29 June – 1 July 2017
Beysehir -Pamakkale to Selcuk and onto Bergamo.
Driving from Beysheir via Sagalassos
Its 42 degrees and they are expecting 46 tomorrow for our drive to Bergama (Pergama).We fell out of the MGs, dripping with perspiration at a delightful boutique hotel in Selcuk, the Cella. The hosts were so welcoming, immediately handing us cold water and beers. The ambience and interior décor of the lounge and rooms was absolutely divine and the swimming pool was in immediate use.
Prior to arriving in Selcuk we visited the ancient sites of Sagalassos and Aprodisias where the Temple of Aphrodite was situated. Sagalassos above Agasun was destroyed by an earthquake in 3rd century AD. and was in existence from 5 century BC to 1200’s, being a small Neolithic community prior to this. There was an interactive education centre. The site is being restored with a functioning fountain with water supplied from the mountains 25 kms away, another drinking fountain, agora and a beautiful mosaic floor in the library. In Aphrodisiacs the Stadium is the best preserved example of a Roman Classical era structure seating 30,000 spectators, perfectly preserved. The council house, mansions, Roman Baths and Temple of Aphrodite were being carefully restored – only if 85% of the original structure is in evidence.
Pamukkale was stunning with its cascading white curtains of white calcium caused by the underground water. The water calcified against the rocky cliffs creating layers of white folds of minerals which appear frozen in time. This site was very close to Hieropolis another ancient city of at least 80,000 people. We saw Cleopatra’s pool supplied constantly with mineral rich warm water, and the Necropolis of over 3000 prominent people. We toured around this site in the evening after driving from Sagalassos in 43 degree heat.
Selcuk to Bergamo
After a great breakfast another very day was promised and it delivered, reaching an extraordinary 46 but we still enjoyed a guided tour of Ephesus, what an extraordinary site. The terraces were fascinating allowing visitors to visitors to see how citizens lived and the style of house complete with frescos and mosaics and graffiti.so much to see including the Iibrary of temple of Artemis the theatre and even the church of Mary . So much to see and so little time.
It was difficult driving in the heat but our welcome in Bergamo made up for it. We stayed in a restored stone boutique hotel Hera in the middle of the narrow streets higher up the hills. We waited until late afternoon before venturing up to the Acropolis via cable car.
The 1st and 2nd century ruins of the huge theatre which seated 30000 people was a highlight, along with the Agora complete with Doric, iconic and Corinthian columns; Peter is becoming an expert in identifying them. He had a lot of practice in Ephesus.
Our time is running out and the internet connections continue to be unpredictable. Some days have been quite long and hot and when we arrive in a place we are keen to explore it and enjoy the local delicacies.