Soaked in History

Bergama Travel Blog

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Tower at Red Basilica

Had a lovely breakfast this morning of fruit, cheeses, tomatoes, olives, chicken slice, bread and apple tea.  I gave my salad items to Zehra , salad items at breakfast isn’t right!!  I discovered that I liked apple tea!  Being such a small pension you got to meet the other guests and we got chatting to a nice couple from California, Joe and Darlene who were travelling for four months.

We had a couple chores to take care of this morning, washing and post office to post my Kilim.  We found at the Post office that it was going to cost me $90 to send my rug home by air or $50 by sea mail, looks like I will be carting it around with me for the rest of the trip!  We stopped by Zehra’s Aunties to drop of the Kilim while we went and explored the Red Basilica. The Red Basilica was once a giant temple to the Egyptian gods Serapis, Isis and Harpocrates built in the 2nd century AD. Years later the Christians built a Basilica inside it, now its crumbled ruins but still very imposing.  Entry was a mere 5lira and we had it to ourselves. Part of the walls still stood tall and remnants of Greek and Roman statues and pillars were scattered around.  After exploring the Basilica we headed back to the Pension via a simit stall and a shop selling nutty Helva which I bought a piece.  We stopped at a cake shop and had a sweet call Nightingale nest that was nest shaped and pretty sweet like Backlava, I also try some cylinder shaped sweet called Tuluma which I washed down with a fruity nectar drink.

We headed back to the pension and caught up with Joe and Darlene who were heading out to the Acropolis and Asclepion.  We offered to share a taxi with them as it was 50Liras for the trip and sharing would make it cheaper for all of us, they took us up on the offer.

Our first stop was the Acropolis set up on the hill overlooking Bergama.  Currently the only way to get up there is by tour bus or taxi but they are building a cable car which opens in May so next time I come back this way in the future with Vaughan we can try the cable car!  The Acropolis dates back to Alexander the Great times 300+ BC and was once the small ancient city of Perganom.

Inside one of the towers, Red Basilica
  What remains now are scattered ruins with the most impressive being what is left of the Temple of Zeus, the Germans removed most of it and took it back to Germany and left only the base, sad really.  The amphitheatre set on the side of the hill at an almost 90 degree decent was fun to explore, we went through a tunnel  an emerged at the top of the theatre, Zehra held on to me tightly as we descended the steep steps down to the bottom.  We explored Dionysus near the base and we had it to ourselves. We then hiked back up the steep amphitheatre getting puffed in the process where some Japanese were seated and one of their comrades was at the bottom singing! Our next exploration was the temple of Zeus and Athena, impressive tall white columns dominated the structure, it would of been fabulous to see the rest of it if wasn’t in Germany!  We spent a couple of hours here and only saw half of it, we didn’t realise at the time there was more at the bottom of the hill! Oh well something for next time.  On the way our we had a quick look at the stalls selling the usual tourist tat and I ended up buying a wooden horse of Troy as I can’t see me getting there this time around. Our next stop was the Asclepion which was an ancient hospital and healing sanctuary.  Once again Greek columns and an amphitheatre was the centrepiece.  There were tunnels here to explore and what they called a sacred well with water coming out although we weren’t game enough to drink it!  The underground tunnels led to the Acropolis apparently and were used to transport sick people so they weren’t exposed to the elements. We were lucky to get most of our photos in before the bus load of tourists emptied! On heading back to the Taxi we stopped and looked at the stalls, one shop keeper made me laugh when he said that his wares were cheaper than Target and Kmart! I never spoke a word to him so how hell he knew I was from Australia I never know! I ended up buying a bag from one of the stalls so more stuff to cart around!

The taxi driver dropped us off in town while Joe and Darlene headed back to the pension.  We were now heading to Zehra’s aunties for dinner, on the way we bought some flowers for her and picked up a box of Tuluma, it was customary to take a gift.  Zehra’s Auntie lived in a quaint old house down a cobbled laneway, it had an entrance way with a guest room to one side and kitchen/dining/sleeping area to the other. There was an outside bathroom off the small courtyard in the front of the house. The upper part of the house was occupied by her uncle. Joining us for dinner was Zehra’s cousin Nurhan and I also met the Aunties son Burhan and his wife.  We had a lovely meal of homemade kofta and pasta, salad and yogurt and for desert homemade chocolate mousse with Tuluma although I was struggling with the Tuluma. Zehra was telling me that this was the typical Turkish home meal, it was great opportunity for me to experience inside a Turkish home.

Displays inside the tower, Red Basilica
Burhan was looking at our tourist book of Perganom and mentioned the part of Acropolis we hadn’t seen, that was when we realised we had only seen half of it! After dinner Nurhan took us for a walk to see an old gate which formed part of the entrance to the Asclepion, we walked up old cobbled streets through the Gypsy quarter until we were on top of a hill overlooking the town. A young boy with a horse came over to us for a chat, his horse had been feeding on the grass around the gate.  We walked back down, said goodbye to Nurhan then went back to Zehra’s Aunties for a cup of tea before heading back to the pension to pack ready for leaving tomorrow.  It had been a long day but a very rewarding one.

 

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Tower at Red Basilica
Tower at Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Inside one of the towers, Red Basi…
Inside one of the towers, Red Bas…
Displays inside the tower, Red Bas…
Displays inside the tower, Red Ba…
Inside the tower,Red Basilica
Inside the tower,Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Horse tired of lugging brooms arou…
Horse tired of lugging brooms aro…
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Looking at the tower,Red Basilica
Looking at the tower,Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Red Basilica
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Looking through a archway at the t…
Looking through a archway at the …
Amphitheatre at the acropolis
Amphitheatre at the acropolis
Walking through the tunnel to get …
Walking through the tunnel to get…
An archway at the top of the Amphi…
An archway at the top of the Amph…
View of temple of Dionysus from Am…
View of temple of Dionysus from A…
Hiking down the Amphitheatre
Hiking down the Amphitheatre
Amphitheatre at Acroplis
Amphitheatre at Acroplis
Temple of Dionysus
Temple of Dionysus
Acropolis
Acropolis
Marble column, Acropolis
Marble column, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus Acropolis
Temple of Zeus Acropolis
Temple of Zeus Acropolis
Temple of Zeus Acropolis
Temple of Zeus Acropolis
Temple of Zeus Acropolis
Me at the Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Me at the Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Temple of Zeus, Acropolis
Greek statue near temple of Zeus
Greek statue near temple of Zeus
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Old Greek colums and amphitheatre
Old Greek colums and amphitheatre
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Tunnels that were used to ferry th…
Tunnels that were used to ferry t…
Asclepion
Asclepion
Sacred Well,Asclepion
Sacred Well,Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
Amphitheatre,Asclepion
Amphitheatre,Asclepion
Asclepion
Asclepion
View of Acropolis from Asclepion
View of Acropolis from Asclepion
Old cobbled street in the Gypsy qu…
Old cobbled street in the Gypsy q…
Old mosque
Old mosque
Old Haman (Turkish Bath)
Old Haman (Turkish Bath)
An old gate which was the original…
An old gate which was the origina…
Bergama
photo by: Biedjee