Yesterday we left the beautiful city of Istanbul to explore another new and exciting part of Turkey- the Aegean Coast. The day started early with a ferry ride from Istanbul to the other side of the Sea of Marmara. It was a calm ride and we enjoyed a collection of Turkish snacks that Rabbi Dena collected from the bazaars in Istanbul. Some highlights included olives, REAL string cheese, and Simit, a ring like pretzel coated in sesame seeds.
Once we made it to the other side, we hopped a bus that took 6 hours to get to Selcuk, in Ismir province. On the way however, we stopped in the famous town of Bergama, home to Pergamum. Pergamum, or the acropolis ruins of which we visited, sits atop the hill above the town, and requires a cable car to reach. Though the history of the site is complicated, it is in short the site of ancient Roman ruins, as part of the capital of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor. The site is also mentioned in the Book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia. Pergamum was home to the largest ancient library, and is also well known for its temples to Athena and Zeus. Parts of the ruins do very much resemble those of the Acropolis in Greece.
In the afternoon we visited a rug maker, and learned more about that as an art in this region. We discussed quality of materials, colors, and styles. Though I certainly cannot afford one of these pieces of art at the moment, I am sure it will come in as handy information for the future!
All in all, it was a long but smooth day. We checked into our new beautiful hotel in Selcuk, and had a great dinner ( and this is coming from a vegetarian in a meat heavy country)!