This morning we arrived in another country, the western coastline of Turkey! Sailing all night while we were sleeping, we enjoyed breakfast in the Turkish port of Kusadasi. Once again, we were blessed with another full sunny day, with perfect temps in the 80s.
“Today we arrived in Turkey. We we saw one of the most amazing sites in this country… Ephesus! How thrilling it was to hear the story of Acts 19 while sitting in the theater where it all took place. The apostle Paul was so bold in the sharing of his faith.”
Waiting our turn to disembark from the ship, we finally left the ship and boarded our bus to take us to Ephesus. This is the premier site in all of Turkey. On the way to this impressive archaeological site, our local guide, Eylem (uniquely, a Turkish Christian actually) introduced us to his country.
Upon arriving at Ephesus, we walked down through primarily Roman excavations. The site was first excavated in 1878, with only 20% of the city being uncovered to date. During it’s prime, up to 250,000 people lived in Ephesus. We saw many ruins, including the terrace houses, arches, marble stone, the Library of Celsus, and the large theater that could hold 25,000 people. This is where we read about Paul’s mission here from Acts 19. It was in the theater where people shouted, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians” for two hours! Despite these religious and cultural challenges, Paul served here for three years.
We boarded back on the ship about 12:30 and had lunch. This afternoon we sailed to Patmos, an beautiful island not far from the coastline of Turkey. We disembarked by using tender boats once again. While only a traditional site, we visited the Grotto of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John. The views from the upper part of the island were stunning! It was here where the apostle John was exiled and had his vision about Revelation (Rev. 1:9).
After seeing these two places, we enjoyed some free time in the port area before tendering back to the ship at our leisure. We returned for dinner and some of the night events on the ship. During the night we sail to Rhodes!