Exploring ancient ruins of Pergamum and Asklepion

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Izmir,
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 14 (morning)

Temperature:   12 degrees                
Weather:   very cloudy and cool

Up early, by 7:30am we were all on board the motor coach and ready to confront our new adventurous day ahead of us.  Glued to my window seat, valleys and hills were seen again plus interestingly, a huge fortress on top of a mountain.

My journey continued on through towns and cities as well as country roads where people were seen plowing their land, where tons of sheep were also seen eating the grass!   On one occasion, I was lucky enough to capture several shots of a shepherd in a vibrant red jacket grapping a young sheep by its legs and throwing it effortless on his shoulders.  He'll never know I caught him in action with my telescopic camera lens!

Our first stop of the day was in a town with a modern name of Bergama (ancient Pergamum) where from the plain, I could clearly see perched on the very high hilltop the great acropolis of Pergamum, one of the most dramatic sights in Turkey.  Originally built in the 8th century BC, it was ruled for a time by one of Alexander the Great generals. 

Looking at it through my camera’s telescopic lens, the Temple of Emperor Trajan built of white marble was seen as well as a huge Theatre constructed in the 3rd century BC.  This latter had 80 rows of seats, details Daghan provided us with and not because I counted them!  Hahaha!  As well, the Library could be seen which is said to have contained 200,000 volumes.  And no, I don’t know where they are today!  The entire area was totally amazing!   Too bad we couldn’t visit the site closer!

It was quite windy from the plain plus it wasn’t that warm but regardless, we hastily followed Daghan down a colonnaded street of broken columns. We were visiting the ruins of the Asklepion, the ancient center of healing where we saw the temple of Telesphor.

Continuing on walking amongst the ruins of Asklepion, we were the only group here, the area was completely deserted!  Many marguerites grew in the open fields which added beauty to the picturesque scenes.   A theatre was seen as well as a tunnel in which we walked under just to come out from it on the other side after a mere five minutes.  The sky was quite cloudy making the entire area look more dramatic and spooky!

Right next to this ancient site was a military camp where soldiers lived and practice I guess.  Daghan had advised us not to take pictures of that area because if we did, our cameras would be confiscated!    We were being watched!   No thanks!

Monique   :-)


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