Cruise to Patmos & Kusadasi
Jul 10, 2005
This morning we wake up as the ship docks at Patmos the smallest of the Greek Islands.
It is a small barren island, famed for its Monastery of St John, the Theologian built high above the Port Town of Skoda. This is the main town and commercial centre. The entire population is 2500. There is also Medieval Chora at the foot of the Monastery which is the preserve of the international wealthy, the houses here being exquisitely restored.
We had a relaxed breakfast and then went for a stroll through the Port town.
We sailed at 11 am for Kusadasi Turkey.
After another great meal we came into Kusadasi and what an eye-opener for us all. Not one of us thought this would be such a large new city of tall apartment blocks and new commercial buildings. According to our guide here all these hills were covered by olive groves and mulberry trees 20 or 30 years ago.
Their main exports are olives and carpets, silk carpets especially. The other industry of course is tourism.
Kusadasi means Bird Island.
Turkey has a population of 65 million people, 90% Muslim, 7% Christian and 3 Jewish. Turkey is known as the cradle of religion.
Inflation here is more than 100%. 1 euro is worth more than 1.5 million Turkish liras. Ankara is its capital.
If we thought it had been hot before we now discovered hotter. We boarded a coach for Ephesus to see the ruins.
It was about 40 in the shade. In about 7 days we were advised by the guide the temperature will be 45 for about 40 days without change.
This is where St Paul lived for a while. We walked through the ruins, saw where the synagogue was and where St Paul preached trying to convert the Jews to Christianity, the Library which is well restored, the brothel which was three times the size of the Library.
The brothel was well advertised for the sailors coming up from the port, On the sidewalks you see the faces of girls with the outline of the foot., if it is the left foot, this means the left side of the road, and if the 3rd toe is the longest then this means the third house is the brothel. The right side would be the right foot.
St Paul was eventually jailed for trying to convert the people and spent 7 months in jail. He then left Ephesus and it is at that time he commenced writing his Letters to the Ephesians.
Ephesus was buried for hundreds of years and many parts are still buried. We can however see the political centre, a number of fountains and many other shops auditoriums, all are marble. Arches and roadways are plenty and the heat continues to beat down on us.
Here was the centre of the commercial world. It is where the Silk Road, the Spice Road the old Roman Roads and the vessels came into Port - which in those days was at the end of the main road. Now the Aegean is five kilometers away. All caravans came to this point to sell and trade their wares.
Also near here is the House of the Virgin Mary. In fact it is not the original house. It is said that it is built over the place where once stood the basilica to St. John. This was found when part of its roof had collapsed inwards. This in turn was built on the site of the house of Mary, where St John brought her to live. It is said that she ascended into heaven from here. St John wrote the forth book of the new testament from here (and he had no airconditioning)
Next we return to Kusadasi. Here we were brought to the Government controlled carpet store and shown magnificent carpets in wool, cotton and the famed silk ones. Here we were served wines and apple tea.,
After this we then wondered the bazaar where many made purchases of all kinds, shoes, bags, gold and pasminas.
This is another place which is full of ancient history and too much information to write but it is well worth coming to see and spending more time.
Back to the ship and dinner. Most of us had an early night - bags outside our door at 1 am for collection for tomorrow we get back to Pireaus Athens.