When I came to Turkey, I knew Efeze was one of the most important ancient cities in the Mediterranean area. I'd seen some pictures in books or by friends who've been here before, and I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Well, after a few minutes in Efeze it became clear it was a lot bigger than I'd ever imagined. It's huge !! And ... it's extraordinarily beautiful.

Poppies in Efeze

We start our visit to Efeze with a 'short' talk by our guide Volkan. Next to the entrance to the complex, he tells us everything about the layout of the complex, the differences between Efeze I, II, III and IV, German archaeologists, legends about fish and pigs, Alexander the Great, wars with the Persians, how to recognize different styles of architecture, ancient traditions, law, government, and so on, and so on.

While Volkan holds his speech, everyone in the group is paying absolute attention ... for the first 15 minutes. Little grasshoppers on the ground suddenly become very interesting.

After half an hour of information-processing, we don't want to listen to stories about Efeze anymore, we want to SEE it. Luckily, this is the moment Volkan decides to take us into the complex. If he'd waited 5 minutes longer, he would have anarchy to deal with.

Not afraid of heights

The interesting grasshopper

One of the first things we visit, is the Odeon. Mia and I climb up the stairs. At the top, after we've admired the view, we are totally surprised by Jan to appear at the top too. Wasn't he afraid of heights ?? Well, apparently not. Jan, we're proud of you !

After descending to safer levels, Jan was still a bit shaken. That's why he really appreciated this ancient toilet system, giving him the opportunity to rest for a while.

While we walk through Efeze, Volkan gives more bits and pieces of information. In small doses like this, his stories are fun, and great to listen to. Between the stories, there's plenty of time to look around. And there's enough time to make photographs (except for Mieke and Antoinette, who mistakenly left their cameras in the bus).

Very richly decorated

It's a little bit crowded over here

When we arrive at the famous Library, it has by long come clear to us we're not alone in the complex. It's so crowded, it's impossible to make photo's without people on it. Even worse ... it's almost impossible to make photo's of anything but people.

The library looks very impressive

The Library itself is a wonderful place, very beautiful. I wish I could have seen it when everything was still intact. It must have been very impressive in those old days.

Another detail of the library

And a nice story about the Library is the one about the underground tunnel directly to the whorehouse. Very convenient.

A little further on we see the advertisement for the whorehouse, meaning: if you want sex with this nice girl, you have to walk a certain distance, then turn left. And don't forget to bring money.

Library - a detail

Don't forget to bring money

Admiring the acoustics while the lion sleeps

At the end of the complex is the large theatre. This theatre is one of the largest theatres in Turkey. Of course, I have to climb the stairs to the top again. While I'm there, there are some Dutch girls downstairs, who start singing about sleeping lions, to test the acoustics of this place. Well done girls, great singing.

One last look back at the theatre, then it's time again to leave the Efeze Complex. Yet, after passing through the gates, we enter another complex of almost the same size of the ancient city. Indeed, the souvenir stall area. This too is huge !!! Here, you have a great choice in buying silly things for your friends at home. But I want my friends to stay friends, so I don't buy anything. I even forget to buy postcards for my scrapbook.

One last look at the theatre