shorter way from Ephesus to Pamukkale, but after yesterday’s fun with “roads”, today I was treating Google Maps with significant skepticism. It still tried to sneak me on to some questionable routes between villages, but as the pavement narrowed I figured out the trick, and spent a half hour backtracking to a more circuitous route that actually had pavement.

I have two nights booked here, and while I had been planning on doing some exploring of the surrounding area after visiting Hierapolis, the option of a rest day in a town that has been known for two thousand years for its hot springs sounds very appealing after the frantic pace of the past ten days.

Celsus library at Epeshus

Celsus library at Ephesus.

Grand theatre at Epeshus

Grand theatre at Ephesus. The 24,500 seat theatre is used today only for classical acts due to fears of damaging it, but until recently bands ranging from Elton John to Ray Charles to Jethro Tull (!) played here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *