Next stop on our cruise: Kusadasi, Turkey.  Pronounced "coosh-A-dah-see," this port was another hour away from the main attraction: Ephesus.  We left the port in search of a taxi to take us to the gorgeous set of Greek ruins.  After haggling with a few drivers, we got in a car for the beautiful drive away from the waters of the Aegean and into the hills of Asia Minor.

The driver dropped us off at the entrance of the ancient city; we agreed to meet him in two hours at the exit.  From there we began our walk along the same roads that St. Paul and St. John walked two thousand years ago.  I always find it amazing what kind of perspective travel adds to a history lesson; I wish that my catechism teachers had mentioned that the Ephesians in the Bible were real people and that Ephesus is an actual place, not just some abstract, hard-to-pronounce mystical city.

We then discovered that in addition to this,

what is considered to be the last home of the Virgin Mary is also near Ephesus.  Upon reuniting with the son of our driver (apparently he had car trouble and so he sent his twenty-year-old son to pick us up in a different car - I don't really remember how we managed to find this kid, but I do remember figuring that since we hadn't paid him yet, we should be fine), we drove further up the mountain into a forest to see the holy site.

Who knows if this was actually Mary's house, but we found the shrine peaceful and the wall of prayers to her moving.

We returned to Kusadasi for a stroll along the beach and through the bazaar, and a sampling of the tasty, taffy-thick, Turkish ice cream before re-boarding the ship.

Click here to see the rest of my pictures from our day in Ephesus and Kusadasi.

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