February 23, 2015

Continuing the Tour of Paul: Ephesus, Turkey

Celsus Library, Ephesus Turkey

Once a month there is a group of LDS members that meet together in Izmir, Turkey for church services. This past weekend we were asked if we could come down and given the sermons in the service. We decided that if we were going to be in the area we might as well go early and see Ephesus too. Ephesus is the ancient home to the Ephesians (See Acts and Ephesians in the New Testament).

It is crazy to go there today and see ruins of the ancient Greek community of over 300,000 that once lived there and then areas from Byzantium and the Ottoman Empires. It was also amazing to see Ephesus a few days after we were in Athens. Both places have history from around the same time period, The difference being that in Turkey you can literally walk among the ruins to touch and experience it.

They have excavated several areas of the ruins and then rebuilt some of the structures. It was truly fascinating to see the way these structures were and how even after thousands of years of being destroyed and buried in the earth there are so many details.

Pieces of ruins that have been excavated

We sat in the  stone Amphitheater where thousands of spectators watched their plays and politics, we then visited the Celsus Library that has a façade they rebuilt. It is now an iconic tourism site for Turkey. I am glad that they did rebuild it as best as they could so we could visualize what the whole area must have looked like when it was in the glory days.  We could feel as if we truly were walking where Paul walked when he taught the Ephesians the Gospel.

Massive Amphitheater

There were so many details cut into the stones and marble was everywhere—the roads, the seats, the doors, the library…it was all preserved.

Celsus Library, Ephesus Turkey

He wanted to be in the photo with this woman

We then went to eat in the nearby modern village of Selcuk. Just as always, our little Lucky Dragon made friends along the street as he pet all the stray cats and dogs and gave “çak” (high five) to everyone we passed. Lady Hiva and I talk about the way we like the love and hospitality of the Turks. Simple things like a free salad with our meal, or cookies from strangers…they are so giving.

We made our way back to Izmir to explore more of the area for the next few days.  

There is a bird in that box!

Another friend that was explaining how Turkish Tea works

Just in case anyone needed a new time piece


  1. It was really awesome,thanks you guys for the hospitality I love you guys so much and may our HEAVENLYFATHER BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMİLY...........Evans

  2. Hiva is the best, Dustin is awesome and there baby is one of a kind,he disturbs alot but I love him though that shows he's a strong man.Hiva and Dustin i still pray for more Blessings to your family for the brotherly love you guys show to me i love you guys and the baby. Thanks

  3. What amazing detail you were able to capture in those ancient ruins!

  4. Wow very beautiful post of Ephesus. Turkey travel tour is a marvels and mysteries of the Middle Eastern country. It will explore the many fantastic destinations and you can visit to some wonderful castles, ancient places and mosques. Enjoy your Ephesus Tours with About Ephesus.