Thursday, September 20, 2007

Turkey Trip (part 6: Bergama)

The ride to Bergama was fun. The first thing that happened was we drove a rode up a mountain (it was actually a plateau I realized when I got to the top). There were all these people selling the most adorable little sheep stuffed animals, occasionally there would be alittle tur off ad there would be 50 stuffed animals arranged in it. Then we went through Izmir, a city of over a million. The city sprawled to and fro. Up onto hills, down into valleys the small buildings popped up everywhere. They even had an IKEA. We got off the bus at a gigantic bus station, and a sketchy guy came up to us… apparently I looked confused (I might always have that look on my face).

“Where you going?” he asked.

Taken aback the two of us, thinking of how one might react in new york city to this type of behavior, didn’t answer right away. “Bergama” eventually I say.

“Bus to Bergama at number145.” He responded.

Low and behold at gate number 145 sat a bus to Bergama leaving I five minutes. I can’t stress enough how nice and helpful everyone was for the most part.

After another 2 hours on a bus we got to Bergama, where the ancient city of Pergamon sits on top of a hill. After being begged to go to several different hostels, we ended up finding our own. Then headed out for food, ending up at a Beer Garden which was packed in with men watching a football match. Rachel was one of about 4 women I the whole place. There was this ridiculous fountain in the center filled with green water… yeah green. Two ducks swam about in the fountain shaking green out of their tail feathers when they got out to beg for food. There were also stray cats running to and fro, including some of the cutest little kittens I’ve ever seen.

The next morning, the hottest day of the trip, we decided to walk up to Pergamon. We got lost, but quite frankly it was delightful as we walked through these old decaying yet colorful alleyways. After getting through the maze we started up the hill. We walked through the ruins of the gymnasium building, then up to a building with the most interesting mosaics. The floor was filled with demons and faces screaming. Having to pee and in desperate need for water, we pounded up the rest of the hill. We then got to see the acropolis ruins, and the most impressive piece the open-air theater. The last bit of the ruins was the Zeus monument, the entirety of the structure, which apparently was taken by the Germans for 20,000 German Marks in the late 1800s. They took the altar piece by piece and reconstructed it, in a museum built for that purpose. The Turkish people are obviously a little more protective of its antiquities these days. It’s funny the general “excuse” for this behavior of European countries of taking such treasures is that they will be better cared for, but many these treasures were damaged during bombing in WWII.
Walking up and down this hill I popped my head into an old bathroom and there were all these sheep. They completely freaked out. I could tell this by the fact that they all immediately started shitting. What a herd of sheep is doing in an unused decaying bathroom in a historical site... I don't know?

After getting down it was too hot to do anything but go to the beer garden that night and get a little loaded. Trip almost over… I want to cry.


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