An AzAmazing Evening in Ephesus

The second stop on my cruise on the Azamara Quest was at Kusadasi, Turkey; which is also the gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus. It was much different than the previous days stop at Patmos, Greece and much busier. We docked at Kusadasi, went exploring in Ephesus and then went back for an AzAmazing Evening.
Azamara Quest, Kusadasi, Turkey
Kusadasi is a bustling port town that has been built on the cruise ship industry and its relative proximity to Ephesus. Kusadasi itself is OK. It looks nice from afar, from the ship, and around the edges-especially looking at gorgeous Pigeon Island.
Pigeon Island, Kusadasi, Turkey
However, once you get past all the port shops trying to sell you jewelry and clothes; you enter the old city and bazaar. There are literally thousands of peddlers selling everything imaginable-even genuine fake watches!!!
Kusadasi, Turkey, Bazaar, genuine fake watches
So if you’re a shopper, which I am not, you might love Kusadasi, but Kusadasi’s purpose is to get you to Ephesus and that’s exactly what I did! However, I did not do a tour offered by the ship because I prefer to do my own thing.
Ephesus, Turkey
I don’t mind groups if they’re small or if there’s one place a far distance we are going but if it comes down to someplace close, like Ephesus is to Kusadasi, I’d rather just hire my own taxi and do it myself. Plus you save more than 50% off the tour price if you’re a good negotiator. Truth be told, I have a PhD in haggling and am still the undefeated Heavyweight Champ!
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
Ephesus is in a word-awesome. I was previously there in March 2001 during my first trip to Turkey. I have since been ten (ish) times but this was first time back at Ephesus and I have to say it was much more awesome than I remembered. Perhaps it’s that I’ve grown up (a little) and can appreciate places like Ephesus more and put it into proper historical perspective.
Amphitheater, Ephesus, Turkey
The weather wasn’t very cooperative with us on this day but that didn’t stop a thorough day of exploring the site. The Terrace Houses, the Library and the Amphitheater were easily my favorite sites and I was able to get some nice pictures.
Terrace Houses, Ephesus, Turkey
The one thing I didn’t remember at all from my prior visit was how many cats are all over Ephesus. There are literally thousands of them. The cats aren’t really a nuisance but there are just so many of them that you certainly are aware of them. Some tourists loved them and some loathed them. I was indifferent but enjoyed watching others interact with the cats!
cats, ephesus, turkey
After Ephesus, it was back to the ship to relax a little before the AzAmazing Evening. It was originally supposed to take place at the Odeon Amphitheater outdoors in Ephesus itself but the rain and cold weather made that a no go.
Azamazing evening, Temple of Artemis, Turkey
So luckily they moved it to a very cool venue in the nearby town of Selcuk. They have a 1/10th replica of the original Temple of Artemis; which was one of the original 7 wonders of the ancient world. It was pretty cool to see and to experience the AzAmazing Evening of classical music inside from a renowned Turkish orchestra.
AzAmazing Evening, Ephesus, Turkey, orchestra
I enjoy classical music and what’s great about the AzAmazing Evening in Ephesus and the previous one I experienced in Livorno, Italy in an opera house was they play songs you know or have at least heard before. This way, even if you’re not a huge classical or opera music fan; which I admittedly am not-you can still enjoy it!
Lee Abbamonte, Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
So it was a great day from Kusadasi to Ephesus to the AzAmazing Evening of classical music. I can’t wait to continue the cruise tomorrow!

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  1. Azamara is the best cruise line we’ve been on and we’ve cruised quite a bit. Their AzAmazing evenings are excellent. I’m glad you enjoyed it, lee.

  2. Do you recommend Azamara over other cruise lines like Princess or Norwegian etc?

  3. Looks like Petra

  4. I’ve heard great things about Ephesus and also about Azamara. I’m really enjoying your phenomenal photos from EGypt, Greece and now Turkey…thanks for sharing.

  5. Cruising Holidays says

    There are more than 50 on board activities daily and in some ships many more so no matter how much (or how Little) you want to pack into your vacation we’ve got just what you’re after!

  6. Good stuff Lee. I loved Ephesus when I was there a few years ago but it was just overrun with tour groups. I have never seen so many Asians in one place and I’ve been to China before LOL!

  7. That amphitheater picture is amazing, saw it on your instagram and makes me want to go there just to see that.

  8. I don’t remember it. I remember Ankara, Istanbul and another place…Pamukula…I can’t believe you have so many fans, only you could make a career out of traveling!

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