|Amazing day starting off with another 'Toe Pic' over the ship railing in port. We were somehow the first off the ship at 7 a.m. We took a quick walk through the port and met our tour company immediately. Because it was a private hire tour, and because we were so early, our guide xxxxxx decided to add on a tour of the house of the Virgin Mary where it is said that she lived her final years, and he told us of the various "proofs". A busy site on a Sunday with mass scheduled for 8:30 and lots of pilgrimages taking place. We visited the house, said a prayer for our families, and got somewhat emotional thinking of them, especially Ken's mom. How she would have loved this site or even hearing about our visit. We both wrote up and left a wish on the "wailing wall or wish wall" which is one of only two or three. We filled one of our water bottles with holy water to drink and went on our way. Absolutley fascinated by how the various religions ... Christians, Jews, and Muslims revered Mary. Her being mentioned in the Koran many more times than the bible, but the difference being that Jesus was one of the prophets for Muslims and not the Son of God.
Ephesus is beyond explanation. One of the wonders of the ancient world. Our guide was awesome. We could have spent hours reading the descriptions and looking at all the ruins, but he took us to the highlights and was very knowledgable about the sites having spent 7 years as a guide. We can 't describe it here; the pictures will have to do. Terrace houses, library of Celcius, amphitheater. All Wow. Again the religious connection was neat as some of Jesus's original disciples preached at the amphitheater and Ephesus is the city and people referred to in the bible in the "letters to the Epheshians".
After that we had a brief stop at the Temple of Artimus. Not much left but one lonely column and only view apparently (pic) of the temple (pagan), a Christian church, and a Muslim Mosque; all next to one another. We got the pic.
We still had some time so we agreed to a tour Of a local carpet factory where they teach "girls" how to weave. Audi and Sandra both received a quick lesson and each tied a knot for the pics. The tour was fascinating and the labour involved was amazing! For the silk weaves it is something like 1100 stitches per square inch. Rugs can take years to make. Thus the price! We escaped without buying! Did get an excellent overview though and description of the process and how the carpets and designs represent the various regions and tribes of a Turkey.
Overall, we loved the vibe and feel and landscape of Turkey. Friendly too. On the way back we got dropped at the beach short of the dock and we walked the beach and dipped our feet in the sea ... As we were in Asia for the first time. Audi snapped another Toe Pic dipping her toes in the water in Asia!
We were back to the ship by noon. We had been off early and had a 1:30 p.m. deadline to be back. We spent the remainder of the day on the pool deck and visiting with people. Ken decided to go in the "men's sexy leg contest" after the guys talked him into it and won!!! LOL. Have the pics an Jill sent us the video.
Dinner with young Aussies Timothy and Nicky and a young newly - that day- engaged Manchester couple, Howard and Nicolla. Spent a couple of hours in Windows laughing the evening away! We later took in the "dancing with the ship stars" at end of night with 'the gang' and had a hoot watching our new Aussie friend, Niki compete (Anthony had wanted to enter but, his name wasn't drawn) Fun! toe Pic with Captain Lars (master of the Ship)! Didn't want to pat the $20 to buy it but, Nas took a pic of the pic in the gallery and emailed to me to post of FB. The look on the Captain's face was priceless!