Sunday, August 18, 2013

We Walked With Paul . . .

Every day was filled to the brim with activity and our day at Ephesus was no exception.  We left the ship early, boarded the bus (motor coach!) and trundled off over the countryside.  The crowds were so heavy that some buses headed for alternative sites and then came back to the town of Ephesus, hoping to make the site more manageable.

If your tour includes an alternative trip to The Home of the Virgin Mary, so be it! But if you have a choice I would not recommend the time spent there.  We waited in hot humid weather in a line for 45 minutes to see a small two room house that MAY have been where Mary lived out the last years of her life with John.  It is not original, only one small patch of one wall is from ancient times and there is no concrete evidence that she was actually there.  It is a legend.  Many people love the site and consider it a pilgrimage of some value.

There she is... Virgin Mary.

The crowds were thick and not moving.  Some got right out of control.  It was fainting weather but I just blinked hard and told myself this was no time to lose my focus!

Not sure what bus this fellow was guiding through but I loved his outfit for the day and snuck a 'snap'.

Geri and Herb Kennedy exiting the home. There were two spots by the house where you could do the pilgrim thing.  The first was a wall where you could put your wishes on a paper and make it a part of the wall.  And then you could collect 'holy water' from a spigot that was said to have healing properties.

We had been looking forward to Ephesus since we started to plan the trip.  And it was most rewarding to actually walk the streets and look at the remains of buildings that were there at the time of Paul.  I have enjoyed the writings of Paul so was thrilled to be there.

I think I should put together a collection of photos of my husband in this pose.  Isn't he a dear?  He loves it when I smile and this does evoke a smile!

Behind him are the ruins of old bath houses. If you look on the map below you will see we entered at the upper right corner.

Not sure about public baths but that was the way of the time...

This photo shows a small theatre that was built privately to entertain small parties of up to 1500 people.  Entertainment has always been a strong influence in every civilization.

Geri Seidel and Terri Lang were great tour buddies.

Details of city life had been excavated and stacked...

Pillars, columns, bas relief items, all set out to show us how it had been.

We were delighted with the view into the town on this broad walkway.  It was crowded with other tourists/travellers looking for 'the way it was'. The silver umbrella with the red 'flowers' shaded our tour guide...

And I am sure she did a noble job of telling us about each building but Google told me this was The Temple of Hadrian.  Hadrian either got around a lot or was honoured in many places.

This landmark stood out a long way away.  It has been carefully reconstructed from original material to show us Celsus Library.

Sweet photo of children having their photo taken...

When you see an umbrella you know another tour group is headed your way. Loved the green and gold hills surrounding Ephesus.

If you scroll back to the map of the city you will see on the mid-upper left side a large theatre.  This theatre held about 24,000 people and Paul was said to have spoken here, or maybe tried to speak here, before he was shut down and hauled away.

When I came home I read Ephesians again and love how Paul ends his letter to the believers:

"Peace to the brethren, 
and love with faith, 
from God the Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ.  
Grace be with 
all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ
in sincerity.  Amen."


  1. Walking thru Ephesus I felt impressed we were actually walking on the same street that Paul had walked... but at the House of the Virgin Mary it seemed to be like a total maybe. The whole story about Mary seemed like a big fabrication.

  2. I am a big Paul fan too. His gracious words always remind me of God's grace, too. I gotta say, though--and you knew I would--ugh ugh ugh on the crowds! What would it take to walk those places with a dozen people? Going at midnight?

    1. Tim Keller helped me have even a greater appreciation of Paul.

      And oh yes, ugh, ugh, ugh to the crowds. Definitely do not go in June! It made it very difficult for me to feel like I was getting full benefit to the tour. I just took the ear buds out and wandered at will.

      Next trip will be researched for time best suited for my personality. We do want to go to Ephesus again.