Thursday in Rhodes

Here we are to what turned out to be one of my most favorite days of our Trip.We had such a full and hot day in Ephesus we struggled to get out of bed that morning. But the ship docked at Rhodes Greece, a little Island that’s closer to Turkey than Greece.

SO, After a big breakfast on the Lido deck, we were off the boat the moment the door opened. We had nothing planned, so we got off the boat hoping to find something amazing to do.

Things started off slowly.
Lots of places to rent a car.
But a lovely view of an ancient port.
A ways down the rode we found one of those double-Decker tour buses. We thought it would be a good place to start. The bus made stops all around the island.
Our little  Anna was excited to get going.
We drove up to the Ancient Acropolis of Rhodes. On our way we passed the ancient stadium.
The Acropolis. It wasn’t as well taken care of/ rebuilt as the one in Athens.
From this point on the island it was just beautiful!!!
The waters were so beautiful!
Chairs for rent. 10 Euro an hour.
Ancient statues everywhere.
We got off of the bus, thinking that we would get back on again. We were ready to get into the water. We had never been at a beach quite like this one. It was pebbley, not sandy.
No sand, just smooth rocks and smooth sea glass.
It didn’t hurt to walk on. It wasn’t as soft as sand, but it was much more comfy than I thought it would be.
It was here that we saw our first topless lady.
Anna blushed.

Near this beach there were huge luxury hotels.
The boardwalk was covered in mosaics made from the sea rocks.
This guy.
We tried to make our way to the ancient area of the city, and kept on the coast.
We passed this cool thing. The hotel was really a resort, and there was a big diving platform built of cement out in the water. I wanted to run out there. BUT we didnt’t
In my research about Rhodes included one big thing. The Colossus of Rhodes, that was a wonder of the Ancient world. BUT today, it’s no where to be found. NO sign of it at all. But you can still see where it is supposed to have once straddled. We found our way nearer the ancient port.
Lots of cool architecture along the way.
We found a little place here that sold the closest thing I have had to Albanian Byrekk that I have had since I left the country 10 years ago.
Other interesting similarities to Albania:
The Bronze communist statues.

The Evil Eye.

The same kids of things sold at market.WE found it! The place where the colossus was supposed to have once stood.
Now two dear, and male on one side and a female on the other.
What was said to have stood here in the ancient world:
Headed to the ancient market and port.
Behind Karl, a very RUDE beggar boy. He didn’t know much English, but he did know so so so many swear words and he was VERY angry that we didn’t give him any money.
Past that craziness we found this cool window of stone.
Oh, there were some people in the water over there.
After we took this picture an African woman grabbed my hand and started to tie a bracelet on to my wrist. She was slick. She was looking me in the eye and smiling and laughing, it was Karl who realized what she was doing. She was trying to get me to buy a bracelet by tying it onto my wrist before I could day no. Karl removed it and said no. It was crazy and awkward.As we continued down the pier we found this:
For a super reasonable price we could ride on a speed boat through these beautiful waters. Snorkel. And sunbathe on a private beach.
We headed back to the boat to change and have lunch. We had blown our daily wad on the activity so why not have a “free” lunch.
Here we are, dressed and ready to party!
We walked back through the pier, and waited for the boat to arrive.
We got some Mango gelato while we waited.
Just a little romantic moment.
Soon enough, we were on the boat!
There were about 10 other people with us.
We passed the deer and the doe.
And we were off!
There was lots of ships at port there, even SUPER FAST ones.
Check out the barriers? It is these HUGE cement jax looking things.
 After a speedy boat ride around the coast, we stopped near some caves.
We were all given snorkels and masks and we were STOKED to jump in!
We jumped off the back of the boat and had a swim. THIS is where I wished I had a water proof camera.
I was able to get some fun shots of Karl from the boat.
We snorkled through this cave.
As a part of the ride, they took some underwater picutres of us!!






After about an hour of swimming around, we got back on the boat.
Our gear:
The water was salty and my lips were all wrinkled from our swim.
The boat was fast, and the wind whipped through our hair.
We pulled into a beach, and got off again.
We were covered in salt, and my hair was nuts, but we sat down at a little cafe and ordered some food.
Feeling freckled and sun burned.
A Greek Salad. And some LOVELY bread.
After a light lunch we went over to the cliff side bar. It was called the Oasis Beach Bar.
We ordered a couple of drinks (Coke Zeros) and sat on the sun baked pillows.
It was warm and sunny, but shady.
The perfect spot for a sun burned red head to close her eyes and rest for a minute.

I like this picture. It is how I imagine I look

This one, is how I actually look.

Greek rock tagging.
We swam in the lagoon, and jumped off the cliffs. It was just the perfect afternoon. I was so picturesque. We were really happy.
Even when I jumped off a cliff, and lost my new sunglasses.
Back on the boat.
Feeling really happy. What an adventure.
It was getting close to time for the ship to leave, and our captan of our boar would not have us miss it. So we SPED back to port.
He pulled RIGHT up to the ship. I turned back to the speed boat, as I approached the ship and took a pic of the boat. Jumping off right next to our cruise ship was so much fun!
After such an incredible day, it was pretty awesome to find this little guy waiting on our bed when we got back.
This was waiting for us when we got home too:

A dinner invite for my birthday!!!

Wednesday in Ephuses Turkey

We woke up and we were already at port. Karl had found a group on Cruise Critic who were getting a little outing together for a FRACTION of the price from the ship.The leader of the group was a man named Donald Nalian. We thought there would be 10 or 15 people. In the end there were three full buses.

We arrived in Kusadasi Turkey. We were supposed to land in Ismir, but there were some terrorist threats in the area so we ported in Kusadasi instead. (There was a terrorist attack in Istanbul a nearly 50 people were killed in the airport there. It was surreal to be so close to such an attack. It would be only one of the culturally significant things that happend on the trip. But I digress.)
We got off of the ship and found the big group.We got on the bus that passed this awesome golden statue of Mary. The itinerary for the day was to include 4 stops.
First the House of the Virgin Mary. Which will explain the huge statue.
We were exited by our new surroundings. The weather was warm and sunny.

Our tour guide. His English was very good, as was his education on Political mattes. He was very political.
We walked through a small square with a restaurant, and a couple of gift shops. Then along this long path.
We pass a mostly forgotten hole in the ground. According to our guide some people think that is was a baptismal font. Others say is was just a fountain.
We came to the traditional home of the virgin. No camera’s allowed inside.

Me out front.

It was a muggy dark room with Mary iconography everywhere. There was gold and mold everywhere. At the end of the home there was a table and shrine.
I took a picture of a picture of the inside.
Later I found this image online:
We lit a candle as we came out.
Tradition says that the water here posses special properties. It is said that it provides healing and fertility.
Our guide said to just splash it on our faces.
Then there was this wishing wall.
Pilgrams come and leave wishes tied up or in little paper rolls.
We had so many wishes coming true. NO wishes needed.
We had a minute before the bus left so we did a little shopping and grabbed a drink. They actually had Coke Zero! Score!
Back to the bus, and we were off to our second stop.Ephesus.
The ruins at Ephesus are bigger tourist attraction.
SO there was more a hullabaloo.
What a place!
The ancient market place was still intact.
There was a small amphitheater.
There were crazy carvings everywhere.
“The city was destroyed by the Goths in 263, and although rebuilt, the city’s importance as a commercial centre declined as the harbour was slowly silted up by the Küçükmenderes River. It was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD.”

Then we headed down the main corridor.
Everything that is standing has been rebuilt. Archaeologists have put things back together using what they find and cement.

The rebuild continues. The Austrian Architecture Institute is the main contributor to it’s continued reconstruction.
This is Nike. The Goddess of speed and Victory.
This statue is said to have inspired the Nike Swoosh.
Related image
I guess.
Continuing on more ruins.
I loved to see the ancient Greek and Roman writings on the stone. I loved the lettering.
(Also that almost says I love elvis)
The hill started to get a little steep, and it was so cool to see the ruins ahead of us.
The ancient gates of the city of Ephesus.
They look like lions.
Seriously this writing.
There were cool mosaic walkways all up and down the road. BUT they had blocked them off from people walking on them.
Another rebuilt structure we were told was a fancy shop.
These pillars. Such cool carvings.
Then we came to the public toilets.
I just can’t. Different times I guess.
Then to the famous Library.
The Library of Celsus
In writing for the blog, I found this cool sight that had done some virtual renderings of what it would have looked like back when it was first built.
After lots of pictures, we got closer.
Again with more amazing stonework.




I found this online, a rendering of what it would have looked like in it’s glory.
Image result for library of celsus statues
There was a manora carved into the steps, our guide said that it was in honor of the Jews that funded the project. Who knows if that was right.
We entered into the building.
This cutie.
I got up there. It was higher than it seemed.
We headed up to the large amphitheater.
According to our guide, Paul taught here.
The sun was getting higher, and the day was getting hotter.
A tunnel directed us out towards the end of the ancient city.
On these streets, Cleopatra and Antony walked together. According to our guide.
Well now, so have Karl and Allison.
The view fro here was even cooler.
So sweaty.
All of the water was gone.
Our third stop:
The Church of Saint John.


Through the front gates.
We had been yelled at in Athens for getting near a pillar, here, no such issue.
Oh Karl.
The Tomb of St. John.
An old baptismal font.
There were these little planters that looked like coffins all around.
There were no explanations, just random boxes.
It was quiet and lovely, and there were no people there. And there was shade.
Oh Karl.
We could see the Temple of Artemis from the hill.
And there was even a functioning church down the hill.

So much history. So much to know. So much unknown to us. Our stop here was only about 30 minutes.Fourth Stop, The Temple of Artemis.

It used to be:
color view of reconstructed model of Temple of Artemis, at Miniatürk Park, Istanbul, Turkey

It was considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.Now just one lonely lonely collum in the middle of a marshy field with a huge bird’s nest on top.

After all of that viewing, we were beat and hungry and ready to eat!
We were presented with a real Turkish Feast!
Those are stuffed zucchini blossoms.
Everything was SO good.
Rice pudding.
We asked for a Coke Zero, and it was only after Karl had finished the can did he realize that it was Pepsi Max. Haha.
After a rest. We were back in the bus. The county side was hypnotic.
There were Bougainvillea everywhere!
We were heading in for the day, and we could see our massive ship in the distance.
At port there were places to shop, so we took some time.
We even got the most delicious fresh Turkish Delight!
I bought some dishes in this shop too.
We got back to the room and we crashed! The room was dark and cool and there was even an little buddy waiting on our bed for us.
I was missing the kids pretty badly at this point. I found a pair of socks smooshed in my garments, and I kept them out and would hold them when I missed my babies.
Water, and Turkish delight was all I needed.