Our cruise ship canceled the stop in Istanbul, and many ships also cancelled trips to Ephesus, but ours left it on the itinerary, for which we were very grateful. But at the same time we were a bit nervous, particularly because we had booked our own excursion with a van full of 7 people, to not only Ephesus but also two other sites further inland: Didymus (a massive ancient temple site) and Miletus (mentioned in the New Testament). It was a spectacular day, although very hot, almost 100 degrees despite being early September.

Ephesus is the most impressive Roman-era archeology site in the world, and our guide was fantastic at explaining its fascinating features. We could easily have spent several days here. It truly does give new meaning to the Roman world of the New Testament.