28 NOVEMBER 2007

Royal globe-trotters Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall couldn't have been more enthusiastic visitors as they were shown the sights of the ancient ruins of Ephesus during their official tour to Turkey. Camilla continued to snap away on her camera, as she had done in Uganda, while they admired the incredible city's treasures on Tuesday.

After touring the awe-inspiring Library of Celsus, where they had been greeted by a traditional dance troupe from the nearby town of Izmir, Charles held his wife's hand as they negotiated stone steps down to some excavated terraced Roman houses. The heir to the throne spent ten minutes looking at the former home of Flavius Furius Aptas, where fragments of marble floor and mosaics hinted at the home's former grandeur.

Charles, who studied archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University, is well known for his interest in Muslim art and culture, and seemed delighted at the opportunity to see a shrine dedicated to the 13th-century poet Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi on Monday. He and his wife viewed the poet's sarcophagus in the southern town of Konya and a beautiful copy of his most famous work, the Mathnawi.

Asked what he thought of the shrine, Charles replied: "Fascinating, fascinating. There's never enough time..." As he and his wife posed for pictures outside the domed building the Prince was in the good humour which seems to characterise his public demeanor these days. "We'll have a dome coming out of the top of our heads," he quipped to assembled snappers, referring to the effect created by the backdrop behind them.

The royal couple were also treated to a display of traditional by Whirling Dervishes performing the ritual dance developed from the iconic poet's ideas on using music, poetry and dancing as a path for reaching God.

Photo: ©
The royal husband and wife team, who were greeted by a performance from a local dance troupe, were clearly thrilled by the opportunity to tour the ancient ruins of Ephesus on Turkey's south west coastPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Charles, who studied archaeology at university, and his wife were fascinated to see the city's grandest and best preserved ruin - the Library of CelsusPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
On Monday, the first day of their four-day visit, they were treated to a display by the famous Whirling DervishesPhoto: © Getty Images