Welcome to Ephesuskusadasiguide.com
Today we at Kusadasi Cruise Port on this wonderful winter day.
And we will try to explain how you can go to Ephesus from Kusadasi Cruise Port on your own.
We figured out that there are no direct public transportation available from Kusadasi Cruise Port that goes to Ephesus.
So we will try to explain it in 3 Steps
Here we start from Kusadasi Cruise Port premises, passing through the Stores, Restaurants, cafe’s, souvenir stores, silver stores, once we are out from the port premises.
This is the first view you are going to see once you walked out from the Gate of Arrivals at Kusadasi Cruise Port.
On the left side one Jewelry Store and straight ahead is a carpet store.
Once you pass those two stores the walkway will split to two with a Leather Store right on the corner. You can go on either side.
If you choose to go to the left, you will walk in front of a tour company's office, which is the only tour company located at the Cruise Port. We can make a story about how to go to Ephesus from Kusadasi cruise port with a tour company on another post.
And if you choose to go to right this path will lead you to the waterfront cafes and restaurants including Starbucks.
So we walk straight out from Kusadasi Port premises about 60 meters to get to the nearest bus stop to take a Public Minibus Number 5. There is only one public minibus line runs from this route so it is not complicated.
So we choose to take the right side and walked towards the nice view of Kusadasi town with it's waterfront scenery at the porch of Starbucks.
Then continued to the exit passing in front of several restaurants including KFC.
Right at the exit, on the right side of the security there is a Turkish Delight Store.
you will also see the Taxi’s at the Kusadasi Cruise Port. We will also talk about going to Ephesus from Kusadasi Cruise port with a cab on another post.
But know continue with our objective of the day, going to Ephesus from Kusadasi Port on our own with public transportation.
Once we cross the street, our first objective is to get to the Bus Stop, shown with the Sign D.
It is very easy to find because it is located right in front of the Main Landmark of Kusadasi, the infamous Kervansaray. This stone building that you will notice from quite a distance is where you should walk to.
So we stopped at the D sign which is the Bus Stop. And we are waiting for Number 5.
There is no confusion here, because Number 5 is the only line that runs from this route. So there is no chance for you to miss it or get into a wrong minibus.
Mini Buses in Kusadasi, run every 15 minutes in the winter time. In the summer season they run more frequent like in every 5 minutes.
They are not big public transportation buses like in big cities, they rather small minibuses which can have maximum 20 people. Unless it is the peak season of June, July, they hardly get full.
Here it comes our Number 5 Minibus, this is supposed to take us to the Main Town Center Bus Stop where inter-county busses are located.
We get into Number 5 and say ‘CELL - CHECK’ (sounding - meaning ‘SELCUK’ in Turkish) is the name of the town we should be going to for Ephesus.
So we drive along the Coastal road for couple of minutes, drive passing the Old Town of Kusadasi on our right side, the main landmark Kervansaray, and the Town Hall.
Then the bus turns right from the junction and continues a little more to inland towards the City’s Council (Municipality Building), from that junction it turns to left and we are getting ready to get off from our first minibus Number 5.
Once Number 5 droppes us off at the roundabout where the inter-country Bus stop is, we will find our 2nd Minibus, that writes ‘SELCUK’ in it’s front. We need to cross the street to get to where Busses or Selcuk are located.
Minibuses to Selcuk run every 20-25 minutes in the winter time, in the summer time almost in every 10-15 minutes.
Here there can be a confusion. Because SELCUK (Ephesus) bus is not the only one that comes to the Stop. So there are 2-3 more lines. Don't get confused. You are looking for the One that writes SELCUK on it.
So as we found our Second transportation from Kusadasi Town Center to Selcuk, we can get in our minibus.
This ride will take roughly 20 minutes from Kusadasi to Ephesus, stopping at some of the hotels on the coast right outside of Kusadasi.
As it drives around 2 kilometers you will see you are in the higher ground looking over to the Cruise Port of Kusadasi and to your ship, on your left side.
After another 2 kilometers later, residential areas will end and you will start driving down to see level one more time, and from the junction driver will turn left to Pamucak Beach where the hotels start.
This coastal drive is joyful as well, after drive passing the hotels, water parks you will again incline from see level and when you reach the top, you will see Pamucak Beach from the top. A long sandy beach lies around 12 kms.
There are 3 hotels on the beach and a Water Park that you will drive pass in a minute.
This point is actually a border between the two provinces Izmir and Aydin. From here on we will be within the borders of Izmir Province.
As we continue driving, we get back to sea level one last time, and pass the hotels on our left side, another 2 kilometers later, we turned right and driving inland towards Selcuk.
This will take another 4 kilometers of drive until Ephesus City.
As the driver drops us off on the side of the main road that connects Selcuk to Kusadasi.
First thing you may realize is the Taxi that parked on the corner. The reason is, Ephesus has two entrance gates.
The taxis over here are there to take visitors to the Upper Gate with a certain fee. So Visitors can start at the top gate and walk their way down to the lower gate of the city.
Since our objective is to get to Ephesus on our own with public transportation. We will continue walking to the Entrance of Ephesus Ancient City.
The walk is another 400 meters in less than 10 minutes we hope to be there. It can be considered more or less a walk on a even surface with a slight incline in the middle.
You need to know that there are no curbs or sidewalks for pedestrians so you will walk on the side of the road where the tour busses and cars use.
After the first 100 meters you will realize the Security Checkpoint by the Genderma local police on the right side of the road.
You can walk pass them and you will realize a junction, and the ruins on your left, so you need to walk straight from there following the inclining slope.
Do not turn right where the Brown sign says Ephesus. Because that is for the vehicles that go to Ephesus. You should walk straight up the slope.
This is the slope you will walk all the way until the Parking Lot of Ephesus. There are no curbs or sidewalks again so you need to be careful because there will be big buses coming towards you from the Parking lot, who already finished their walking their tours of Ephesus and leaving the site.
after 50 meters you will start seeing more ruins once you walked up the slope, then you will start walking down the slope and see the Parking Lot. This is where all the tour busses and vans drive down and park here after dropping their passengers on the upper gate who take either bus group tours or private Ephesus Tours.
Another option to go to the Upper Gate of Ephesus are these Horse Chariots that are waiting at the Parking Lot of the Lower Gate of Ephesus.
I asked the price to Mehmet who owns one of these chariots and it is 80 Turkish Lira. And they take you 5kms. up to the upper gate and drop you off at the Upper Entrance, so that you can walk your way down through the attractions at Ephesus and end up at the Lower Gate.
Then You will walk another 100 meters walking through the Parking lot and you will realize a pedestrian walkway with shops on both sides of the alley.
This alley will lead you to the lower entrance ticket office of Ephesus Ancient city after another 100 meters of walk. You are at Ephesus Ancient City, Congratulations, you made it.
So we started at around 11:20, We walked 3 minutes outside to our first bus stop.
We waited 2 minutes over there. We had an 8 minute ride to our second Bus Stop, We arrived in there at 11:35.
We waited at our Second Bus Stop for 15 minutes, Our Minibus to Selcuk arrived at 11:50
And we waited another 10 minutes before we set off at 12:00
So the Total waiting time 25 minutes at the second bus stop.
We arrived at Ephesus Bus Stop at 12:25
And we walked 15 minutes to Ephesus arriving at the site at 12:40
So overall this journey took 1 hour 20 minutes From Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus Ancient city by using the public transportation.
So overall walking duration was roughly 20 minutes
Overall bus waiting time was 27 minutes.
Overall minibus journey was 33 minutes.
Last week was my birthday, yey…
I mostly prefer to be low key for my birthdays don’t like to make such a big deal about it.
However we should find reasons to celebrate life itself, so I guess birthdays are good opportunities for that, so Let’s celebrate it, but low key hahaha.
Here comes the first question: Were there any boxes found in Ephesus Ancient City?
Of course there were several finds but the most fascinating one was the Ivory Box with 2D reliefs on it depicting a preparation of War and the War itself.
This ivory box dated back to 2nd century AD, to Roman Emperor Trajan’s period. During our private ephesus tours, visitors can see this amazing piece only if they choose to visit Ephesus Archaeology Museum in Selcuk.
While we were doing this whole birthday thing, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of the importance of the Birthdays of the important people in the Antiquity.
What would the Birthdays of Roman Emperors mean?
What would Christmas, Jesus’ birthday mean?
Are there any birthday related finds in the Ancient City of Ephesus or it’s vicinity?
Much of these celebrations were on certain days such as birthdays of the Emperors and the Imperial family members. And according to a Roman Imperial Calendar found in Algeria's Theveste Ancient City there were 64 days of Holidays just for the Imperial Cult inscribed on Arch of Caracalla.
Photo Source: Wiki Commons
Agrippina, who is Roman Emperor Nero's mother, is known as the only woman in Roman History whose birthday is celebrated.
She was the mother of Emperor Nero.
And Apparently myself and Roman Emperor Nero share the same date of birth.
Nero was born in year 37 AD and became an Emperor in 54 AD at the age of 17 as the successor of Cladius.
Photo Source: Wiki Commons
Nero is known as the Emperor who fiddled while Rome burned. His reign mostly known with his cruelty and tyranny especially having his own mother executed. In year 64 there was the Great fire of Rome and he died result of a suicide assisted by his secretary in 68 AD which ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
Do we have anything in Ephesus related with Emperor Nero? or Do we see anything while touring Ephesus Ancient City?
There is the So Called Stoa of Nero at Ephesus, the marble paved alley that runs from the Library of Celsus to the Theater has a colonnade that formed a sheltered awning for the shops.
And the birthdays of the Emperors started designating the Beginning of the Year as a tradition.
Especially with Emperor Octavian Augustus’ birthday was set as the start of the new year.
There was an imperial decree sent to every Roman city, and one of the copy of this decree was found in Priene Ancient City 50 kms. to Ephesus.
This must be the core idea behind Celebrating Jesus’ birthday close to the start of the New Year. Otherwise was Jesus really born in December 25?
A sacred stoa was located on the north side of Priene’s Agora. In one of the chambers, a sanctuary to Rome and Augustus was housed. In this chamber two tablets dating to the year 9 BC were found containing an inscription dubbed ‘the Emperor’s Gospel’. One tablet records a recommendation made by the Roman proconsul Paulus Fabius Maximus to the assembly of Asia that the provincial calendar should be reorganized to begin the NEW YEAR on SEPTEMBER 23, the birthday of Augustus. The second tablet records the enthusiastic response of the assembly affirming Fabius’ proposal:
‘Since Providance, which has ordered all things and is deeply interested in our life, has set in most perfect order by giving us AUGUSTUS, whom she filled weith virtue that he might benefit humankind, sending him as a SAVIOR (soter), both for us and for our descendants, that he might end was and arrange all things, and since he, CAESAR, by his appearance (epiphanein; “epiphany”) [excelled even our anticipations], surpassing all previous benefactors, and not even leaving posterity any hope of surpassing what he has done, and since the BIRTHDAY of the GOD AUGUSTUS was the beginning of the GOOD NEWS (euangelion; “gospel”) for the wold that came by reason of him.
This letter/decree has several verbal parallels with how Christ is presented in the New Testament. It calls the birth of Caesar Augustus the “beginning” of breath and life (Revelation 3:14) The “honor” of Augustus should remain forever (Revelation 4:9, 5:13, 7:12). In the decree the birthday of the god Augustus is declared to be the “beginning of the good news” for the world. (Mark 1:1, Revelation 14:6)
This decree was to be inscribed on a white stone (Revelation 2:17?) and placed in the temple of Rome and Augustus in Pergamum (Pergamon), which served as a repository of such official decrees.
When I visited the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, In the hall where they exhibit the Gate of Miletus, right across the Gate they had the original inscription of this decree on a marble block from Pergamon’s Trajan Temple.
This block was found in 5 pieces in Pergamon Acropolis, it was probably part of the base of a statue and dates from around the beginning of the Common Era. Reconstructed Greek Inscription reads : To the Emperor CAESAR, Son of God, Sacred God, Custodian of all the Earth and the Sea. God’s Son first refer to the First Roman Emperor Augustus, the formulation: “Custodian of All the Earth and the Sea” indicated Augustus’ entitlement the World domination. So far therefore there seems to be nothing unusual about the inscription plate.
Copies found in Priene, Apamea, Dorylaeum, Eumenea, and Maonia show that this “gospel” of the emperor was distributed widely throughout the province of Asia.
Wow it has been quite a story with so much information, I almost have no space left to tell you how I spent my birthday! It seems like a better idea to spare that part for my next blog story. There will be some beautiful pictures, and of course I will find a way to connect my story to the Antiquity and also to Ephesus.
So please stay tuned. I hope you enjoy reading my story and information. Please comment or ask any questions so we can develop more stories and information through your contribution.
Today we had a plan for the discovery to locate a Cave near Ephesus called Aslanli Yaren Cave. Given the lack of information about the cave, there were no precise instructions for the road.
With the possibility of not finding it, we already needed some recent pictures of Kirazli village so we already needed to drive to Kirazli which is 12kms from Kusadasi and 15kms from Ephesus.
This particular location was actually one of the main Water Sources of Ancient Ephesus more than 2000 years ago.
The longest aqueduct to Ephesus was 42 kms and it was starting from Degirmendere district between Kusadasi and Kirazli Village. Aslanli cave was supposed to be in between the Actual water spring and the village of Kirazli.
The altitude is around 250 meters at this location so we drove a little high up and reached the Water Spring.
It was already after noon, and me and my friend were getting a little hungry, and not knowing where to head exactly we thought it would be a nice idea to stop at a local diner right near the water springs.
Along to way from Kusadasi to Kirazli village, there are some new eateries, diners and farm restaurants recently opened. This particular one was called Sultan Sofrasi and was built right into the rock hills and the landscape was spectacular.
On the way to the entrance of restaurant I two dogs started coming towards us and after realizing that we are harmless they became friends with us in seconds and saw a group of people looking like the family who owned the place, and asked if they are open and have some hot tea.
They greeted us so friendly and welcomed us in.
I asked the proprietor if he knew where this Aslanli Cave was. I had asked it to some other locals of the village a while ago and no one had a clue.
And this gentleman not looking so sure gave me some directions on the way to the village.
I explained that my wife is experiencing some respiratory problems and allergic asthma recently so I said I would give it a try and find Aslanli cave which was supposedly good for certain health problems.
After drinking our tea, we ordered some food me the mixed fried vegetables, and my friend ordered famous Turkish Manti (Ravioli)
The food came fast, waiter was a very friendly and helpful young man named Samet.
But I realized the homemade thick bread Samet brought to us was warmed and had a strange smell and it was probably going bad after a day or two.
And some of my fried aubergines were cut so thick that they weren't cooked properly.
And the flavors kind of not there compared to the same dish I had yesterday in Kusadasi downtown at a home-cook restaurant. That dish was something else.
And the price here was also a little high which is normal given the stunning landscape, the location and lack of business potential.
Anyways, at least we were warmed up and stomachs were full.
We are ready to get going with our day of adventure.
So we hop in our van and drove around 2 miles before reaching Kirazli, took a sharp left turn to a mountain path, which splits to two sides after a few hundred yards,.
One going up to the left was our first choice but seeing road condition with large pebbles we decided to stop and drove back to the junction where we parked the van started walking from the Easter path to the right.
Once the Pine forest took over the vineyards, we saw couple of other mountain trails going to the West (left). But we didn't take any continuing our way to East side of the valley, finally seeing a hut but no signs of anybody present there. Then we had 200 yards more and saw beekeepers at work around the bee boxes. Not wanting to disturb the bees from a distance we asked if they knew any Caves around. Most beekeepers are mobile and they are not locals to the areas, so knowing this I reckoned they had no clue about a cave.
As I was walking I thought of Ephesus, because the City’s symbol was the Bee.
You could have seen the Bee depictions minted on the city coins of Ephesus. It was probably symbolizing the pollination hence abundance and fertility. Even the name of Ephesus was derived from ‘Apasas’, ‘Api’ meaning Bee like ‘Abej’ in French and ‘Abeja’ in Spanish.
Apasas, or Apisas meant the Queen Bee referring to the Amazon Warrior Queen who colonized the Area around 4000 years ago. As we see these Amazon warriors depicted in the friezes of so called Temple of Hadrian in Ephesus. The ones in the museum are original relieves, the ones at the site are replicas.
Ancient beekeepers around Ephesus must have been like these two fellows. They must have used the same hidden valleys to get the best of their ancient honey.
I made a little research about the Ancient traditions of Beekeeping in the Antiquity.
So the Statues of Mother Goddess Artemis of Ephesus also had the Bee depictions on her belt and also on the skirts.
I learned that there is a cave painting find from Spain that is as old as 9000 years.
And in Jordan Valley of Israil there is a behive find from 3000 years ago.
Behives made out of unbaked clay and straw were found.
Honeycombs are perishable it is almost impossible to find but near Milano during an excavation of an Etruscan trade center, archaeologists found a 2500 years old charred honey comb. And analysis showed the there was a pollen from a grapevine in that honeycomb.
From Ancient writers and philosophers Aristotle talked about beekeeping in detail also the Roman writers Pliny the Elder, Virgil are some of the ones who discussed honey, beekeeping on their books.
In the Bible there are 4 mentions of the Bees in the Bible (Deuteronomy 1:44, Judges 14:8, Psalm 118:12, Isaiah 7:18)
I also looked at the Honey production numbers in the world and
it turns out Turkey with 8.2 million metric tons is the biggest producer in Europe, and the second biggest in Asia after China. And the third biggest in the World after China, Argentina.
And there are 4.5 million beehives in Turkey according to a research made in 2005.
But the high ground was lovely with open are not much trees, it was green grass, meadows and a Symbolic Tomb next to a Juniper tree. The tomb allegedly belong to YARAN Dede. Important village elders, clerics, religious heads mostly remembered for generations with such tombs in almost every village in Turkey.
This tradition must have been coming all the way from the Roman period because in the Ancient City of Ephesus, most of the monumental public structures such as fountains, library, war memorials were also either Family Tombs or Monumental Heroon Tombs of important political, military and social Icons.
For example Fountain of Pollio, Memmius Monument, Trajan Fountain and even the Library of Celsus were some of the most important monumental tombs of Ephesus.
During the private ephesus tours, these tombs are the most photographed structures.
The area was very peaceful, we enjoyed a nice break and enjoying sun warming our necks.
I realized the mountain trail actually continues making a circle around the hill and probably merging with the main asphalt road between Kusadasi and Kirazli. Since we left the car on the other end of the mountain, we couldn't follow the trail, although we knew that we could have seen some nice scenery, maybe we leave to next time.
Yes, it was a failure in terms of locating the Cave but still it was one good adventure out in nature with remarkably nice weather for a December.
As we were walking down the same road, I was thinking about the Name written on the Tomb Stone 'YARAN' Dede.
Because the word YARAN means PIERCING.
Or I was thinking they made a local twist or a mistake using the word YAREN which means FRIEND and the Cave was named after Aslanli or Yaren cave.
So solving this mystery of words I thought to myself that the actual location of the cave mustn't be far from the Tomb.
In my next adventure I am hoping to be more fortunate and finally will find this Yaren Cave.