I spent this morning (about 3.5 hours) at Ephesus. Went through the site twice: once just to recon and photo and then a second time with the audio guide. What an incredible site! Massive, evocative, compelling. The theater (seating 25,000) is the largest ancient stadium in Turkey and one of the largest in the world. The library of Celsus is so impressive: ornate and looming. Gates and fountains and agorae.

Very few sites I’ve visited in the mediterranean region (and I’ve been to a few) are as impressive: well preserved, high-quality, and extensive. You can almost hear the sandal-slapping of ancient feet as you walk around. We moderns think we’re so superior with our technology and our scientific methods. But here, 2500 years ago, were indoor toilets and intricate water-management systems and elaborate finishes and great civic facilities. Apart from refrigeration (and associated air conditioning) there is little the ancients had to do without—unless you count the internet and iPads. Of course, there were the minor inconveniences of no antibiotics or anesthesia. But if you didn’t cut yourself and never needed anyone to cut on you, you’d hardly notice the difference!

It was absolutely perfect weather today—60’s with a light breeze. Just when I started to get overheated (climbing the Sacred Way), I just moved into the shade and enjoyed a few quiet and cooling moments to reflect on the flow of history and the vagaries of time.