Image Source: Isabella Melendez
From the ruins to the trees and the sky, standing on such deep history can feel unreal. Walking past the stones that have held up empires, I truly felt honored to stand among some of the greatest places in Turkey. Ephesus, for example, is as magnificent as it seems. Much of the ruins are still standing, holding on to the memories of the past. While you are distant from what once was, being under the same sky and on the same ground that rulers and civilizations existed between gives real feeling to every ounce of history written in our textbooks.
Earthquakes destroyed the antique city in the 6th century; the Romans left it behind and rebuilt a new city further inland. Most of the city is underwater, but tourists still come from around the world to walk the deserted grounds and wonder about life back then in awe. There are no plans to excavate the rest of its history, and the remains will continue to sit under the earth’s surface.
Following the raids that destroyed Salamis, Famagusta became an important place for the Eastern and European trending companies. Referred to as the “open-air museum,” the walls were built to protect locals during war. In the hands of the Knights Templar to the Guy de Lusiganan, where the crusader kings of Jerusalem were crowned, the walled city has been passed around and poked and prodded by earthquakes and wars. Inside the wall today are beautiful ruins of the past filled with lively music and local cafes—a perfect place for locals or tourists for a night out on the town.
Backpacking through Europe is an idea that has crossed many of our minds. One place I found myself in was the wonderful country of northern Cyprus. I decided to visit a close friend during one summer who was born and raised there. That summer was truly mesmerizing. The beautiful culture of Turkey is filled with history and life to last you forever. Just a quick hour’s plane ride from Cyprus is Istanbul, where the Mediterranean city will provide all you can imagine. Just outside of the big city, you will find local cities, farms, and beaches, including the wonders of Ephesus.