June 6, 2012

The city looked like it had been run down by Asterix and Obelix.  Yes, this was my first true ‘Roman city destroyed by Gauls’ experience. The first one was Rome itself on The Great Italian Roadtrip in 2010, but this was the ‘real deal’.

Yesterday, I was staying in the nearby hill village of Sirince. I descended from there on my chariot pulled by 160 horses to the City Of Ephesus to conquer it once more.

One note on my personal preferences. I absolutely abhor crowded touristy places. I am the last guy you will find in such places where plastic mineral bottles, flag herding guides, and horde of tourist buses rule the roost. And that too, on a very sunny, very hot day.

But here this guy was, a place where I wish was empty and left to myself to enjoy, photograph and imagine in all its splendor, of what it would be thousands of years ago. And yes, I did often imagine the places inside Ephesus being photographed by me with the MultiStrada.

Never mind, if the Romans has an army of people working for them to build anything they wanted, I had an army of silicon chips in my Lenovo to work some quick and cheap magic and get the MultiStrada parked handsomely on the streets of Ephesus. This one below is called Harbour Street:

So now I started walking in what is considered to be one of the greatest outdoor museums in the world. I saw all kinds of ruins, from libraries, toilets, temples and amphitheaters  where both musical and gladiator fights used to take place. There were small ‘street’ theatrics also taking place with Turkish actors as Romans.

Contrary to popular notion, Romans had access to cellular phones in their era. Actually Doctor Who had forgt one of his cell phones along when he came along with his TARDIS:

And that’s me, I used a time machine to teleport myself to tell them how many horses my chariot had, they then asked me if there were any openings with xBhp or Ducati, I said for that they have to reborn in my era:

In fact if you go and read about Ephesus on the internet, there are so many layers of history and events involved, that you wish you could see the city in its entire splendor. In fact this is the very thing some of our descendants might be wishing for our present day cities.

To tell you very briefly about Ephesus: Areas around Ephesus were inhabited since the Neolithic Age (6000 BC). It was one of the biggest cities in the Mediterranean world in 1 BC populated by around 250000 people. It started off as a Greek city, then was occupied by Romans, then destroyed by various tyrants and nuts, restored by various, again destroyed by some nuts, and again resurrected by some, you get the point…It is very old, and hell important of a place in history. And now it is in present day Turkey with a very Greek name. So thanks to the Greek and Romans (and the nuts who thankfully didn’t destroy it completely, lest even the ruins wouldn’t be visible today)., Turkey’s Tourism is benefiting from it.

Just imagine how this street must have looked when Ephesus was alive:

I was feeling glad and privileged to have seen such an old city, thanks to the MultiStrada for getting me here. Even though I am a mountain motorcyclist who always likes to twist and feel the cool wind on the face, there are things worthwhile, necessary and humbling as Ephesus. They make you feel that you are a mere speck, one molecule of billions of human beings which have already lived and passed away from this planet.

The question is, how many of us will leave a mark and reason for people to remember us?

I can already see a Museum dedicated to my photography… (ah my sweet dreams).

Coming to dreams, I found the best place to stay so far in the entire trip. And it was a discovery by pure happen-chance… (more in the next blog).

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