This evening Seabourn hosted a complimentary outing for their guests, a classical performance in the ancient ruins of Ephesus. Dinner opened early to allow passengers time to dress for dinner, eat a relaxed meal, dress for an evening out, and disembark. We had a marvelous meal in the Colonnade Restaurant, and took a bit too much time getting ready. We were among the last to disembark and board the busses.
The busses took us to the south entrance which leads through a colonnade of trees to the marble ancient thoroughfare which led from the port to the amphitheater in ancient times. As we approached the marble thoroughfare, a photographer took complimentary photos as a memento of the evening and a waiter offered us a choice of red or white wine.
The main street was set with tables and chairs covered in white linen to accommodate us all. Walking toward the dining area, we saw a stage setup midway between the tables to our right. All the tables ahead of us were taken and we were ushered toward the back, well away from the stage. As we passed the stage, a fellow stepped out and asked, “Seating for two?” “Yes” I said. He directed us to two chairs almost directly in front of the stage.
We shared a table with a grandmother and her granddaughter, neither of whom fit the stereotype. They were fun to talk with. Conversation turned to travel, food, work, retirement.
Then an announcer took stage, welcomed us to the ancient city of Ephesus, reminded us of the famous people who once walked this very street: Caesar, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, the virgin mother Mary, and that the apostles were exiled, came here, and converted Ephesus to Christianity, which is how the religion took hold. Then a chamber ensemble took the stage and tuned up: five violins, a cello, and a base. They were very very good and played some of my favorite classical pieces.
During intermission, we walked to the amphitheater for photography and walked down a side street toward the ancient library. A security guy stopped us, then for some reason let us go. He said, “come back in 5 minutes and you can continue”. There were five of us: Ellen and I, another couple who followed us, and our grandmother (who did not seem like a grandmother). We had the monument to ourselves for about ten minutes. No crowds, just the five of us. Ellen and I had done this in Argentina Sicily when visiting the ancient ruins there. A guard let us walk into the temple at night; we were the only ones there. Here we were again! After taking a few photos and marveling at our luck, we went back an took our seats.
The second half of the performance was easily as good as the first half. They played a number of my absolute favorite classical pieces and a few that I had never heard before. I recorded some of one piece. When the concert ended, most people headed to the busses. We stayed behind to take a few more photos. Sunset painted the sky and the amphitheater was lit up. We were the last few people headed to the busses and among the last to board. It turns out the busses had to wait anyway, so we were not “that couple” who held things up.
Getting back to the boat, we stopped at a shop to look for gifts, but found nothing to our tastes. By now we were the last stragglers. As we approached the ship, we noticed nearly the entire crew lined up outside swaying to a conga beat. Someone on a microphone introduced Mr. Ron Lanett and Ms. Ellen Kane and we swayed and bounced to the conga beat. A waiter offered a nightcap of Baileys as we continued to dance our way back aboard. It was a special evening.
The Seabourn band was playing on the pool deck. We could clearly hear them as we walked up the spiral staircase to deck 6. We changed and went to deck 9, the pool deck and danced until the band closed at 11Pm.
It was a full day and fascinating. Tomorrow promises to be another full day.
We took a number of photos of Ephesus. This is the most complete ancient city I have ever seen.