On Wednesday the 17th I cycled to the ruins of Ephesus. The grounds of the ruins are massive and only 15% have been excavated so it was an impressive City. The main Theater could hold 25,000 people and was used for many events, including gladiator fights. There were two main points of interest for me.
First, the apostle Paul preached in Ephesus on his Third Journey (as told in Acts 18). He preached that "God's made by human hands are not really God's at all" which inflamed the local silversmiths who made their living by creating silver statues of Artemis. Paul was imprisoned and eventually left. It is believed that Paul wrote 4 books of the New Testament from Ephesus (Galatians, 1st Corinthians, Philemon and Philippians), the last two while in prison.
The second point of interest was to think about the difficulty of the long journeys that Paul made. The temperatures here in mid-November are still quite warm (today was 26C) and with the mountains and rough land it would have made for very challenging conditions. He had incredible stamina and purpose.
Finally, I noted how similar the construction cranes were all those years ago.
One of the more impressive sights was the Library of Celsus. It was built as a tombstone for the Governor of the province of Asia. The 4 female statues on the ground floor fašade represent the virtues of Celsus - wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and virtue.
I spent a few nights sleeping in the wild and in one case behind a gas station. I much prefer to sleep outside but as noted earlier it means having a very long night in the tent. I think it would be fine if I was travelling with another person as you could still have a conversation or play some games but when you are on your own, I prefer to be in a town so I can go out and explore at night or even just sit somewhere around people. I also found out that there are more than a few wild boars in this area as I saw a few on the side of the road after being hit by cars. They are huge, the size of large pigs, with a long tusk. Something to think about (which I will) next time I sleep in an olive grove.
I continued south and with the up and down of the hilly terrain. It was warm and biking in the pine trees off the main highways is some of the best riding of my trip.