Ephesus, Turkey

We approached the Port of Kusadasi at 7:30 AM. Most of Turkey is part of the continent of Asia. We boarded our Turkish bus at 8:30 and found the ship's photographer had gotten up early to snap our photographs as we left the dock. He also got us later leaving the ancient city of Ephesus. On our drive to Ephesus, our local guide pointed out the vacation bargains along the beautiful coastline, where two people can stay overnight for only $20 including meals. It is a poor country where Paul incited a riot in the first century A.D. in the city of Ephesus, which was the Rome, Paris, and New York of today. We toured on foot the ancient marble streets where the last restoration took place in 300 BC. As of today, only 20% has been restored and uncovered. Of particular interest were the Turkish baths and lavatories (much superior to our outhouses before the 20th century), and indoor plumbing!

Back to the port of Kusadasi for shopping in the Turkish bazaar, as the Big Bazaar in Istanbul would be closed because of it being the Sabbath. Bought a small copper pot for local souvenir.

We went back to the ship and sailed for Istanbul at 1 PM. Had a few hours of relaxing by the pool and took a quick cold dip in the fresh sea water. Also enjoyed a buffet lunch on deck with Jane and Phil. I tried the Greek drink ouzo but it was terrible --- had a licorice flavor. I went to a briefing on Istanbul, then played hooky while Jim went to the lifeboat drill so I could get ready for the Captain's Welcome Aboard Formal.

A cocktail party preceded dinner with complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, which we enjoyed with Jane and Phil. The ship's photographer kept busy snapping shots of everyone meeting the captain. Jim and I wore our matching pastel blue, enjoyed a nice dinner, and received a complimentary bottle of wine for our “25th anniversary trip” from Richard Revnes, President of Royal Cruise Lines. After watching the floor show and Ulysses Lounge, I left Jim to party and called it a night.