Dublin

Some of the beautiful buildings around Dublin.

Some of the beautiful buildings around Dublin.

Winter finally caught up with us as we have begun making our way back west. We spent the last two weeks in Dublin and loved it, despite the cold and wet. Ireland has a rich culture and a strong history. It is the first place we have been in a long time that wasn’t conquered by the Romans. (They knew about Ireland but didn’t stick around, named it Hibernia, the Land of Winter and left.) With short cool days and a limited budget, we decided to not attempt a whirlwind tour of the whole island but concentrated on Dublin with a few day trips out. The Irish are incredibly friendly and we appreciated their hospitality and openness.

The Snug Bar in the Temple Bar district. Note the Guinness poster.

The Snug Bar in the Temple Bar district. Note the Guinness poster.

Dublin is home to about a quarter of Ireland’s population and the largest city by far with 1.1 million residents in the urban area. It is made for pedestrians with most tourist attractions close together. We rented an apartment in Temple Bar (the place to see and be seen) with a balcony and were endlessly amused by the people watching. For example, on our first night, we stumbled upon a New Year’s Eve parade with a performing marching band that happened to be from the US! Ireland is seeing more tourists every year and we found it very easy to navigate. Free wifi is provided at almost all restaurants, on every bus and train, in many parks, and most public buildings. Tourist information offices are everywhere with good maps, brochures, and recommendations. We did some of the classic things like take a walking tour of central Dublin, watch a football match in a pub while the rain came down sideways outside, drink many cups of tea, and listen to two old guys picking and singing in a pub as the snow and rain showered.

Botanic Garden.

Botanic Garden.

Dublin has many fantastic free national museums. We looked at viking artifacts, early stone tools, and bog mummies in the Archaeology Museum. We learned that Dublin city was founded by Vikings who ended up staying and merging with the local population. They brought with them merchant skills and laid out the town in an organized grid. At the National Gallery, we joined the throngs visiting their favorite paintings as if they were old friends. We marveled at the local, exotic, and carnivorous plants on display at the Botanic Garden. In the phenomenal Chester Beatty Library, we saw books made of unusual materials like jade, papyrus, and lacquered monk’s robes.

A Glasnevin watchtower. A plaque at the base states: "In the in 1840's, nightwatchmen on this tower successfully guarded the Cemetery against 'Resurrectionists' who supplied the medical profession with corpses for anatomy students."

A Glasnevin watchtower. A plaque at the base states: “In the in 1840’s, nightwatchmen on this tower successfully guarded the Cemetery against ‘Resurrectionists’ who supplied the medical profession with corpses for anatomy students.”

Glasnevin Cemetery keeps the remains of many of Ireland’s revolutionaries among the 1.5 million interred there. Like Père Lachaise in Paris, Glasnevin was not popular when it opened. It was too far away so only the poor were buried there. As Dublin grew and famous people chose to be interred in Glasnevin, it gained fame and now there are more people interred at Glasnevin than live in Dublin. The cemetery has high stone walls and guard towers on the corners. It turns out that these are not just for looks. Body snatchers were so prolific that the cemetery was staffed 24/7 by guards and at night they ran a pack of bloodhounds within the walls!

Newgrange.

Newgrange.

We took a day tour up to Hill of Tara and Newgrange. These are sights that predate Egypt’s pyramids by one thousand years. Detailed knowledge of the purpose has been lost with the passage of time, but the earthworks remain. The Hill of Tara has two concentric circles around a rock that is said to cry out when a true king comes to power. There are also multiple mounds and man-made valleys. While we were there the wind and rain pummeled the hill, thoroughly soaking through my pants and sending rivers into my boots. Newgrange is a very large passage tomb. A narrow opening lets direct sunlight come in for only 17 minutes on the winter solstice. The rocks and large slabs used to create this monument were brought in from miles away. Archaeologists are not sure what the outside looked out, so they did reverse engineering on the rubble piles. In other words, they built something out of the rocks, let it tumble down and kept doing this trial and error construction until the pile looked similar to how it was originally found.

Howth

Howth

On a sunny day, we went to the peninsula just outside Dublin called Howth. Miles of walking trails criss-cross this peninsula and cling to the cliff’s edge around it. The strong wind did not diminish the beauty. Yellow gorse blossoms, rust-colored dead bracken, sandy slivers of beaches, lichen-covered cliffs, and green trees bent by the ceaseless wind.

Old church in Dalkey. Wealthy folks were buried in the church after it fell to ruins because the neighboring graveyard was full.

Old church in Dalkey. Wealthy folks were buried in the church after it fell to ruins because the neighboring graveyard was full.

Another day we took the commuter train south along the coast to enjoy the view. We stopped in the small town of Dalkey. The castle there is the only museum we paid for in Ireland. Our admission fee included a guided tour by actors. As we were the only guests, it was interactive and very amusing. They were in medieval garb and stayed in character as they made fun of Jim for saying he “flew” to Ireland and made fun of Megan for daring to wear such odd garments. They showed us how to use a long-bow, what a typical feast would include, and what a visit to the “doctor” might entail. It was a riot!

Blooming heather garden at a public park in Dublin.

Blooming heather garden at a public park in Dublin.

You can see a few more Ireland pictures here or keep reading. As always, there are some stories or details only explained in the picture’s captions.

This stone tower once stood at a monastery that no longer exists. It was sacked by Vikings long ago.

This stone tower once stood at a monastery that no longer exists. It was sacked by Vikings long ago.

Part of the Dublin Castle.

Part of the Dublin Castle.

An unusual statue of Justice at the Dublin castle. A local pointed out to us that Justice faces the castle with her back to the people, her sword is unsheathed and raised, and she is not blind-folded.

An unusual statue of Justice at the Dublin castle. A local pointed out to us that Justice faces the castle with her back to the people, her sword is unsheathed and raised, and she is not blind-folded.

A kinetic sculpture rotating on the Trinity College Campus.

A kinetic sculpture rotating on the Trinity College Campus.

View from our balcony over Temple Bar. Sinead O'Connor worked as a waitress in the building on the right before her music career took off.

View from our balcony over Temple Bar. Sinead O’Connor worked as a waitress in the building on the right before her music career took off.

Daily morning delivery in the Temple Bar district. The Guinness truck is bigger.

Daily morning delivery in the Temple Bar district. The Guinness truck is bigger.

Is this sandwich small or are the fries large? Only my stomach knows for sure.

Is this sandwich small or are the fries large? Only my stomach knows for sure.

Michael Collins' grave in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Michael Collins’ grave in Glasnevin Cemetery.

In the last few decades, Loyalists planted a bomb in the base of this tower destroying its staircase. The tower is a memorial for Daniel O'Connell. Glasnevin Cemetery.

In the last few decades, Loyalists planted a bomb in the base of this tower destroying its staircase. The tower is a memorial for Daniel O’Connell. Glasnevin Cemetery.

Glasnevin Cemetery is well cared for today. The blue tags indicate they have been repaired and restored.

Glasnevin Cemetery is well cared for today. The blue tags indicate they have been repaired and restored.

Grave of Arthur Griffith, first president of the Irish Free State and founder of Sinn Féin.

Grave of Arthur Griffith, first president of the Irish Free State and founder of Sinn Féin.

Formal English garden outside the Museum of Modern Art.

Formal English garden outside the Museum of Modern Art.

St. Patrick with his clover. This Brit not only brought Christianity to Ireland but also the Latin script and thus Ireland's first written language.

St. Patrick with his clover. This Brit not only brought Christianity to Ireland but also the Latin script and thus Ireland’s first written language.

Hill of Tara in the sideways rain.

Hill of Tara in the sideways rain.

Newgrange

Newgrange

A carved stone at Newgrange. The meanings of these shapes are completely unknown.

A carved stone at Newgrange. The meanings of these shapes are completely unknown.

This tree and bench have been friends for a long time. They have become quite attached to each other.

This tree and bench have been friends for a long time. They have become quite attached to each other.

An artist sketching at The National Gallery.

An artist sketching at The National Gallery.

The Eye of Ireland island, as seen from Howth.

The Eye of Ireland island, as seen from Howth.

Lighthouse at the tip of the rugged Howth Peninsula.

Lighthouse at the tip of the rugged Howth Peninsula.

A public art project as seen out our window above Temple Bar Square.

A public art project as seen out our window above Temple Bar Square.

Beautiful ornate Dublin building.

Beautiful ornate Dublin building.

Dalkey Castle.

Dalkey Castle.

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Rhodes, Greece

Church on Kos.

Church on Kos.

For the week of Christmas, we traveled by ferry over to the Greek island of Rhodes. Coming from the 99.9% Muslim Turkey, it was surprisingly sweet to hear Christmas carols in the grocery, to watch twinkling lights, and to see people wearing reindeer headbands and Santa hats. Similar to our experience in Turkey, Rhodes is in off-season mode with the tourist traps shut down and locals running all over the place.

Poinsettia trees blooming in time for Christmas.

Poinsettia trees blooming in time for Christmas.

Beside obviously being neighbors, Turkey and Greece share quite a history. In ancient times people moved back and forth, with many ancient Greek cities built in what is now Turkey. After the Greco-Turkish war ended, a population exchange took place in 1923. The idea was to concentrate all Muslims on Turkish soil and all Christians on Greek soil. It is estimated some two million people were forced from their homes and made refugees.

Hellenistic marble columns in ancient Agora on Kos.

Hellenistic marble columns in ancient Agora on Kos.

On the way to and from Rhodes we stopped on the island of Kos. Right in town are very well laid out Hellinistic, Roman, and medieval buildings and ruins. We wandered through the agora, looked at mosaic floors and marble columns, explored the Crusaders castle, and walked the docks at the marina between ferries. Outside the town of Kos is the Asclepeion where Hippocrates first practiced medicine. In Kos town, we spent a few minutes under the tree where legend has it that Hippocrates taught his students the art of medicine.

The moat around Rhodes. Today it is a frequent walking and jogging path.

The moat around Rhodes. Today it is a frequent walking and jogging path.

Rhodes is a UNESCO world heritage site. The medieval walled city is very large and in good shape. Apparently a few thousand people live inside the walls. Some business were still open but it was mostly closed up due to tourist season being over. We spent hours wandering the cobbled lanes, enjoying the bougainvillea and stonework. The Palace of the Grand Master is a central castle built by the St. John’s Knights within the walled city and today serves a museum.

The beach from which we swam on Christmas Day, despite the grey clouds.

The beach from which we swam on Christmas Day, despite the grey clouds.

On Christmas Day, we swam in the Mediterranean. It was cold but not so cold we couldn’t spend about 20 minutes swimming around and making bubbles. Nor were we the only ones in the water. All the beaches in Rhodes appear to be set up for year-round swimmers with changing stalls, benches, hooks, and fresh-water showers. Luckily, the black hose leading to the shower provided warm water despite the overcast day. Even on a day when we felt frozen by strong wind, the distant Turkish mountains were capped in fresh snow, and the waves were a meter high, there were people swimming in the sea!

Lindos town and the fortified acropolis.

Lindos town and the fortified acropolis.

One day we took the public bus down to the town of Lindos. An elaborate temple to Athena sat on the steep hill above town, with construction completed about 300 BC. Later, the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines added to the hill-top sanctuary. Later still, the Crusaders and then Ottomans turned it into a fortress. The modern-day town of Lindos is one of the most picturesque things you can imagine, but was seemingly vacant. One restaurant and one small mini-market were open, all else was shuttered for the season. It was full of beautiful white homes closed up.

Entrance to the Temple to Athena above Lindos.

Entrance to the Temple to Athena above Lindos.

A few months ago we heard about a documentary called The Venice Syndrome. Apparently, Venice has as many residents today as it did after the Great Plague in 1438. The cost of living is so high, the city has become uninhabitable. Extreme tourist pressure means hundreds of locals leave every year. We wondered if perhaps the same is happening in Lindos. Nearly every building had an English sign up for hotel, apartment, hostel, pension, or room—indications that they had converted these old stone homes to compact rental accommodation for tourists. What is the fate of locals here? Especially those on the low end of the economic scale? A taxi driver told us the year-round population of the island is 115,000 and it swells to half a million in the summer with tourists. Certainly, Greeks welcome tourist income but, at what cost?

A stormy day at a Rhodes beach with snow on the Turkish mountains.

A stormy day at a Rhodes beach with snow on the Turkish mountains.

See more pictures from Rhodes and Kos in the Greek Island photo album here. You can also check out where Rhodes is on the map.

Many of the columns in ancient Agora were enormous. Megan's rides side saddle on the one for scale.

Many of the columns in ancient Agora were enormous. Megan’s rides side saddle on the one for scale.

Ancient Roman Nymphaeum on Kos.

Ancient Roman Nymphaeum on Kos.

An ancient Roman hot tub on Kos.

An ancient Roman hot tub on Kos.

Pipe fragments from ancient Roman plumbing on Kos.

Pipe fragments from ancient Roman plumbing on Kos.

Even the Greeks "put a bird on it" in this mosaic floor. Ancient Agora on Kos.

Even the Greeks “put a bird on it” in this mosaic floor. Ancient Agora on Kos.

Delicate carved stone in the Kos Castle

Delicate carved stone in the Kos Castle

Altar

Altar

Early recycling. Thirteen gorgeous columns placed in their weakest position with this reuse.

Early recycling. Thirteen gorgeous columns placed in their weakest position with this reuse.

Symi, a picturesque Greek island as seen from the ferry.

Symi, a picturesque Greek island as seen from the ferry.

One of the entrances to the medieval walled city of Rhodes.

One of the entrances to the medieval walled city of Rhodes.

This is the entrance to the old harbor on Rhodes. Legend has it that Helios stood with one leg on either side of the entrance as the Colossos of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

This is the entrance to the old harbor on Rhodes. Legend has it that Helios stood with one leg on either side of the entrance as the Colossos of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Palace of the Grand Master.

Palace of the Grand Master.

Inside the Palace of the Grand Master.

Inside the Palace of the Grand Master.

Many of the small windows in the Palace of the Grand Master are made from stone instead of glass.

Many of the small windows in the Palace of the Grand Master are made from stone instead of glass.

Jim's dream ride.

Jim’s dream ride.

Lindos town and the fortified acropolis.

Lindos town and the fortified acropolis.

Megan among the columns above Lindos.

Megan among the columns above Lindos.

Bike for a very small man.

Bike for a very small man.

A Hellenistic funerary monument above Lindos. The rocks at the cave entrance were carved. Unfortunately the roof fell in long ago.

A Hellenistic funerary monument above Lindos. The rocks at the cave entrance were carved. Unfortunately the roof fell in long ago.

On the Greek islands we visited cobbles are made from river stones turned on their sides. If you look closely, you can see many of these stones are worn flat on the upper edge.

On the Greek islands we visited cobbles are made from river stones turned on their sides. If you look closely, you can see many of these stones are worn flat on the upper edge.

The Rhodes moat. These granite balls were fired from mortars  short-range out of the moat at encroaching attackers.

The Rhodes moat. These granite balls were fired from mortars short-range out of the moat at encroaching attackers.

Olive trees get pruned for decades to keep all the limbs in easy reach. Over time, you get fat gnarled trunks on what look like small trees.

Olive trees get pruned for decades to keep all the limbs in easy reach. Over time, you get fat gnarled trunks on what look like small trees.

Jim makes a new friend.

Jim makes a new friend.

Our ferry passed through this narrow gap at over 30 mph. The small speck on the right side is a fishing boat!

Our ferry passed through this narrow gap at over 30 mph. The small speck on the right side is a fishing boat!

Goodbye, Bodrum

Us up on a rocky promontory overlooking abandoned Sandima.

Us up on a rocky promontory overlooking abandoned Sandima.

In addition to our trip to Ephesus, we explored the greater Bodrum peninsula. The entire peninsula is a tourist destination for Turks and Europeans. Many people return to the same resort every summer. The Istanbul jet-set fly down for the weekend to escape the city bustle and winter weather. Despite this, some of the communities outside Bodrum have retained their small town flavor. With the excellent public transit system, we were able to take day trips to every corner. The coastline is rugged in places and views of the Aegean and Greek Islands are everywhere.

Citrus season! You can buy a 2 pounds of these guys for less than a dollar!

Citrus season! You can buy a 2 pounds of these guys for less than a dollar!

One afternoon we discovered a fun juxtaposition, the towns of Yalikavak and Sandima. Yalikivak seems to have embraced wealthy yachters. We walked by fancy shops, art galleries, fashionistas, and a large marina for mega yachts. A short walk from the strip is a thriving community with many gardens and orange groves. Providing quite a contrast, Sandima is an abandoned village above Yalikivak. It is a 30 minute walk from from downtown. Stone houses stand silently in various states of disintegration. Very few have roofs, most have lost part of a wall. The orange, pomegranate, and olive trees are reminders of habitation. The houses are scattered on either side of a gentle valley, full of grazing goats and small caves.

Part of the ancient Greek city Myndos. This island is covered with ruins and connected to the mainland at low tide by an ancient causeway.

Part of the ancient Greek city Myndos. This island is covered with ruins and connected to the mainland at low tide by an ancient causeway.

One of our last discoveries in Bodrum was the maritime museum with a fantastic display of model ships and the most astonishing collection of seashells I’ve ever seen. There are about 5000 of them. Some looked like candies, some like punk jewelry, some like galaxies, and some beyond description. Bodrum and the nearby Greek Islands were a center for sponge diving. Early commercial divers tied a slab of marble around their necks and used it both as a weight and hydroplane to steer their dive. As new technology came along, divers could go deeper and longer but they did not understand decompression sickness, or “the bends.” They estimate that 20,000 divers suffered debilitating injuries and 10,000 died from ascending too quickly  before sponge diving was banned. Apparently it was Mediterranean women who put up enough of a fight for it to end; they didn’t want to lose any more of their sons, brothers, or husbands.

You can see all our pictures from Bodrum here if you wish to see more.

Abandoned village of Sandima on the Bodrum Peninsula.

Abandoned village of Sandima on the Bodrum Peninsula.

Bodrum receding as we take a ferry to the Greek Island of Kos.

Bodrum receding as we take a ferry to the Greek Island of Kos.

The minarets around the Bodrum Peninsula are mostly topped with blue glass.

The minarets around the Bodrum Peninsula are mostly topped with blue glass.

Windmills are all around the Bodrum Peninsula. They were used from the 18th century up to the 1970s to mill flour. Most are falling down today.

Windmills are all around the Bodrum Peninsula. They were used from the 18th century up to the 1970s to mill flour. Most are falling down today.

The blue eye amulets, called nazar, are everywhere and often built into walls and sidewalks. It is believed to provide protection from the Evil Eye and likely dates back to the 16th century BC when glasswork developed.

The blue eye amulets, called nazar, are everywhere and often built into walls and sidewalks. It is believed to provide protection from the Evil Eye and likely dates back to the 16th century BC when glasswork developed.

Down a neighborhood street we came across these seemingly random ruins. We hear that most building projects uncover things like this.

Down a neighborhood street we came across these seemingly random ruins. We hear that most building projects uncover things like this.

Birds on the rigging, Bodrum Harbor.

Birds on the rigging, Bodrum Harbor.

The ancient Greek theater in Bodrum.

The ancient Greek theater in Bodrum.

A typical Bodrum house with blue trim, white walls, and protection from the evil eye. Note the extremely tall cactus!

A typical Bodrum house with blue trim, white walls, and protection from the evil eye. Note the extremely tall cactus!

Ephesus

A wooden roof would have sat on these columns, shading pedestrians.

A wooden roof would have sat on these columns, shading pedestrians.

The highlight of our time in Turkey was a trip to Selçuk to visit the ancient city of Ephesus. Ephesus is remarkable for it’s size and condition. At it’s peak, the estimated population was 250,000. It hosted wealthy Romans and stories say that St. Paul and Mary (Jesus’s mother) came here together and later that Mary retired near Ephesus. 18% of the walled city has been excavated so far and we spent a day exploring it; it’s huge! In its day, Ephesus was second only to Rome in size. Unlike many other old cities, Ephesus was pretty much abandoned in the 7th century so archaeologists don’t have newer buildings to sort through, just a lot of rubble and earth.

Temple of Hadrian.

Temple of Hadrian.

One thing the Greeks and Romans knew about was city planning. Ephesus was laid out on a geometric grid around 300 BC and the lines are based upon the nearby Temple of Artemis (one of the seven wonders of Ancient World). The core area had gates and stairs designed to exclude wheeled traffic; they were preserved as pedestrian malls. Under roads, pipes transported both clean water and sewage. Fountains were common and allowed all access to clean drinking water. The city had multiple public baths and toilets. The main roads are even said to have had street lamps lining them at night! One of the most glorious buildings is the Celsus library. It was designed to hold 12,000 scrolls. Building construction minimized the effect of climate to protect the fragility of these early books. Today the facade stands nearly complete, thanks to restoration. The enormous amphitheater could hold 10% of the population and gave us an indication of just how large a space it takes to fit 25,000 people.

Library of Celsus.

Library of Celsus.

The first settlement at Ephesus was 8000 years ago. Ephesus became most prominent and wealthy under the Romans between the first and third centuries AD. Mass exodus began not long after and only a couple centuries later the area was abandoned. Two significant factors were at play. First, multiple large earthquakes toppled buildings and the Romans were not interested in rebuilding yet again. It’s also likely that the earthquakes may have been interpreted as displeasure from the gods. Second, the original city was built with a small walled harbor in the edge of a large bay. The Meander River (yes, that is where the name comes from) poured silt into the bay at an alarming rate and the harbor become disconnected from the sea. Without the possibility of trade or sea transport, Ephesus became extraneous. Today the sea is five miles from the original harbor.

Terrace House.

Terrace House.

One of the most remarkable bits of restoration is what they call the Terrace Houses. Houses like these lined the core streets and were where the very wealthy lived. They were richly decorated with marble, mosaic, and frescos. Raised walkways allow tourists today to peer into rooms and courtyards without interrupting or damaging the ongoing restoration work. Because these houses were abandoned after being severely damaged by an earthquake, they have been a rich source for archaeologists. In the Ephesus Museum we saw many of the smaller pieces of art that were found in these houses as well as some of the larger statues from monuments in the town. Like everywhere we have been, all the real gems from these ancient places are far away in museums in Europe or America.

A majestically posed cat.

A majestically posed cat.

My favorite story we learned has to do with the strength of the goddess Artemis. Around Ephesus was a sacred area long before the Greeks arrived and it appears the indigenous people worshiped a matron goddess. For many centuries, people were in process of constructing a temple to Artemis. Construction stretched on again and again as the temple was destroyed three times. In the sixth century BC, the people of Ephesus heard that the King of Lydia was coming to attack. They tied a rope to a completion portion of the Temple of Artemis and stretched it several kilometers to their settlement, believing that Artemis would not allow the army to cross that line and her protection would travel along the rope to their homes. In one sense, it worked. The story goes that the king was so touched by their faith that he only conquered the people but didn’t destroy their temple. In fact, he donated to the construction effort!

See more pictures here. Check out our new photo layout and let us know what you think.

All that remains of the Temple of Artemis. This was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World with 127 of these columns standing over 40 feet tall.

All that remains of the Temple of Artemis. This was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World with 127 of these columns standing over 40 feet tall.

One of the main streets in Ephesus, looking toward the Celsus Library. The flat below was once ocean.

One of the main streets in Ephesus, looking toward the Celsus Library. The flat below was once ocean.

Ephesus

Ephesus

Under the roadways, these pipes carried in clean water and carried out sewage.

Under the roadways, these pipes carried in clean water and carried out sewage.

Grooves in the marble pavers from the passage of thousands of carts.

Grooves in the marble pavers from the passage of thousands of carts.

This street connected the harbor to the amphitheater.

This street connected the harbor to the amphitheater.

Some of the cut stones they built with are enormous.

Some of the cut stones they built with are enormous.

The goddess Nike.

The goddess Nike.

Temple of Domitian. Note the un-excavated structure behind the columns.

Temple of Domitian. Note the un-excavated structure behind the columns.

The Hercules Gate provided a physical barrier to carts, keeping the road below open only to pedestrians.

The Hercules Gate provided a physical barrier to carts, keeping the road below open only to pedestrians.

Marble column with swirl patterns.

Marble column with swirl patterns.

Part of one of the large public baths.

Part of one of the large public baths.

A public toilet. Supposedly, wealthy clients had a reserved seat.

A public toilet. Supposedly, wealthy clients had a reserved seat.

Reconstruction in progress of a Terrace House.

Reconstruction in progress of a Terrace House.

The walls and floor of this room were covered in sheets of marble.

The walls and floor of this room were covered in sheets of marble.

Layers of painted murals in a Terrace House.

Layers of painted murals in a Terrace House.

Floor mosaics from above, Terrace House.

Floor mosaics from above, Terrace House.

Floor mosaic of a woman riding a hippocampus, mythical Roman beast, and a god.

Floor mosaic of a woman riding a hippocampus, mythical Roman beast, and a god.

Celsus Library, looking up.

Celsus Library, looking up.

Ephesus amphitheater could seat 25,000 or 10% of the population. Megan is the dark spot near the center of the picture, in the upper rows.

Ephesus amphitheater could seat 25,000 or 10% of the population. Megan is the dark spot near the center of the picture, in the upper rows.

Ephesus

Ephesus

From the amphitheater, this road extended to the harbor, long since silted in. If you look closely you can see the sea now 5 miles away as a light glimmer.

From the amphitheater, this road extended to the harbor, long since silted in. If you look closely you can see the sea now 5 miles away as a light glimmer.

Stray cats at Ephesus.

Stray cats at Ephesus.

Megan taking history lessons from Artemis.

Megan taking history lessons from Artemis.

All that remains of a giant statue of a Roman Emperor.

All that remains of a giant statue of a Roman Emperor.

Shiny happy person, of solid gold.

Shiny happy person, of solid gold.

Hee-haw. Dolphin riding at its best.

Hee-haw. Dolphin riding at its best.

This trio was found in this arrangement at Terrace House. A couple and their bronze snake.

This trio was found in this arrangement at Terrace House. A couple and their bronze snake.

Aphrodite.

Aphrodite.

An ivory relief from a Terrace House.

An ivory relief from a Terrace House.