The second day of our cruise things got historically interesting as we visited Ephesus.

On Saturday docked in Kuşadası (Turkey), and joined an excursion that took us first to Selçuk, İzmir, to visit Meryem Ana Evi, a chapel at pilgrimage site said to be the former home of the Virgin Mary after the death of Jesus, and then to the really interesting site of the day: the Ancient Ephesus Archeological Site.

A UNESCO landmark archaeological site in an ancient city taken over by Romans in 129 BC, where we visited the remains of the Prytaneion, the Terrace Houses, the Temples of Domitian and Hadrian, Curetes street, the Celsus Library, the Trojan Nymphaeum, and the Great Theater. To top it off, then we drove to the Ephesus Archeological Museum where we learned through mosaics, scultures, coins…

After that History overload, we went to the Korumar Hotel for a buffet lunch that included the widest assortment of baklava I had ever seen (and eaten!).

The final stop in the nearly 7 hour tour was a rug making demonstration at Turkmen and Carpet, that turned out to be a lot more interesting and less “sales pitch” than I feared. I have great respect for the amazing craftsmanship that goes into making one of those gorgeous rugs.

Before returning to the ship, I had to run a double errand (and spend the few Turkish Lira I had in my pocket since it wasn’t worth it to exchange them back): to buy traditional perfume glass-bottles for my in-law, and freshly made lokum (aka Turkish delight).

Once on the ship I received my laundry, also included in this all-inclusive cruise, perfectly clean, ironed, folded, and packaged (mostly using recycled paper)… even my socks and underwear!

Finally we hosted a party for my wife’s customers (we were there to work, remember), and had a mouth-watering dinner at the onboard French specialty restaurant Chartreuse.

What an amazing day!

Some photos here.