Another quick one today, and unfortunately don’t have time for the poetics. I blitzed Bergama (Pergamum) yesterday and today. Of note: was approached by a rug merchant who noticed that I look Italian. He lives half the year in Italy. Invites me in for tea (chai, in Turkish, guess that’s where that word comes from) which he in fact does not have. Tries to convince me to buy a rug. Tells me stories of when he used to be a looter. Now sticks to selling knock-offs. I approve, but don’t buy a knock-off.
Stayed at the Gobi Pension for 20 lira a night, about 14 dollars, and it came with breakfast and an internet connection. Stay there, Gobi and his son Mustafa are very helpful. Spartan room with no TV (what would I watch) and no bathroom (down the hall, just fine on the heat and water pressure). Can’t beat the price. Next day I jog through town, startling locals who have no idea what this “jogging” or perhaps “yogging” is, but see that I’m just…running, for some predetermined distance.
I run under the acropolis of Pergamum. I can’t tell you how absolutely cool that is. The next day I stomp around the ruins of the Temple of Zeuss (Iklaina kids, you should remember this one…Hellenistic style? famous friezes?) Little disappointing, since the friezes were carted off to Berlin, but the ex-looter tells me this is for the best since guys like him would have, well, looted them.
I tackle both the Asclepion and the Acropolis, almost by myself, almost no other tourists around. It’s eerie…I go early in the morning or just before close, and it’s just me, alone, walking silently through these famous ruins, these ampitheaters…some of the most stunning sites on the planet, and it’s all MINE, for a few minutes. I just want to post one quick picture of the ampitheater from the Acropolis to give you an idea of how jaw-droppingly weird this site is:
Pretty wild, huh? You have the entire planet as your backdrop.
The big excitement was when a bus caught fire while I was waiting at the station, and we all ran out with the extendable fire hoses to put it out. I wonder what the odds are? Does this happen every weekend?
Nothing more to report. Been spending most of my time on buses or in stations the last two days. I’ll have a post tomorrow after I get done with Troy. Yeah, I’m going to Troy, baby. I plan to finally make use of the line “back off man, I’m an archaeologist.” Hopefully they won’t look too closely at my credentials.