PERGAMON – TEETERING TEMPLES AND PHANTOM SNAIL PINCHERS, TURKEY 1976

THURSDAY 21ST OCTOBER, 1976 – PART ONE

‘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 …’

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