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Pergamum, Turkey

Author: Bea Dahlen
Date of Trip: March 2012

We were up again at dawn, had our bags outside our door before breakfast, and were on the road by 8:00. This time, our destination was Pergamum, half a day’s drive from Kusadasi, and another UNESCO – World Heritage List, Archaeological site. We stopped along the road for a nice lunch.

Perched on the side of a mountain, Pergamum, (or Pergamon) was an important kingdom during the second century BC, having grown from a city-state captured by Alexander the Great. The ruins were breathtaking. The Altar of Zeus, the Great Library, excelled in size and scope only by that in Alexandria, The Medical Center and the Temple of Trajan were amazing. The vestiges of the amphitheater spilled down the side of the mountainside, and made me think that perhaps the term “nose bleed section” was coined right here. The site was huge, and we explored all of it with our knowledgeable guide Mehmet, explaining all we saw. On the hills all around us were many more ruins. This area represents eons of human occupation.

That evening we drove to Kusadasi, and our rooms at the lovely Korumar Hotel, right on the water. From our balcony, overlooking the pool and beach, I could see a fisherman cleaning his nets by the resort lights.Across the water, the walls of the Fortress of Kusadasi, were lit and haunting. We slept with the windows and doors open to the Aegean breezes.

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