The Virgin Mary's House was on my have-to-do list and was for me a very special spiritual experience. It cost us 15 TL each. We went early before it became too hot and crowded. There is plenty of parking and a souvenir shop with a good variety of very fairly priced items. You can use euros at this shop - in fact, you often can in Turkey. Bring an empty water bottle with you to fill at the mountain spring - I was suffering from a very bad heat rash and found the water really helped to soothe it. You can also leave a prayer request on the wall near the spring. It was very moving to watch so many people of all different ages, faiths and cultures posting their requests.
A short walk through a quiet wooded area of olives and pines, takes you to the Virgin Mary's House which is very small. You are through it in a couple of minutes as the queue you must join tends to dictate the pace, but I just went through again until I was happy that I had soaked up all I wanted to treasure and remember. There is a donation box for candles which you can light and leave in a designated area outside. There were guards around outside but nobody hassles you. It was very relaxing - we sat on a long low wall for a long time, just feeling contemplative, before we carried on to the mountain spring where we sat again for a while... It was a short outing but a very precious experience.
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