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NNs Adventures We have traveled over the years but will be retiring in 2017 and want to spend more time traveling the world. We've been to Turkey, Sri Lanka, Africa twice and a number of trips to Europe and St Lucia. Kathleen/Thom Ennen

Day 10 – Foca – Pergamum – Selcuk (Nov 20)

TURKEY | Saturday, 21 November 2015 | Views [183]

We ended up at a restaurant last night recommended by our hotel. It was basic fare – grilled sea bass which was perfect. Thom thought it needed some spices but it was prepared really well. Thom got the half with the spine/bones. I  got the half that had the head with nothing there!! It was great and barely boney. The sides were good as we loaded up on veg – beets, spinach, and aubergine (eggplant salad)

Up with a great view over the waterfront and then breakfast of a cheese omelet and some emailing with family. Then off to Pergamum a little over an hour away. Driving in Turkey became a real challenge today. Lots of cars – each with its own mind and no way of knowing which way they will go. You need to be a very aggressive driver to survive here with your sanity. Thom has been working in the US to reduce his conversations and encouragements with other drivers. Well here- - it’s a nonstop monologue of convincing the other cars, trucks, scooters and motorcycles not to get in the way or run into us. This is even on the 3 lane high speed toll roads!!!

Bergama is the town where Pergamum/Acropolis is. It’s on the high mountaintop overlooking Bergama and it wasn’t easy to find. After a number of wrong turns in very narrow streets we found our way to the top after managing a very sharp hairpin turn on a more than 10% grade with a vehicle coming down and making it impossible to move forward.  I’m not sure why we were the ones to move aside as we were able to back down a bit but moving forward in first gear only had the tires spinning on the gravel of the road at such a steep grade.  It finally worked out and we got by each other and then proceeded on to the very top.

Pergamum/Akropol is an ancient town that goes back to 300+BC. Just amazing.  Only the photos can describe what we saw. We wandered around for at least an hour and even saw a bunch of sheep hanging out and watching us.

It was then back down the hill and to Asklepion which was even harder to find!! We learned google maps isn’t always accurate as we ended up on the wrong side of the hill with a large army base between us and the site. When we finally circled the army base we found where to park and enter. There was hardly any one there.

Asklepion also dates back to 300+BC but is recognized as the early seat of medical studies and practice. There was an amphitheater and places noted for patients. On one web site – http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/bergama-asklepion

The treatments included psychotherapy, massage, herbal remedies, mud and bathing treatments, the interpretation of dreams, and the drinking of water. Quite unlike modern hospitals, everybody who was anybody was dying to get in to the Asklepion: patients included Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Caracalla.

The Asklepion was located up on a hillside with springs for healing waters, and breezes for fresh air. Often medical facilities were located on hilltops to benefit from the fresh air and winds.

After wandering for a while we headed back down the hill to make our way to Selcuk about 2 hours south of Bergama. We were mostly on highways except on portions of the road through Izmir. The traffic was somewhat congested and managing not to run into anything was a bit of a challenge. Once we got south of Izmir, and onto the toll road, the road conditions improved immensely and the traffic volume dropped significantly.

We arrived in Selcuk late in the afternoon, again having trouble locating the place. Turns out gps/garmin works much better than google maps!! We finally squeezed into a tiny parking spot at the Nilya Hotel.

We settled in briefly and the took a walk down the hill to the market area and provisioned some snacks and investigated dinner locations. Turns out Yelp was a bit helpful but the top rated place on Yelp was closed. We spoke with the place next door and decided to go there. Great dinner!!! A bit of Raki and some wine and chicken/aubergine casserole and mixed grill!!! Lamb meatballs, spicy beef things, Chicken on a stick and 1 lamb chop. It was great!!! I would go back to the place and just get the lamb chop plate! Also they cook up a very large, fresh out of the oven, pita that was served with a yogurt cheese/celery/onion combo that was really yummy!

One observation today was that there is a tremendous amount of haze. It’s not been very warm so we can only guess its air pollution. And after a while you can feel it on your hands and almost taste it. gritty.  We also saw a number of wind generators, even one under construction. There was crane, a large mast, and the wind vane assembly clearly visible on the ground.

We’ll get some ideas from our host at breakfast tomorrow and decide what our next stops are. There’s so much in this area. The big highlight will be Ephesus.  Even at dinner we were overlooking tall columns capped with arches that were more than 1000 years old and were just part of the landscape!

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