Hello my faithful one or two readers, if you are still with me I appreciate your dedication. Let me know if anyone is actually reading this thing if you don't mind. At least I won't feel like I am always talking to myself.
So, on Oct 10th we drove back to Seljuk, near Ephesus And Kusadasi, and stayed at our beloved Kayhan hotel. We visited Euromos again and showed up at the hotel at 11am and planned to toss our things down and head up the coast to hit some Ionian cities. The staff were happy to see us (we've stayed there many times and just 9-10 days ago, and they gave us one of the big rooms named Didyma (after the place). The room was so inviting we crashed until 2pm then decided to drive up the coast to Teos, exactly as Greg and I had done some five years ago.
It was a pleasant drive, weather just like LA for date, and found Teos, whose Greek coins always have a griffin. The T's have been up to no good as usual and more of the site has been excavated and better organized with pathways etc. It was a lovely hike around as we enjoyed the fall colors. The theater was a bit delapidated but the bouletarion was awesome. We had fun and the drove south and tried to find Lebedos, but the site seemed closed and there were tons of kids around the gate and we just got the heck out of there.
We decided to visit Claros and watched the sunset before having a nice meal at our hotel. Michelle loves this hotel and it was hard to leave the next day.
We then drove north to Bergama, visiting the town if Alishar on the way (the town isn't really on the way) to see the ruins if Thyateura. I have like 20 coins from this city and saw some ruins existed from the Roman period. Well, what we found were a few tiny excavated areas in parks or closed off areas amidst the total hectic and chaotic modern town. It was very nerve wracking driving around. We think it was lunchtime market day or something. People just don't move out of the way. One guy I almost hit walked right in front of meas he texted. It is very hard with pedestrians here because they don't look and they barrel out in the street often texting. People are glued to their phones around here. We went through a traffic control point today where they create a traffic jam and funnel the cars into one Kane via cones. When we passed the cops one was having tea with some guy, chatting away behind his car, while the other one stared into his phone within the car, just wasting everyone's time!
We were disappointed with Thyateira and just got the hell out of there. We then drove on to Bergama and found a comfortable hotel. We ate dinner in a restaurant that had a local business having a dinner and award ceremony. It was interesting, especially the part when we showed like desert wandering stragglers, especially me, and all the T's were dressed up nice. It was our hotel restaurant and when a group of French travelers showed up from a tour at least we didn't look so out of place.
The next morning we visited the ancient city of Pergamon, a truly important classical city. I visited the place in 2003 with my friend Ross, (Michelle's ex-husband and still my good friend), and we had to hike a very long way up this extremely steep path to gain access to the acropolis. Well the T's went all out and completely pulled out all the stops for us this time, since they knew we were coming and they wanted to impress us. We drove to the normal parking place expecting to hike and low and behold the T'a has built a sky cable thing with little clear plastic cars hanging from a cable you sit in. These take you to the top like the thing in Palm Springs, which takes you up the mountain. We were like 200 feet up or so at the highest point and thought of our dear friend Barold Rightman, who loves things like this. We goofed around in the car and took pic of ourselves.
Now the site was spectacular, google Pergamon to see for yourself. Not too many tour bus loads were there so we had the run of the place. There was this Jspanese guy, maybe closing in on sixty, who seemed to always wander into our group photos (where we set the timer and take pics of the two of us). Sometimes he noticed we were waiting for him but he seemingly just didn't care! I named him captain oblivious and we kept spotting him stumbling about.
After visiting the acropolis we visited the Aesclepion, which was an ancient healing center dedicated to the god Aesclepios. It has a nice theater and we were really impressed by this place. Afterwards Michelle wanted to drive through part of the town were it is a small village kinda outside of the modern city where the ancient Roman town was. We found the lower theater and the remains of an amphitheater, which was alone and forgotten. Originally it seemed a small creek ran underneath it, the seats on the opposing banks. It was way cool and the princess was pleased. I noticed the villagers had noticed us and were preparing an assault with their bags of trinkets they always have for sale. Since I planned for this buy turning the car around before we parked it was just a simple task of driving over the first couple then speeding away. No we just declined their insistent offerings. If we capitulated every time we would have hundreds of scarves and dozens of wooden spoons! We then hit the museum which is rather underwhelming, but we did enjoy a nice lunch nearby where we were bombarded by the usual assortment if hungry cats. After sharing lunch with our feline friends we decided to head for the town of Assos as our looming date with Istanbul fast approaches. Michelle was delighted with her visit to Pergamon and I was happy because she has looked forward to it for a long time, the upper theater is just spectacular!!!!