New rule: When visiting one of the cruise industry’s sacred spots, wait until the season is well and truly finished.
Our overly jocular guide assured us that we were lucky to encounter “only” one cruise ship but Ephesus was still jammed with sweaty tourists. Mary’s House was a zoo. I wished for fewer visitors on the “Wishing Wall”. Others wished for “sleep”.
Still, the visit sparked my interest in the time and place where Artemis ceded to Mary and the earliest Christians set up shop in the heart of the Roman empire. Life was good in Epheses: indoor hot and cold running water, indoor latrines, servants, lots of parties for Artemis and her god friends, rich and famous visitors, the finest artists. It was the New York of the Roman Empire.
My hotel Jimmys Place, had a comprehensive collection of historical articles. A tranquil visit to the St Jean Basilica drifted me back to Biblical times. The 15th century Isa Bey mosque right next door was also a haven.