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Stuff near Ephesus

by - August 13 2010

I spent yesterday exploring various other sites around Ephesus. The Basilica of St John is a ruined church built on the site where St John is believed to have been buried. Like many building here, it us partially constructed from the remains of the temple of Artimis, and one occasionally recognises a familiar looking pillar.

The nearby Isa Bey Mosque also contains fragments of the temple. Like many other mosques, the high ceiling is spoiled by low hanging lights that scrape just above one's head and make the interior feel both spacious and claustrophobic.

The grotto of the Seven Sleepers is a Christian Catacomb that has a legend attached about Christians who slept there for a hundred years - a legend which is apparently also associated with several other catacombs.

I've now realised that it is that the call to prayer reminds me of: Butlins. All the speakers around the town are speaking out various announcements about what time if day it is and what you are supposed to be doing. I wonder if the first part of the chant us Arabic for "Hi-de-hi campers". I also look at minarets much more positively now I know that they usually mark where the public toilets are.

There are a lot of Australians and New Zealanders here, largely because of the nearby battlefields of Gallipoli. One consequence of this is that there are several hotels and restaurants marketed at them, including hotels called "Wallabies" and "All Blacks".

Today I've been largely chilling, hanging out with other travellers, watching Turkish TV, and preparing to fly back to Istanbul in a couple of hours. One Turkish TV program seems to be an Islamic version of pop idol where people are judged on their ability to sing verses from the Koran. It's also interesting to see how the web is different here. Many familiar sites (Including YouTube) are blocked for " offending turkishness" and there are lots of adverts for Islamic marriage arrangers.