Monday, May 19, 2014


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We bused to the Basilica of St. John the Apostle of Jesus who is thought to have written the Book of Revelations and the Fourth Gospel of the Bible while in Ephesus. And, what happened to Mary after Jesus rose from the dead and left his legacy to the Apostles? Turkey has this amazing Christian and Moslem background. Mary’s house, where she lived near St. John’s Basilica, is close by but not very accessible. Usla told us it is very remote, very small despite it’s historic importance, and is always mobbed. DSC05231 (Copy)

Unlike other ruins, this one was built of part marble and part warm brick and stone giving it great beauty. Emperor Justinian built it in the 6th Century over the original, humble, Church of St. John, and copied after a famous Church in Constantinople.
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The outside walls were not meant to be a fortress nor impregnable. Flowers invade adding another layer of beauty.
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Beautiful marble pieces lay about. I’d love to have a piece of carved marble in my yard.
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A small, cross shaped pool is for baptizing the faithful, both adults and newborns.

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St. John’s  tomb is here.
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Noticeably located on a hill, The Basilica once dominated the city Skyline, seen behind Joel and Maria. The hill is a bit over two miles from the Ephesus ruins.
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The frescoes were at one time exposed to rain and sun and are in terrible shape. They are roofed over and protected now, but restoration is a slow process.
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History in layers can be seen in this part of the complex, various kinds of stone, brick and restorations. It was a lovely ruin, not quite as intimidating as the massive Ephesus.
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Bused to the beautiful Kismit Hotel at Kusadsai Aydin, with lovely balconies overlooking the Agean Sea and our first hours-long stretch of free time. Gina suggested we all gather in the garden before dinner for Happy Hour. Several of us walked to a local supermarket and bought drinks and snacks for Happy Hour, rather than pay high prices at the bar.  Owen made a phone call and talked to his dad.
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Gina, Joan B. and others over the two day stay here managed to get in a chilly swim on a private beech.
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The Kistmit is an old historic hotel having hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents and many famous people over the years. Their pictures cover the lobby and hall walls. The lobby is also loaded with antiques like this bench.
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Antiques like old phones, radios, film making equipment, brass coffee servers and so on decorate the common rooms.
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The lobby is lighted by a beautiful rotunda.
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Buffets in every hotel we stayed are munificent, and I began to realize and brag that I had eaten fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and yoghurt at every breakfast since arriving in Turkey. I love that combo.
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Before leaving this lovely place, I took a picture of the God’s Eye at the entrance.
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Decorating a marble pillar at the entrance is a God’s Eye Hanging. They are meant to ward off evil. Every building, shop, cafe, hotel, every home and business in Turkey has a God’s Eye. People wear them as earrings, necklaces, pin them on little children, attach them to fence posts,  book marks…everywhere you go, you see the God’s Eye. All pervasive,  some of them hang on five foot ropes and are as big as dinner plates.  After awhile you forget how unique they are. And, now, I could kick myself for not taking more pictures of God’s Eyes, a unique, cultural tradition in Turkey.

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