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We arrived at the Turkish port of Izmir, in order to visit the ancient city of Ephesus.  As Ephesus is around 50 miles from the port, we had prearranged with a small group of fellow travellers (seven in total) to book a minibus and tour from a local company (Ekol Travel), who picked us up from the port.  The tour was well organised and highly informative, with a guide who had had many years experience as an archaeologist at the site, and then turned to guiding as it was easier on his back!

When we got to Ephesus (before the tour coaches from the ship!), we first visited the house in which the Virgin Mary is said to have spent her last days prior to her death.

After this, we went to Ephesus itself, one of the greatest ruined cities in the Western world.  Most of the visible surviving structures date from Roman times when Ephesus was a thriving port, although there has been a city on the site since at least 1000BC.  As we were in a small group, we were also able to prearrange and visit the Terraced Houses in the city - the very well preserved excavated remains of the dwellings of well-to-do citizens, where it is still possible to see, for example, the wall decorations inside the houses.  This is an extra visit well worth arranging. 



We also stopped at the site of the ancient temple to Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  All that is left now is one column and a statue.

Finally, we had the obligatory carpets, leather and porcelain shopping experiences!  We managed to resist ...