Talking the talk

There are  many really good, knowledgeable and reputable tour guides, we know a few of them well and, at times, share a chat and a beer with them.  There are others.  Various quotes and things that we have heard in and around Selçuk……

Quite a lot of people seem to believe that the badly-restored column in the Artemesion (the one with the storks nest on)  is the only bit of the ‘original’ temple left standing (original in this case meaning the one that was burned down on the day Alexander was born – we think, it might mean the one after that which we think was designated one of the seven wonders of the ancient world).  We have heard guides telling visitors it is ‘original’.

We have heard guides in Ephesus explaining to Koreans that the ChBasilicaristian religion involves a great deal of blood sacrifice.  This makes us wonder how much attention to pay to guides who say similar things about the classical Maya…

Some months ago we heard a guide telling someone that Paul was a carpet seller!  We assume the next stop on the tour was to a carpet outlet.

We heard a lady asking her guide whether the Romans had many wiEphesus-streetviewves (Hilary guesses she was fresh from a trip to Topkapı harem).  The guide solemnly replied that the Romans were highly moral and monogamous…  Ashley managed to avoid laughing till we were several yards up Curetes Street.

We have been told that, until quite recently, there was a sign, in English, at the basilica assuring visitors that, when Mary came to Ephesus, John welcomed her into his hose…  But the less said about that, perhaps, the better.

We heard two rather unfit Americans who were wandering around Ephesus discussing walking up to Meryemana.  We’ll be kind, it is possible if reasonably fit, it is all up hill and steep and, unless they know the back ways being mown down by a tour bus on the narrow winding road is a real possibility.  At least it wasn’t summer when we would seriously not recommend attempting that walk.

On Meryemana. Yes there are records that Mary came to Ephesus.  The oldest structure at Meryemana is Byzantine so unless Mary lived to the ripe old age of a few centuries….

Then again people (including Ashley) have been known to inform tourists that the Gappe is a large predatory bat that inhabits tunnels in London.

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12 responses to “Talking the talk

  1. Amusing anecdotes expressed here, but concerning about the relaying of misinformation!;;;;.
    Ps We don’t drink blood in communion. It’s red wine, or grape juice if the service is non-conformist.

    • We think that at times tourists get the information (it is perceived) they want to hear.
      Oh, and red wine tastes a lot better than blood, or grape juice for that matter.

  2. . . always thought it was ‘blood-letting’ that christians (sic) were good at. As for for the bats, it’s true – I’ve stepped in their droppings many a time!

  3. I had problems just returning to my bus, there’s no way I could walk up (or down) those hills. As for twisted information, I once told American tourist ladies in Wells-next-the-Sea that my pet was a Himalayan Mountain Tiger Hunter. One replied that my pet looked like a collie (in fact she is a Welsh Sheepdog) but I assured the lady that HMTHs are rare.
    I wonder if I could sell thatched TV sets in Stratford on Avon ….

    • We’ve yet to walk up to Meryemana. We’ve been up on the bike and there are vague plans to walk down from there one day. I’m sure you could sell thatched more-or-less-anythings in Stratford upon Avon. Especially if you said they once belonged to Shakespeare.

  4. I’m always amazed at some of the stories the guides come out with. If they don’t know it they make it up…and the more bizarre the better. (Of course I know firsthand because my husband worked as a guide years ago and he’s an expert at telling a tall story)

  5. A friend of mine, Donald Carroll, wrote a book about Merymana. “Mary’s House”. It is a very good read. I recommend it to any one visiting the site.

  6. Could the Gappe be a Turkish Christian bat?

    I used to work in a tourist hotel. The tales I could tell…..

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