Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Turkey, the Aegean Coast

Ephesus (Efes .. "like the beer")

The theatre here, built by the Greeks and expanded by the Romans, is magnificent. You just want to sit and wonder, and think, and chat.

The library at Efes. Another magnificent structure. One thing, it was climate-controlled. The walls against which books were stored looked like an exterior wall but wasn't; behind the library wall was a passage for free flow of air, then the exterior wall, all to keep the books and scrolls from exposure to humidity.

The theatre at Efes from near the top. Sometimes you'd have a tour group listening to the tour leader, sometimes you'd just have people hanging out.

The main drag at Efes. Generally the roads and buildings were on mild grades.

One reason: you wanted a constant flow of water. Unrelated, but imagine somebody walking in and the only free stall was between these two guys?

Reasons you want a guide, number 52. You'd miss this ad, the world's first we were told, and wouldn't you know, associated with the world's oldest profession. A foot, an arrow and a heart .. the rest is up to you.

Pergamum (Bergama)

This is a tunnel leading to or part of a psychiatric hospital. The tunnel is actually underground, with the roof just butting up to the surface ground. This was significant, in that the underground location, with its constant temperature amd cool and humid climate, was thought to be comforting. Note the ceiling openings, there were several and these allowed doctors, off hours, to "monitor" their patients, listen in on their well-being or other carrying-on. The location was also chosen due to the existence of spring water pools, the water was thought to have healing qualities. All in all, Pergamum was likely the most advanced medical facility of its time.

Here we walk towards what was once the Temple of Apollo. It's always a leisurely walk, as the approach time equals the time needed for the guide's explanation of what you are about to "see". The trees are beautiful. How much do they know?

I'm always looking to adopt a family (see Nicaragua pics), here we had seen these kids gathering firewood earlier. A family lives and farms on top of the old city. I wonder if the spring water keeps them healthy?

The theatre at Pergamum. Like Efes this used to be a coastal city, now its inland at least a couple of miles.

This picture is labeled "Roman seats", and the reason, as I recall, is that they were distinct in style from the Greek seats .. I just don't recall why and how. I know the Greek theatre seating was more head on, or to think of the shape a small arc of a circle, and when the Romans added on and upgraded they added to the outside changing the layout to more of a semi-circle.

Didyma, Miletos, and Prienne

One thing you always look for, other than the theatre, is the counsel chamber. This one is at Didyma. Who gets the big chairs? (Hellooo, fatboy.)

Not much to say here, when you look at the ruins you always have to have one thing in the back of your mind: earthquake. Two+ millennia, you're bound to have a couple of knee-knockers.

Me trying to be artistic at Prienne. I got grudging approval of this pic from my wife (most of the other pics are hers). Of course this column "structure" hasn't stayed in this precarious state for 2500 years, it was reconstructed for us, the tourists. Same for the columns, below, at Prienne.

The cities were very strategically located: vantage point, ability to defend (probably the most important), accessibility, etc.


Not much going on here. But that was Izmir.

Compare to Istanbul:

This was a couple minutes walk from our hotel. A touristy area I guess, some nice restaurants, and probably people like us, just arrived in the city. The flag is ever-present. Same with statues of Ataturk, I'll have to find one.

Roman arches

Are everywhere, the first is Efes, the second is Miletos, and the bottom, Istanbul.


Just a reminder that you don't have to leave Istanbul to see the work of the Romans. Their aqueducts were a work of art.


Added Dec 13, 08:



ThyGoddess said...


Note: It is Efes (like the beer :))

sydbristow said...

of course! thanks. I really do want to go back. The whole Black Sea region we didn't even touch. Oh well, we shall see.

hipparchia said...

i do love your world tours. thanks ever so much for the photos.

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