Andrea's Travel Journal travel blog











Wednesday, July 9

Today was an amazing day ! We were in Turkey which we just learned is a part of Asia. That was interesting. When we booked this cruise and the shore excursions I had no desire to even leave the boat in Turkey but it's been one of my favourite stops so far. We started by getting on a tour bus and heading up to the House of Virgin Mary. It was a place a woman discovered in a dream and she led archaeologists up to this giant hill in Ephesus and they found it. Was definitely a peaceful experience to be standing there. The tour company gave us free little flasks to fill with spring water that runs near her house and it's considered holy water. It was an an enjoyable experience and then we were off to the ancient city of Ephesus which was built near the port and was exclusively for the aristocrats of the time . It's ruins and architecture has both Roman and Turkish influences and it was incredible to walk the streets and explore some of the structures still standing. We learned a lot about their religious influences and how the society functioned. Even though this city was created before Christ (I think 490 BC) the Romans had devised a plumbing system with pipes to ensure hygiene for their elite. I get mesmerized when I stand in incredibly ancient cities and buildings and wonder how they built such incredible structures with such little technology. I enjoy beach vacations but my favourite type of travelling involves learning the history of cities and experiencing the culture, foods, wine first hand. I highly recommend Turkey as a stop to anyone backpacking near Greece or booking a cruise. We left the beautiful ruins of Ephesus and headed to a tourist area where we watched a reenactment of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony being catered to and entertained by servants and watching gladiators fight. This put seeing the Colosseum in Rome last July into perspective, as did watching the movie The Gladiator lol. Let's just say as in love with Roman, Greek and Turkish culture as I am, I wouldn't have wanted to live it unless I was very rich. The servants lived very hard lives. At the reenactment mom and I tried Turkish white wine and although it was a little expensive, it was deliciously similar to my favourite white I buy back home called Santa Margherita. Our last stop before returning to the ship was at a Turkish rug shop that was so incredibly interesting. We learned how they make the silk fibres and saw many different types and colours of rugs. I wanted so badly to purchase a runner rug for our new front entrance and a rug for our living room area but the cheapest runner was €800 which would be around $1400 Canadian and the cheapest one for the living room was €1200. This is not expensive with regards to true quality but Kyle would not be impressed if I spent that much money on a rug . We concluded you had to see how it's made to truly appreciate the quality and I vowed to return to get a rug from Turkey someday and we left. We returned to the ship for some trivia the headed down to the Bueno Vista theatre for a free showing of Malificent which I loved. Angelina Jolie finally redeemed herself with me after stealing Brad from Jen lol. I started getting shivers when we left the theatre which we chalked up to a bit of sunstroke so I went back to the room for a hot shower, the exact opposite of everyone else on the ship lol. We went and met Haley and Amanda in the Promenade Lounge before the show, Twice Charmed and then had a magical experience at Animator's Palette where we were instructed to draw a character. At the end of the dinner we all watched an amazing presentation where our drawings were brought to life and marched around the many screens of the restaurant. I still had the chills and ran straight to the room after dinner and slept the whole night without waking.

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