. As it's written in clever books, Izmir is the third most populous city in Turkey and has the country's second largest port after Istanbul. Both points are true: port terminals stretch behind the horizon, and hills on both sides of the bay are dotted with houses, implying that no less than the claimed 3.5 million people live there.
However, Izmir was the only place where group and individual tours to
departed. I knew and tasted beer with the same name and I heard about their basketball team, so it was interesting to finally see the source. And I was not disappointed with what I saw: I'm not interested in antiquities in any form, but this place was very pleasant.
It was a gloomy morning on the roads. Cloudy, raining, and we did not feel like leaving the ship.
Here are port terminals.
However, after breakfast, both the weather and the mood improved and tourists en masse went on tours. In general, about 70-80% of the passengers went to the city during the stops, and the rest enjoy the peace and freedom.
After waiting for some time, we also went to the city. By the way, here's some info on visas. During our cruise, we visited three countries - the EU, Turkey, and Croatia - and we got a Schengen visa only to enter Italy, visas for other countries were not required, and our passports weren't even checked at the exit of the ship.
We took a taxi because it wasn't very convenient to get to Ephesus by foot, as it was a hundred odd miles away. Also, after refreshing ourselves after the sudden downpour, we went to look at the antiquity.
The trip took us more than an hour, but the pleasant scenery brightened our journey. Here's Ephesus - the ancient city on the western coast of Asia Minor.
Asia Minor, and in Turkish - Anatolia - is a peninsula in western Asia, the middle part of the territory of modern Turkey. Asian possessions of Turkey are often called Anatolia (and the European part of Turkey is called Rumelia). Ephesus was founded on the shores of the Aegean Sea and developed rapidly through trade. Subsequently, the sea receded, dropping about 187 feet (57 meters), which was the reason for the rapid decline of the city. The city's population reached 200,000 citizens, and Ephesus was the second city in the Roman Empire in terms of size and importance, after Rome.
In 1869, the first archeological excavations of the city were made and, as a result, a piece of the beauty of the ancient city was discovered. And the remains of ancient Ephesus are hidden under the swamp.
On the territory, there was an abundance of two things: ruins and tourists. Though of course, it can't be compared with the bottlenecks on the narrow streets of Pompeii, but it was still quite difficult to move around the area.
Sometimes, we found something interesting among the ruins, but it was wild and did not want to leave its shelter.
But in general, as I've already said, the place was very beautiful and interesting in its own way.
We made our way back, not through the mountains, but along the coast. On the way, we saw the ruins of the old chapel, or rather the remains of the
in Ephesus. It was built by architect Chirocrates in 550 BC in the city of Ephesus - and it is one of the "Seven Wonders of the World".
Here's an old plane, near the temple ruins.
On the way back, we stopped on a hill, the dominating height of Izmir, and we examined the area from there.
Business sectors and offices were located on the coast of the Bay.
And residential areas were located further inland.
And here's the port again. For those who plan to visit - if you search properly, the shops at the port terminal offer not only souvenirs and different trinkets, but also more useful objects. We bought a hookah for decoration. We wanted to buy it in Istanbul, but we later found out there were no shops at all there.
The ship slowly moved away from the dock and rushed into the Marmara sea. Here's a view of the southern part of the city.
And here are northern districts, located across the bay.
In the evening, we admired the magnificent views of the shores of the Marmara Sea, and early in the morning, we moored in the berths of Istanbul. The next story will cover this - Morning in Istanbul.
Author: River Pilgrim
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova