We got up early this morning so we could get off the boat as soon as it docked in Kusadasi, Turkey. Kusadasi is just down the road from Ephesus, one of the most extensively excavated Greco-Roman sites in the world.
We had a quick breakfast and disembarked to meet our guide for a tour of Ephesus. We opted to book a private guide in advance rather than take the shore excursion offered by the cruise. Ephesus is a huge site and it gets pretty crowded with bus tour groups and cruise excursions. At least with our own guide, we were able to get a jump on the hordes. It’s a 20-30 minute drive and we timed it to arrive just as the gates opened. We weren’t the only ones to get there early, not by a long shot. But with only 3 of us, we were very nimble and moved about efficiently. Having traveled with large groups before, this was a great relief. Being able to actually hear our guide was a bonus.
Even after two previous visits, I was ridiculously excited to be there. Two thousand years ago, Ephesus was a very large, very rich city and today there’s just enough restoration to kindle ecstatic visions of the intact, bygone splendor; sigh.
Back on board, with tired feet, for a 1pm departure. Next up, Patmos, the island of Revelation. Check out my post on Patmos & Revelation, if you dare. It’s pretty scary.
The author of the Book of Revelation was in exile on Patmos when he received and recorded messages from Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey) and apocalyptic visions from the throne of God. It’s a popular Christian pilgrimage site, often combined with Footsteps of Paul itineraries. Patmos is a Greek island but it’s very close to the coast of Turkey.
We pulled into Patmos at 4pm and set out to explore on our own. From the island’s main town of Chora, we walked up a cobbled road to the Apocalypse Cave and then on up to the monastery on the top of the hill.
Click to see Greece tours that include visits to Ephesus and Patmos.
Click to see Turkey tours that include visits to Ephesus.
Click to see our Footsteps of Paul tour, which includes a visit to Patmos.