Bucket List: Ephesus – Done.

When planning our trip to Sicily, I came across a great price on a one-stop flight. Unfortunately, that one stop (in Istanbul) was 13 hours long! But then I started thinking, “What if we took even more time in Turkey?” Ephesus has always been on my “bucket list.” Frank agreed and here we are. We were not disappointed!

The ancient city of Ephesus was located along the Aegean Sea. The convergence of three land routes and an access to the sea created a prime location for this major sea port. Unfortunately, silt from the rivers eventually filled the sea channel. It created a fertile plateau but rendered the port useless. Today the ruins are eight kilometers away from the sea.

Sights of Istanbul

Turkey is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Asia meets Europe in Istanbul, making the city a very strategic location throughout its rich history. It was also known as Constantinople and was the capital of three great empires: the Roman, the Byzantine and the Ottoman. History, religion and assorted cultures create a rich mosaic of incredible sights . . .

Let’s Talk Turkey

What do you think of when you think of Turkey? Exotic markets? Aromatic spices? Turkish coffee? Flying carpet rides? Turkey is all that — although we’ve yet to see a rug fly — and much more!

Although I can only speak to Istanbul, Frank and I have found the city to be one of the most interesting we’ve visited. Istanbul is where east meets west, old meets new. It is the only major city in the world that straddles two continents. Remnants of the ancient city wall butt up against modern trams and highways. Ancient baths are frequented by well dressed business people. And although you see a mosque on every other block with the call to prayer blanketing the city five times a day, the Turkish government has long enshrined a history of secularism — making Turkey a modern, democratic state. It’s a fabulous city of contrasts and choices — and some really friendly people!