Saturday, March 25, 2017


The Toy Museum in Branson Missouri claimed it's the world's largest toy museum so we took a look.

In 2017, they advertised having over 1 Million toys. Considering their display cases from floor to ceiling, that seems believable. If you enjoy looking at toys from several decades past, you'll probably enjoy the visit. We are glad we went.

As you might guess, most toys are American but I did find a few British items reminding me of my childhood soldiers.

I'm not sure if the collection favors traditional toys for boys more than girls. There were many dolls from several decades and doll houses too. Even Alf shared his display. And my wife found a Dale Evans lunch box and thermos like the one she took to school.

I expected to see trains but the collection is small. An interesting diorama shows an attic scene.

One of the unique collections is a room full of Draughts aka checkers. There's a few tables where you can sit and play a game.

Tips and Notes

Cost: It is not cheap. We paid $18.92 each, which includes 11.6% tax. Look for discounts at visitor's centers.  Online ticket link.

It is family friendly. There are several areas where children can build things and draw.

Photography: Photography is permitted. The lighting and glass cases make it difficult to get some clear shots even without flash.

The Gift Shop has affordable toys and did not seem overpriced to us. We picked up some items for our grandchildren.

Parking- there seemed to be ample parking but we were there before the heavy season.

Location- It is on the busy route 76 near 376. Directions.

Restrooms- they appeared clean and well-stocked.

Religiosity- The collections include a wide range of toys that do not overtly link to any religion. Like many places in Branson, there are references to Christianity- in this case some Christian-themed toys, games, and signs.

Staff- all we met were friendly.

Website- There's a great introduction to the collection on the website, which may be worth a visit before you go.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ephesus Turkey

Grand Theatre, Ephesus, Turkey featuring Geoffrey W. Sutton

Permission granted to download the photos for personal use and not-for-profit educational use provided you acknowledge the source.

Our visit to EPHESUS remains in our memories as one of the more outstanding cities. After a short cruise with island stops, we crossed the Agean Sea from Athens and landed at Kusadasi in Western Turkey. From there we took a bus to Ephesus where a guide provided a walking tour.

Depending on the source, a city has been here for about 4,000 years. An early settlment dates from the 11th Century BCE- founded by Androcles from Athens. Other groups ruling the city were the Lydians and Persians. Alexander the Great liberated the city in 334 BCE.

Egyptians and Syrians had their turn until the Romans arrived in 190 BCE. Much of the city was destroyed when the Goths invaded in 263 CE.

Constantine I rebuilt part of the city, which was ruined by an earthquake in 614 CE.

You can follow a route using many available maps.

Our route began near the Odeon. A small theatre for concerts and performances near the State Agora.

We walked along Curetes street past the Temple of Domitian. Although named as dedicated to the Roman Emperor, Domitian, more recent research indicates it was to honor Titus.

Temple of Domitian by Geoffrey W. Sutton
There's a monument to Memmius near the Heracles Gate. The Memmius memorial was reportedly ordered by Augustus in the first century CE to honour Caius, grandson of Sulla.

Memmius Monument by Geoffrey W. Sutton
You will pass the Trajan Fountain built in honor of the Roman Emperor Trajan, second century CE.
Trajan Fountain by Geoffrey W. Sutton
Some columns remain of the Hadrian Temple built by Theodosius to honour his father in the second century CE.

Nearby is a favourite photo spot -- the Men's Latrines with a duck pond. Reportedly, these were public toilets. Water flowed beneath the benches.

Men's Latrines, Ephesus; Geoffrey W. Sutton

Duck Pond by Men's Latrines, Ephesus

Further along are the amazing remains of the Celsus Library built by Gaius Julius Aquila to honour his father in 135 CE. It is reported that thousands of scrolls could be housed at the Library. It is one of the most attractive buildings along Curetes Street.

Celsus Library, Ephesus, Geoffrey W. Sutton

Close to the Library are the local brothel, agora, and the Harbour Road. The brothel was reportedly dedicated to Aphrodite (Venus) and a statue of Priapus can be seen in the Ephesus Museum. Remains of the Agora (public square/marketplace) can be seen to the side of the road.

The Harbour Road, Ephesus, Geoffrey W. Sutton

There's not much left of the Temple of Artemis. You can find a statue of Artemis in the local museum.

Statue of Artemis, Internet, Free to Share

Tradition has it that St. John was the designated carer for Mary, mother of Jesus. And that John and Mary ended their days in Ephesus. Nearby buildings are erected in their memory.

The Bible mentions the presence of the Apostle Paul in Ephesus during the first Century. For example, see Acts 19.