Monday, June 3, 2013

A Glimpse Into Antiquity

I don't know how that hostel clerk in Istanbul thought Bergama was no good; he should be shot for it. I love it here. The ruins are incredible! It's an amazing thing to look at something two thousand years old. Once you're out of sight of the vehicles, people, and modern noise, you step into the reality of a world as it was two millennia ago. The wind still blows, the sun still shines, and the birds still sing. Paradise.

The if the Askepilos of Pergamum was amazing, the Acropolis has no words capable of describing how great it was. The ancient city is fortified on a hilltop above Bergama, specifically placed there to offer protection from the enemies of Greece. This didn't guarantee safety, however, as the city fell to many different conquerors, one of them being Alexander the Great. As I type this I may be sitting on ground where his phalanx formations once marched. Very cool.

The main upper part of the city, such as the temple of Trajan and the amphitheater were really cool and I spent a long time roaming around. I had taken the gondola on the way up so I decided that taking the path back to town via the lower section had to be done. I started walking along the narrow, grass lined path, minding my own business, when I heard a rustle in the grass next to me, and BAM, this giant brown snakes crashes out of the grass about two feet in front of me, darting across the path and down the hill into more grass. After that I took it a little slower. Thankfully I had packed my monopod with me, which I used to beat the grass ahead of me to make noise, as I had seen a guide in Thailand do. It worked, I scared two more out of the grass, then saw two more from a distance further down. In addition to the turtle I saw at the top, I saw a lot of wildlife today! 

It was definitely worth the snakes, however, as there was not a soul on the trail and not a bit of restoration had been done to the ruins in this section, which gave it an authentic feel. I'm torn on whether to leave for Ephesus tomorrow, or stay another day, because I really like this town, but have seen all of its important sights. With hourly buses going to Izmir every day I don't have to stress about it too much.

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