The port Kusadasi (pronounced Koo-she-da-see) is a fairly short drive away from the ancient Roman city of Ephesus (Eh-fe-soos) which was built and rebuilt 4 different times following the vital River front that connects to the Mediterranean Sea. The main sites of attraction are the house where the Virgin Mary lived the rest of her natural life after Jesus died. This site is a very popular pilgrimage for many Christians especially Catholics. The ruins of what was left of the ancient city of Ephesus are fascinating in an archeological standpoint and a lot of the place (though in ruins) is impressive to see especially the facade of the Main Library. This is also one of the cities Mark Anthony and Cleopatra were known to have visited often.
For our tour, I chose to use Port Promotions on this destination because it was a bit cheaper and that I wanted to see if they indeed have smaller groups as oppose to the buses and buses of people from the Cruise ship. Well, it was all very easy. As my wife left the port terminal, right outside was a sign with my name on it as well as another couple who turned out to be some retired teachers from Toronto, Canada (Lou and Sharon).
Ilknur Keser (Nur for short) was our tour guide who worked for a company that hired her called Eurway. She spoke very good English as she learned English in London. I rated her one of the better guides in all my trip so I'm glad she was there. I hope Port Promotions keep using her.
The tour started us of towards the Virgin Mary’s house which was quite busy but a good experience. Many pilgrims as expected here. The remains of the Roman city of Ephesus were next and it was quite nice. Be prepared to wear comfortable shoes since you will walk through paths through the ruins itself and some of the footing can get quite tricky. Take the photo of the rebuilt façade of the Library of Ephesus which is the photo opportunity of the excursion.
Afterwards, we went up the mountain a bit to a very nice restaurant (Artemis Restaurant) for some local Turkish cuisine consisting of some kabobs of chicken and lamb, various cold side dishes and a salad along with some wine. The area reminded me much like Napa Valley in California. Our final stop was the remains of St. John’s Basilica which was destroyed by a massive Earthquake and was long forgotten.