‘Back down to town; some of us had stuffed peppers, chips and tomatoes (Heidi, me, Adrian, Chris, Hans).
Nice town [Bergama] lots of food stalls and shops. Quite clean. Sun came out. Scenery looked much better in the sun – blue sea and clear outline of sandy hills covered in olive trees.
Stopped at Izmir. Soldier called Hassan attached himself and offered to find the Meaders’ place [parents of school friend who were living there]. Not enough time, so gave up. Met up with Mark, Paul and Julie. Very modern and busy port.
Salcuk from Nightingale Mountain
Next stop was early evening at house ofVirgin Mary up on Nightingale Mountain, outside of Salcuk. Really peaceful and serene setting among terraced gardens and lots of trees, view out to sea, sun beginning to go down. Lovely little chapel built on remains of house; sat inside for a while, attendant gave me free guide.’
‘Went back in to Bergama and up hillside to old citadel of Pergamon. Fantastic views of surrounding hills and plains and bird’s eye view of Bergama. Hills very rugged and unfertile; lots of olive trees and sheep wandering around with bells around necks.
Ponies grazing among ruins. Ruins quite extensive (Greek ones – Roman further down towards the town). Remains of aquaduct, old city walls, library (200,000 parchments originally before taken to Alexandra and lost in a fire).
Temple of Athena and very steep theatre dropping down hill – steepest in Turkey because of gradient of hill. Hilarious American Tour – “Gee what a super picture of a fig tree” as they passed the remains of the steepest amphitheatre in Turkey; “does anybody want a bit of marble?” and handed some round. One woman went into ecstasies over a snail and looked suspiciously at us, saying, “You’re not going to take the snail away are you?” I didn’t think we looked particularly like phantom snail pinchers. Perhaps she thought we were combing the old ruins of Turkey for that very reason …’