John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Thursday 18 July 2013

[Wednesday 17 July 2013]

07:20 Ephesus–Full Day
Hotel Palmin, Kuşadası

Plan of Ephesus, from the book that I bought outside the Basilica of St. John
(Click to enlarge)

We didn’t need as much time to get up (from ca.6am) and get ready today, because the pickup time was before the hotel would start serving breakfast. I don’t normally eat breakfast at home, anyway, so it was no loss — even though, when I’m away, I do eat breakfast when it’s provided. We went down to the lobby ca.7.15am, and a coach arrived, with a blonde young woman organising things. There were a few people already aboard from elsewhere. We went from there to one or two other hotels and picked people up; then, strangely, we were back outside our hotel again! — and more people got on. There were other stops also, before we headed off in the direction of Ephesus. We find in-pool and poolside activities quite hellish — all those many lemmings doing their best to die of melanoma! — but we stopped at a couple of the even more hellish-looking new hotels to the north of the main resort of Kuşadası. After that the young woman introduced herself, “ladies and gentlemen” as “Esra”. We passed the entrance leading to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, “ladies and gentlemen”, and stopped outside the east entrance to the Ephesus site. There we got off, before the coach went round to the north exit where we would be picked up. There were many souvenir stalls, and people intrusively hawking their wares, but more importantly, on the opposite side of the road from the entrance, there were toilets. Fortunately, after I’d waited for Janet after using them myself, we were able to find Esra and our party outside the ticket office. She handed out the tickets and we went through the turnstiles. Janet wrote: “It had been coolish when we got up, but by that time it was getting hotter.… We set off and it wasn’t long before the heat started to get to me and at one point I really had to fight back the tears. Good job I had the water and [John’s] seat [the folding tripod stool], and [that] we weren’t rushing around. It is an enormous site — and not all of it open to the public either.” It’s evident from our travels that I can tolerate hot conditions better than Janet can. So that was a major concern for her today. The major concern for me was whether my feet, with their tendency to inflamed heels and ankles, could withstand the strain of prolonged walking and standing. And they did! The photo that I took straight away was of the Upper Gymnasium Baths. I can’t remember whether Esra talked about these specifically, but I do remember her at one point using the word “hypocaust” (meaning an under-floor heating system, which these baths had). I recognised the term from its parts (“hypo”, beneath; “caust”, burnt); then, somewhat tangentially, thought of “holocaust” (“holo”, whole; “caust”, burnt), a ritual whole-burnt offering, which made it, according to Eric our Israeli guide last year, an inappropriate term for what he preferred to call the “Shoah” (catastrophe).


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:31:26
The Upper Gymnasium Baths

We stopped, just after entering, by the site of the Government Agora. (I got the word “government” from the Ephesus book; not sure whether Esra said “government” or “state”.) Here, Esra gave us a brief history of Ephesus, and went on to talk about the Agora. She asked if anyone knew what “agora” meant, and I offered the answer “market”. It was more than a market-place, though; it was a place of assembly. She showed us the cistern and the remains of its supply aqueduct, as well as the quite modern-looking baked-clay water pipes.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:41:28
The Government Agora


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:42:42
Cistern (below) and remains of aqueduct (above)


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:42:52
Original clay water-pipes

Then we went on to what remained of the colonnaded Stoa Basileios (Royal Walk) by the Odeion.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:45:10
Remains of part of the colonnaded Stoa Basileios (Royal Walk) by the Odeion


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:45:10
Remains of part of the colonnaded Stoa Basileios (Royal Walk) by the Odeion: detail

We went in the Odeion (concert hall), or perhaps city council hall, which would originally have had a wooden roof.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:47:18
The Odeion


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:47:32
The Odeion


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:50:48
Lions’ feet decorating the stairs in the Odeion


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:51:48
Leaving the Odeion

Perhaps just after we left the Odeion was where Esra pointed out the different styles of Greek columns: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:53:30
Ionic (left) and Corinthian (centre) columns in the Stoa Basileios


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:57:34
The City Hall


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:58:26
The City Hall

The smooth marble paving of the road sloping down from there was slippery underfoot, and I did slip once though I didn’t fall.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 08:59:08
Proceeding from there

Just at the entrance to the Square of Domitian, Esra pointed out a large stone with emblems of Hermes on it, and concluded that the building next to it, on the square, was a hospital. (According to Wikipedia, though, the use of the traditional symbol of Hermes featuring two snakes around a winged staff (the “caduceus”) as a symbol of medicine is mistaken; it was Asclepius, carrying a single-snake rod, who was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion.) She pointed out the buildings and features in the square and gave us some time for photos.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:02:22
Esra points out a stone with a stylised relief of Hermes’ staff on one side…


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:03:28
…and Hermes himself on the next side.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:03:08
Stone on the opposite side of the way


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:09:50
Hospital?


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:10:28
The Building of Pollio and the Fountain of Domitian


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:10:50
The Temple of Domitian


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:14:08
One of the many cats on the site


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:19:24
Nike, goddess of victory

We proceeded through the Gate of Heracles and on down Kuretes Street, lined with pedestals, originally with statues of prominent people, and with pillars, originally supporting stoas with shops, etc., behind them. Esra pointed out, among other things, one of the shops, with steps indicating that it would have been two-storey, and the mosaic paving of the stoa in front of it. I imagined Paul, practising his tent-making trade in one of them, and “living above the shop”.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:21:20
Approaching the Gate of Heracles


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:22:38
Kuretes Street


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:22:38
Kuretes Street: detail


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:22:58
Kuretes Street


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:24:26
Looking back to the Gate of Heracles


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:26:48
Kuretes Street


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:32:40
The Fountain of Trajan


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:36:42
Shop on Kuretes Street


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:36:52
Mosaic floor


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:39:46
The Temple of Hadrian


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:40:06
The Temple of Hadrian: Medusa with arms wide open


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:40:48
The Temple of Hadrian


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:42:02
The Temple of Hadrian: left frieze


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:42:10
The Temple of Hadrian: right frieze

Towards the end of Kuretes Street, on the left, was a covered structure, which contained the Terraced Houses (i.e. houses of well-to-do people on the terraced slopes), but that would have cost extra to get in. On the opposite side, was the Latrine. Esra took us through there. Round the corner, on the road that went on past the Theatre, she told us, was the Love House, the bordello. Down steps on the opposite corner, was a square, with the Celsus Library on the far side, and the Gates of Mazaeus and Mithridates on the right side. These two were slaves of Augustus, whom he freed; and they built the gates in honour of their former owner. Through the gates was the other agora, the Public Agora. Esra left us to take photos, and to meet her at a specified time under the gates.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:44:56
The Latrine


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:57:20
View back, up Kuretes Street


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:57:42
The Marble Road, which passes the Theatre


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:58:02
The Library of Celsus and the Gates of Mazaeus and Mithridates


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 09:58:40
The Library of Celsus


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:00:22
Statues on the façade of the Library of Celsus: “Sophia [Wisdom] of Celsus”


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:00:40
Statues on the façade of the Library of Celsus: “Aretē [Excellence] of Celsus”


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:01:06
Statues on the façade of the Library of Celsus: “Ennoia [Thought] of Philip”


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:01:56
Statues on the façade of the Library of Celsus: “Epistēmē [Knowledge] of Celsus”


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:02:34
The Library of Celsus


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:03:40
The Library of Celsus: interior


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:04:16
The Gates of Mazaeus and Mithridates


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:04:46
Just to the right of the Gates of Mazaeus and Mithridates


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:05:48
The Gates of Mazaeus and Mithridates

Then we proceeded through the gates and northwards along the Stoa of Nero, with the Public Agora to our left (west). Esra pointed out an ancient fortification on a hill away to the west and said that that was where Paul was imprisoned. She led us on to the Grand Theatre, where, she said, Paul preached, and also showed us the road to the harbour (the sea has retreated several kilometres since then). After she’d spoken, I said to her privately that in Acts there’s no record of an imprisonment here, nor of Paul’s preaching in the Theatre. I didn’t deny that these could have happened, though. I said that the Theatre was the scene of a riot on account of Paul, instigated by — I may have mistakenly said “Alexander” (cf. 2 Timothy 4:14: “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm”) but I meant the “silversmith named Demetrius” (Acts 19:24). (I subsequently read John Pollock’s opinion in The Apostle that Paul wrote Philippians from Ephesus, which means he must have been imprisoned here.) Esra left us to explore the theatre, etc. She indicated the exit of the Ephesus site, where there were free toilets, and the coach park beyond it, where we were to meet up. She pointed out some trees near the exit, from where, she said, there was a good view of the Theatre.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:12:28
Stoa of Nero on the right (eastern) side of the Public Agora


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:13:20
Southern side of the Public Agora


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:14:06
Highly zoomed view of “St. Paul’s Prison”, on a hill to the west


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:14:54
Stoa of Nero on the right (eastern) side of the Public Agora


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:18:10
The Grand Theatre


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:30:34
The Grand Theatre


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:33:02
The Harbour Road


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:36:38
The Grand Theatre, seen from the Theatre Gymnasium


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:37:58
The Harbour Road, seen from the Theatre Gymnasium


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:39:54
Ruins seen on the way out


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:51:28
Glimpse of the Grand Theatre from near the exit


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 10:51:28
Glimpse of the Grand Theatre from near the exit: detail

We used the toilets near the exit. Because there’s a culture of tipping in Turkey, I offered the attendant a coin, but he insisted that the toilets were “free”. We exited through the turnstiles, and passing the souvenir shops, we got to where the coach was waiting. “We left Ephesus at 11am,” Janet wrote. “We both survived that. I’d been dreading it, really, ever since we booked the tour, in case we couldn’t do it. I’m glad we went.” My feet were still in remarkably good condition. They’d improved since we went to Italy. For the purpose of travelling, I preferred the present situation, of having a sore right hand and not having two sore feet! Esra had said early in the visit to Ephesus that “Christians” were first so-called in Tarsus. After she repeated that later on, perhaps when we were back on the bus, I said to her when I got an opportunity privately that it was at Antioch in Syria, not Tarsus — I emphasised the distinction between Antioch in Syria and Antioch in Pisidia, Turkey — where the followers of “the Way” were first called “Christians”. We went through Selçuk and on the outskirts stopped at a ceramics factory and shop, where a young man guided us first to sit in a miniature “amphitheatre” in a vine-shaded bower and, as he spoke, watch a potter making vessels on the wheel: an egg-cup, then a perfectly fitting “egg” (no measurements, all done by hand and eye); a small, deep bowl, then a perfectly fitting lid. Then the guide asked whether anyone would like to try, and a woman did. I think she may have done some pottery before, though, because her efforts were nothing to be ashamed of. The guide referred to the type of clay used as “çini”, which I guess is the same as our “china”. The translucence and resonance of the product were what I would associate with fine china, anyway. At one point he showed us two identical-looking bowls, one perfect, the other with an invisible fault; he tapped the former and it rang, the latter and it went “clunk!”. This, I think, was after we went with him from where we were into a covered area, which had pipes overhead issuing extremely fine sprays of water, so fine that one didn’t get wet. Two women sat at a table, intricately applying colours to plates. From there he led us into the shop.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:19:40
Pottery demonstration


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:20:40
Pottery demonstration


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:21:34
Pottery demonstration


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:22:32
Pottery demonstration


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:23:18
Pottery demonstration


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:23:18
Pottery demonstration: detail


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:24:20
One of the audience has a go.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:26:42
One of the audience has a go.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:30:02
Colouring the porcelain


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:30:12
Colouring the porcelain


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:32:20
Colouring the porcelain


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:33:16
Glazed vessels before (left) and after (right) firing in the kiln


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:36:30
In the shop


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 11:40:52
In the shop

We bought a little vase to go with the other souvenirs — the alabaster head of Tutankhamun, matryoshka doll, brass menorah, and porcelain-lidded pill-box — in the top-of-the-stairs cabinet at home. We went out and sat in another bower, again with atomised water sprays overhead, to await the departure of the rest of the party. From there we went in the coach for a buffet lunch at a large, tablecloths-and-napkins hotel-restaurant: price included in the trip, just drinks to pay for. I saw a chef cooking something in the form of pale strips in a frying pan and held out my plate for some. It proved to be spicy lamb, presumably “döner”. I had rice and a rice-stuffed green pepper with it.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 12:54:50
About to depart from our lunch location

After that we stopped at a Turkish delight shop, actually across the road from the ceramics place. Disappointingly, it was only the product that was being demonstrated, not the manufacture of the same. I tried a small cube of “halva” (which Janet doesn’t like). I found it quite pleasant: very sweet, with a taste that reminded me of peanut butter. (According to Wikipedia, it can be nut-butter based, usually sesame paste.) Think I also tried a rose-flavoured Turkish delight cube, but I don’t have any impression of memory from it. From there we went to the House of the Virgin Mary, a moderate walk from the where the coach stopped, in a pleasant wooded park. I’d read about the visions of Anne Emmerich which led to the discovery of the place, so I was pleased for the opportunity to visit it. It’s considered holy by both Catholics and Muslims. As “Eddie” pointed out, there are more references to “Maryam” in the Qur’an than to “Isa”. Esra advised covering head and shoulders. Janet had already donned her “babushka” before leaving the coach. She in particular was extremely pissed off (privately, to me) with other members of our party, with décolletages and bare shoulders and heads, who willy-nilly just arrogantly breezed into the place, ignoring the head-scarves that were available in the little entrance lobby. Photography wasn’t permitted inside, but I’ve got a photo from Wikipedia, below. The exit was through a small room to the right of the forward part of the chapel. From there we went down a nearby flight of steps to drinking fountains with supposedly healing properties and next to them the “wishing wall” with thousands of little napkins tied to it. In the park was a café and we had a drink there, with the advantage that Esra was also there at another table, so we knew when it was time to go.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 14:05:02
House of the Virgin Mary


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 14:05:26
House of the Virgin Mary


Photo from Wikipedia
Interior view of the House of the Virgin Mary


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 14:12:50
Drinking fountains and “wishing wall”. The House is visible above.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 14:18:00
Baptism Pool?/Cistern? on the approach to the House

Finally, we went to the Basilica of St. John. Janet decided not to go in because of the heat and the lack of shade, not feeling that she was missing anything by not going because we’d been there already. She took my tripod stool and went off. I followed the party in. Esra showed us all that was left of the Temple of Artemis in the vale below: one column. Its materials were reused in the Basilica of St. John and the nearby mosque. Then she led us into the Basilica remains by the west entrance and took us the length of the site to the Tomb of St. John. She said that John was 101 when he died, and I was pleased that she subsequently asked me if that was right. I apologised first for saying “Bible, Bible, Bible!” all the time, while having almost no knowledge at all of the Qur’an. I said that the Biblical account ended with Jesus committing his mother to John’s care — (not quite correct: Acts has the story of the healing of the beggar by Peter and John in Jerusalem (Acts 3), and Peter and John’s visit to Samaria (Acts 8); Paul mentions John in a Jerusalem context in Galatians (2:9)) — and I said that no Biblical source connects him with Ephesus. I said it was feasible that he died at 101, for tradition had it that his writings came from late in the century, and that they were written in Ephesus (apart from Revelation, which was written on Patmos). (Back home, I saw in Wikipedia that he was held to have died at age 94 in 100AD.)


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 15:05:26
Esra refers to a relief model of the Ephesus area.


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 15:06:56
Sole column marking the site of the Temple of Artemis


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 15:12:10
The Mosque of Isa Bey


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 15:14:06
The west entrance of the Basilica of St. John


Thursday 18 July 2013 — 15:16:44
Tomb of St. John

Esra encouraged us to show our appreciation for the driver of the coach, and I put a 5₤ note in his little basket as we left the coach. She said that she would be leading the Izmir trip tomorrow, so we didn’t bother about a tip for her just then, thinking we’d see her again. We were exhausted as we entered the hotel, and by now I was hobbling a bit. Janet went to the bar with the water bottles and got them filled. I selected two postcards from the rack in the lobby and paid for them and for stamps at reception. I also asked for the internet access code, because we wanted to check recent transactions. The information in the hotel room said that there was free internet access in the rooms and paid access in the lobby. In fact, I found on enquiring that it was the other way round; so we decided to leave it till tomorrow. Copied today’s photos from the camera (17:13–17:16). Felt very weary and lay on the bed for an hour or more, till a phone call came, ca.6.30pm, which brought me to wakefulness. Janet answered it; it was someone called perhaps Carol from Thomson, telling us that the excursion to Izmir tomorrow was cancelled because of lack of takers for it. We weren’t sorry in one way, for we were worn out after the heat and activities of today; but we were in another, because we’d intended to give Esra a tip. Janet went down to see the jeweller, then came back because, as he said he would try to do, he’d found an amethyst necklace. She came back for some money — 135₤ — then came back with the goods. We went down for dinner at 7.30pm; the soup this evening was minestrone, so I had some… Back in the room, Janet showered and updated her journal; I lay on the bed and read more of The Apostle, continuing to do so after Janet came to bed.

[Friday 19 July 2013]



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