Turkey

YAY for ephesus

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We don’t normally capitalise our headings but for this one, we had to! To be inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage List is no easy feat.

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Following a vote on July 5, Ephesus was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List and so this called for us to cheer!!

A visit to Turkey is usually bound to include a visit to Ephesus. And for us, UNESCO collectors, it was no different except the fact that back in 2013, Ephesus was NOT on the list yet. This came as a great surprise to us back then as to how it could not already be.

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Every year, it brings in about 2 million visitors and seriously on the day we were there, we were sure half of that number was there. There were apparently three cruise liners in for the day at Kusadasi, which explained the crowd numbers. Maybe it’s always like that but for us, it felt like we were at a theme park.

The sun was up and there was little shade so apart from the crowd and the heat, we had nothing to “truly” complaint about.

We were wow-ed from the start when we could see the ruins of the pillars and amphitheatres.

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Then to walk the old stone streets, see the mosaic art, admire the different sculptures and structures all the while weaving past the wandering local cats.

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The most famous structure and probably the epitome of Ephesus is the Library of Celsus. We could see it from the distance and we couldn’t wait to stand below and gawk at it!

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And gawk at it we did…

Congratulations to Turkey for getting Ephesus recognised as a UNESCO Heritage Site 🙂

Ephesus was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 2015.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited, visit our unofficial bucket list

Leave us a comment here

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breaking the silence on the time we broke the silence

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Today marks the beginning of Lent. And to acknowledge it, we thought we would share a sacred place that we visited in Turkey. We’re also sharing a story that we haven’t told anyone as yet.

The last home of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, although it has not been officially pronounced as so by the Vatican. There is an information board before heading down the path abut the archeological evidence.

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The stone house is now a chapel. It is located in very peaceful surroundings. We walked along a footpath, lined with lush green trees before lining up outside the doors of the chapel to enter. Despite the number of visitors there, it was respectfully quiet.

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We stepped foot inside and we were welcomed with complete silence. Everyone was walking down the middle towards the altar, in pairs or in single file. There were people kneeling to the sides,  people with their heads bowed, people kissing the tips of their fingers, people doing the sign of the cross. There’s a deep sense of serenity in the modest-sized chapel.

Respectfully, we wanted to make a donation and true to our clumsy selves, we broke the silence embarrassingly. Amongst the peace and quiet,  the coins decided to fly out of our wallets, clanking and rolling around the chapel. Our initial reactions were to hang our heads, let out a sigh and mutter “Oh no!”, wishing for that split second the ground below would swallow us up.

Quickly and as quietly as possible, we gathered the coins and placed them in the donation box before we made a beeline for the exit. We didn’t even want to stay a second longer and disrupt any more of everyone’s tranquil moment in Mary’s House.

Once outside, there is a “wishing wall” where pilgrims can tie their wishes onto. We didn’t actually tie up any intentions because our only wish right then, was to wish we could forget the commotion we created inside.

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Mary’s House was a significant spiritual place for us to visit, an experience we would never forget for more reasons than one.

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Can you make us feel better by telling us about a time you created a scene unintentionally while travelling? 

 

 

 

 

what would you order from our three-course taste of travel menu?

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We were nominated/tagged by two fellow blogger pals, A New Life Wandering and Mrs Ayla’s Adventures for #atasteoftravel blogger competition. Although we are not eligible to win the prize and we are not entering this post into the competition, we thought it would still be fun to get involved in creating a three-course menu from the foods we have tried on our travels.

But we are choosing to put a “spin” on the menu – instead of one entree, main or dessert, we have decided to make it like a set menu: a choice of one of:

  • three entrees
  • three mains
  • three desserts

Simply because we could decide on JUST one for each 🙂 – Apologies in advance that there are no vegetarian options.

So here goes the Wise Monkeys Abroad 3-course Travel Menu.

ENTREE

OPTION 1:

White Rose Dumplings from Hoi An, Vietnam

A steamed dumpling filled with shrimp bunched to look like a rose.

It is served with toasted garlic and sweet dipping sauce.

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OPTION 2:

Sashimi Platter from Hakone, Japan 

A selection of uncooked seafood includes tuna, prawn, squid, octopus, yellow tail .

Served with wasabi and shaved radish.

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OPTION 3:

Cheese Fondue from Lucerne, Switzerland

An infusion of gruyère and emmental cheese in dry white whine.

Served in a casserole on top of a spirit lamp and a basket of bread.

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MAIN:

OPTION 1:

Beef Stroganoff from St Petersburg, Russia

Sauteed beef in a mushroom, sour cream based sauce.

Served with a side of mash potatoes.

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OPTION 2:

Seafood Paella from Leon, Spain

Aromatic rice cooked with seafood, chicken and vegetables over an open fire.

Served in the pan it is cooked in.

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OPTION 3:

Pork Knuckle from Riga, Latvia 

Slow-cooked pork knuckle.

Served with beans, fresh tomato salad and potato wedges.

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DESSERT:

OPTION 1:

Chocolate Soup from Edinburgh, Scotland

A hot chocolate served in a bowl, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

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OPTION 2:

Creme Brûlée from Carcassonne, France

Vanilla custard based layered underneath a hard caramel top.

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OPTION 3:

Pistachio Baklava from Istanbul, Turkey

Chopped pistachios wrapped in filo pastry and held together with a sweet syrup.

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What are you ordering?

Let us know in the comments.

weekly photo challenge: twinkle

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This was a tricky theme but we think we found a picture that twinkled! Don’t look at the sun, look at the reflection off the water 🙂

We took this in Kusadasi, Turkey. We have used a photo of the same horizon when we first participated in the challenge.  Then an hour later from that photo, this happened.

One of the most incredible sunsets we’ve seen 🙂

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Enjoy your weekend ahead!

We would love to hear your comments.