Today we visited one of the most visited sites in Turkey, Ephesus. It is estimated that nearly 10 million people a year visit this site, many of them coming from the ships. Since thousands of people go through the site a day it is hard to experience this site without a crowd but today we did just that. We were the first group through the gates and our guide was able to lead us through all the sites and we literally had the place all to ourselves, it was awesome. Very few of my shots have people in them and then it is only our group. We were the only people in the theater during which is so rare. The theater is mentioned in Acts 19 and I was able to read the passage with Mark in the very site mentioned in the Bible. Before the excavation this was impossible.
From there we went to the rarely visited church of the Virgin Mary where the third ecumenical council met to discuss the nature of the Virgin Mary. I remember learning about that in early Church history and it was wonderful to be in the place where it happened. Mark read to us from Revelation 2 which is the letter to the church at Ephesus. After that I helped him with the words of institution and we shared the Lord's Supper with the group. It was very special.
After that we went to Turkman carpet shop. There we had a wonderful presentation on the process of making a Turkish rug, which is one of the cultural treasures of Turkey. The shop is likely the best in Turkey. We have the afternoon off since we are getting up at 4:45am to go to Patmos tomorrow. Patmos is where St. John lived and where he received the Revelation.
I am enjoying the rest and I feel relatively "normal".
Here are a few shots.