On the trail of the ruins

WEST TURKEY, AUGUST 1991 - Ruins of temples, castles and fortresses, amphitheatres, city walls,… hot, dry and remote places.  Some of these places used to be ports in Greek times.We travelled from town to to town, using dolmus busses – on arrival we searched for a place to sleep and explored the region -  we moved on when we wanted to… A constant feature on this trip seemed to be that wherever we came, we searched for the ruins of a long time ago…


We visited the site of the historical Troy - basically only city walls are left, and you need to be an expert to see all the different layers – the acropolis and fortress in Bergama (Pergamon),  Pirene, Didymea, Efes… the array of interesting sites is large – some of them no more than a collection of stones, others well preserved and restored…  It is a travel through Greek and Roman culture.

Medusa's head (Didymea) Ephes

Sometimes we had to take a bus to a remote site, and we were dropped of in a place that was only large enough to visit for half an hour, not for the whole afternoon, the time we had to wait till the next bus arrived to bring us back.  But when this happened, we always found an interesting café where we could watch the old man play cards and drink tea – or there was always a carpet shop where you could spend a couple of hours….
At other times, the sites were really impressive and you felt like being in a time warp…walking on the same roads as the Romans did, sitting in the same theatre…
I also remember that often we were the only tourists around, and on the bus, mostly overcrowed by locals – the bus stopped everywhere -  the landscapes were always great and the farmers still used mules and horses.

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