South to Bergama
Bergama Travel Blog› entry 6 of 29 › view all entries
Very early rise this morning for our flight to Izmir, we were down in the lobby at 5:30am. The hotel staff had made us a sandwich each, enormous rolls stuffed with cheese, salami and tomato which was very good of them to do that, they even made us a cup of tea! We wondered down to the hotel a few doors down where the shuttle would pick us up only to find they had left without us, didn’t even bother to check at our hotel to see if were waiting. The hotel called them and they had to come back and pick us up, lucky they had only just left! Our flight with Onurair was at 8am and was 50 minutes; it was a good flight except for the annoying kid and his mother in the seat in front.
At Izmir we found the bus that would take us to the main bus terminal (Otogar) 5Lira versus a taxi fare of 20 Lira! then we got the Bergama bus with 10 minutes to spare, good timing. The bus was lovely and comfortable and only cost us 8Lira, each seat had a tray and they served you free water, juice and a cake. The bus ride was 1.5hours so it gave me time to catch up on the blog diary. As we neared Bergama we passed through lovely hilly countryside and even got close to the lovely blue Aegean. We arrived at Bergama at lunchtime, the main Otogar being outside the town we had to catch a Dolmas (small bus)to our pension. The pension Gobi was very quaint and homely and we had a nice big room, the place was run by an elderly man and his son her were very welcoming.
Bergama was Zehra’s home town; she was born here but grew up in a village outside but came to Bergama for school. Many of her relatives still lived in the area but we chose to stay in a pension so we didn’t burden them too much. After settling in we took a walk down to the museum as it was closed on Monday’s so we had to go today. The museum was an archaeology museum housing all the artefacts they had found in the Perganom ruins surrounding Bergama. Most of the collection was Greek and Roman dating back BC, there was a reconstruction of the temple of Zeus which was originally on the Acropolis on the hill overlooking Bergama, part of which still remains the other part is on a German museum. There was another section containing displays of village life, the whole museum was superbly done and we had it practically to ourselves!
As we walked around town Zehra explained a few places and showed me where her Aunt lived which was down a quaint little cobbled street, her Aunt wasn’t there but here sister-in-law was so we said a quick hello then headed out towards the Red Basilica. We ended up in the old part of town where cobbled streets lined with old houses climbed up the hill towards the Acropolis. Zehra hadn’t explored this part of town before so we decided to wonder the little streets. We got ourselves lost on purpose through the little windy lanes, most were only a car wide and some you could almost touch the houses on either side. There were some restored homes but many were tumbling down and in need of repair, despite this it was all very quaint. We came out a street right opposite the Basilica and there were a few carpet shops nearby, we ended up exploring one and didn’t come out for an hour! The guy was so happy we went into his shop he told us we were his first customers all day! I wanted to look at some of the local carpets and Kilim’s (cotton rugs) he showed us his entire collection and gave us a drink.