|how we wished we could have seen Pergamom|
We were to follow the signs to Karşıyaka, Bornova, Menemen, Aliağa, and finally Bergama - which sounded straightforward. We went off assuming we'd just follow the signs with any or all of these words on it and we'd be fine.
Except after Bornova, no signs used any of those words.
It took me a while to finally figure out, from the backseat after frantically looking at the large map that what we needed to do was go in the direction of "Çanakkale"... meaning Çanakkale the province.... (at this point we had turned around once in Bornova and were back on the road of what we thought as "on our way" only to have the highway suddenly dwindle to nothing in the midst of signage that said we were welcomed into a brand new bird sanctuary!
We turned around again, and I suggested we lookout for the signs to Çanakkale which meant nothing to anyone, but it ended up working just fine and soon we were on our way, passing signs directing us to all the other names on our list til finally we'd arrived into the outskirts of Begama.
Ideally you are meant to visit the Acropolis first, then the Asklepion, and finally the Red Basilica, more accurately known as the Temple of Serapis (an Egyptian god). But we ended up doing the tour completely back to front. In the windy icy cold! Still we were so pleased we'd found it that we jumped out of the car and into our view of the Asklepion.
Pergamum had the fame to be the first city who showed reaction to the functional urbanism of Hippodamus as they preferred ornamental urbanism. Acropolis buildings were built and designed with the aim of impressing the ones viewing the city from the valley.
We were in the valley below. Even the ruins were impressive!
Pergamon's Asclepion translates as 'place of Aesklepios', the son of Apollo and the god of healing and health, and was an important health center in Greco-Roman times. Among the types of therapy practiced here were mud baths, sports, theatre, psychotherapy and use of medicinal waters.
We walked through the whole of the Asklepion, down below and onto the Sacred Way. (now i'll just post some pics with captions...)
|theater closer (nice human sized space)|
|entrance to the underground passageway|
|entrance to eventually get to the treatment rooms|
|a really long and slightly Freudian walk|
|one of the three still flowing fountains from the sacred spring|
|dear C taking the sacred (and still slightly radioactive) waters|
|It was still pretty cold and windy so there weren't very many people around|
|one of the two towers we could explore|
|the other tower in use by the archaeologists|
|and looking up!|
So there we were at the top of what felt like the world and it was so cold and windy it brought tears to our eyes. (again with the pictures...)
|on top of the world|
|dramatic theater sat 10,000 people|
|standing on what remains of Temple of Athena (not much)|
|Temple of Dionysus and the theater terrace|
|what's left of the Great Altar of Zeus (that's not in the Berlin museum)|
|Temple of Trajan|
|more bits of Trajan's temple|
|details of Roman Corinthian capitals|
So that's our day in Pergamon. The ride home (once we got down from the Acropolis) was fairly unevenful. We got back with time enough to freshen up a bit and join some more special friends (and ex neighbors!) for dinner in Güzelbahçe near where we used to live. We had such a lovely evening - and we ate the most incredible seafood!! Stuffed mussels, fresh greens, lightly battered calamari, and shrimps (etc) then for the main course a simple grilled sea bass with chips (french fries) on the side.
|the main event!|
All in all a lovely day and a great evening. We got back to the hotel late, but not bad and we all slept quite soundly and woke up for breakfast at 8.
We hit the road at 9 and acted like we knew what we were doing.
I almost feel like I'm reliving the entire vacation in real time all over again! So. It's just past 10 and I'm done for today. Tomorrow I may or may not post Priene, Miletus and Didyma. [I'll give it a try, but it may be a Tuesday post... I have to get groceries SOME time.]
I hope you are enjoying this as much as we did when we all took the trip. Thanks for reading it.