It was Thanksgiving today—at least in our minds—because the one thing we knew was that we all got a great piece of Turkey. After a late night yesterday, it was definitely nice to get some shuteye. We ate breakfast, packed up, and headed to Pergamon, our first and only stop. We arrived rather early in the morning and we stopped at the Red Basilica. We listened, took notes, and observed a tunnel that the Romans had built to allow the portico of the Red Basilica, or the Temple of Serapis as we now learned, to be constructed on top.
Our next stop was the Asclepion, in other words, the sanctuary to Asclepius. There we saw the remains of a structure based off of the Pantheon in Rome, and constructed only a couple of years afterward. The complex also included sleeping quarters and a theater. The theater was actually rather peculiar, showing traits of both Roman and Greek culture.
We went to lunch and were surprised with a buffet. This was our first real Turkish meal because airplane meals don’t count and it passed the test. The Turkish food definitely got my approval and as a guy who constantly talks about food, this was a sign the trip will be a success. They even had some nice deserts such as rice pudding.
The real Turkish delight, however, was the acropolis of Pergamon. It was everything you could ever want in an acropolis: a library, a bunch of great temples (notably the Trajaneum with its incredible substructures and being made almost entirely of marble), the altar of Zeus (look it up, it’s worth it I swear), and of course the incredible theater of Pergamon. With 80 rows and the ability to hold 10,000 people, the theater was absolutely breathtaking. All of these sites came with a view which was just amazing.
Stunned by all that we had seen, we got into the bus, sang, mumbled and grumbled—albeit happily, and even got some actual reading done on the two-and-a-half hour ride to our next stop of Selçuk.
Photos by the lovely Jiyoung:
The “Red Basilica”, aka the Temple of Serapis. Just look at that Roman brickwork!
Walking to the Asklepion along the ancient road.
The TA is all smiles this morning. So many pretty things!
Group photo time!
Chillin' in the theater. Yeah. We cool.