Izmir cruise port was the stop for the House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus/Selcuk Turkey. This day of our trip we had planned ahead with the boat, because we knew we would be tired, and we wanted to see the House of the Virgin Mary. Izmir where the boat docked is a very similar and smaller Istanbul, we knew we didn’t need to see more bazaars after spending a whole day in Istanbul. Our boat was docked in Izmir for a short 5 hours, this did not allow for us to make the trip to the House of the Virgin Mary without the help of the boat. So we purchased the boat excursion to the House of the Virgin Mary and Basilica St. John. As much as we did not like spending the money to do the boat excursions some days they were just needed so you could see what you wanted to see. It is also nice if you don’t want to feel rushed, these excursions are very relaxed for the most part, because you are dependent upon a tour guide and a bus. The boat will not leave without your bus, that is a given! When we disembarked our boat in Izmir we were met by Dancers!
So after a relaxed lunch and watching our boat be towed into port (the land was 1 mile on either side of the boat), we met our lovely (from Turkey) tour guide, and we were off through the countryside of Turkey to Selcuk/Ephesus where just outside of town was the House of the Virgin Mary, and Basilica St. John. It was about an hour bus ride through the countryside, but our guide was so informative we learned so much about Turkey. She shared with us the history, politics, local knowledge, and fun facts on Turkey for the entire ride. Turkey is very Americanized, and they would love to be a part of Europe, but Europe does not want them. Their way of making it better is living the way the Americans are living, with some European politics. It was all very interesting.
Side note: I keep saying Selcuk/Ephesus, because Ephesus used to be Selcuk, Ephesus is now just ruins being unearthed by archeologist. Selcuk, the small town, is carrying the name to remember the old Ephesus. It is all very confusing, but if you read the book of the Ephesians in the bible it will make more sense!
As we drove to the House of the Virgin Mary we passed many fields of Olive, Peach, and cotton!
We drove up this massive mountain winding on switchbacks in our bus, you can see Ephesus below in the photo above. We made our way up to the House of the Virgin Mary!
This House is said to the be the House where the Virgin Mary came to die. It is said that she and St. John (from the Basilica later) came here to be at peace, and John was with her when she died. The house is small, but it has been slightly modified, in height, and added door for tourist. It is very small inside, and a peaceful place for prayer (there are no photos inside). There is a place for service outside the House, where once a year the pope comes for worship, and they have daily worship at 7am during the year. Inside the house is a small alter, and trinkets from past popes that have been left in memory of the Virgin Mary. Once back outside you have a chance to leave a candle in prayer, and walk to the wishing wall to place a wish on a piece of paper. It is a very short quick visit, but at the same time peaceful, and wonderful. Enjoy the photos of our stop at the House of the Virgin Mary.
This first photo is of the Baths that Mary and her people used, they think!
This last photo is of Ephesus from a distance! We had just been to Pompeii so we decided that going to Ephesus was not necessary!
From the House of the Virgin Mary we headed just a short 10 minute drive to Basilica St. John closer in the town of Selcuk. Basilica St. John is ruins of the basilica, and our tour guide gave us a very in depth and succinct over view of the place. It was very interesting, and different from the other ruins we had seen on our trip. I wish I could remember all the knowledge she gave us, and I will put in tiny tidbits as I show the photos, but if you get the chance definitely visit with a tour guide!
St. John tomb padlocked, no entry allowed!
Our tour guide giving an amazing description of how a baptistry came to be through the explanation of Ichthus!
Postcards home, continued! It was the easiest one of the trip! How could I not share this lovely outfit from an Italian tour group right near us during our tour! Enjoy!
One last view of Ephesus!
After leaving the Basilica St. John, we headed to an Italian leather shop Populer leather for a fashion show and cold apple tea! The apple tea was delicious, the fashion show was hilarious!
After some leather indulgence (we did not buy any), but they do supply to some big named companies (versacce, fubu, etc.). Back to the boat, a nice nap on the bus, and getting ready for dinner! We were hoping to get a window seat for the sunset as we sailed out of port! Enjoying some much needed rest because Athens Greece (and a long day) were in our near future!
Here are the previous honeymoon post if you would like to catch up!