Travel and Pergamum
Bergama Travel Blog› entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
March 29th, 2001 – by: etoile
We woke up early again this morning and got back on the bus. I was more awake than the previous time we had to be up so early, but our guide didn’t say much early in the trip so it didn’t really matter. We had gotten some snacks at a grocery the night before, but I wasn’t as eager to tear into them as I’d expected to be. Instead I did some puzzles and tried reading a bit. I believe the trip from Çanakkale to Bergama was longer than the trip from Istanbul to Bursa, but I’m not sure. At a rest stop along the way, I found a book called “La Vie sexuelle des ottomans” and paid $15 for it. They didn’t have an English copy, but I figured with a dictionary I’d manage okay. Pergamum was easily visible as we approached Bergama, as it’s situated atop one of the higher hills in the area. I really enjoyed the Pergamum ruins. There were signs throughout the site explaining both the structures and the restoration process. The city is entirely on the hill, so the builders didn’t have much space to work with: the theater is much more steep than other Roman theaters because they didn’t want to cut into the rest of their space. I was a bit surprised to learn that some of the column sections are modern replacements, but apparently that’s common with sites this old - they just can’t find everything, and there wouldn’t be a good way to present what they have found if they didn’t fill in the gaps. Some of the sections are a dull gray (original) and others are bright white (modern), but I’d never have noticed if our guide hadn’t pointed it out. We didn’t spend nearly as much time in the ruins as I would have liked, but toward the end of the tour I realized I’d lost my earrings. I had been wearing a dress shirt over my t-shirt, and when I took off my earrings I put them in the breast pocket. It was warm and sunny at Pergamum, so I took off the shirt and carried it with me…and of course the earrings fell out. So somewhere on a hilltop near the Aegean, surrounded by ancient marble, are three pairs of small earrings. I looked for replacements at the vendors near the entrance, but the pairs I liked were all too expensive. I also came across a book called “The Sexual Life of the Ottomans” for $15. I really wanted it, and the guy agreed to sell it for $13 (fortunately his English was pretty good), but I declined and got back on the bus to wait for the others. After a few minutes, though, I changed my mind and ran back out to buy the book - so I now have two copies. We had lunch in Bergama, and I bought some yarn and a crochet hook from a shopkeeper who spoke no English. The ride from Bergama to Kusadasi was fairly short, and we rode through Izmir which I found interesting - it’s a rather modern city, as it was completely destroyed by fire in the not-too-distant past. Kusadasi seems exceptionally modernized - it’s a beach resort, and all the hotels are very fancy. They crowd the shoreline, of course, but in between the hotels are run-down little shacks. I liked our hotel a lot, though - we had a suite, there was a channel guide for the TV (I like to catch English news shows so I don’t lose touch with the world while on vacation), and both rooms had a balcony with a good sea view.
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