Published: June 10th 2012June 10th 2012
Set off in the morning for the Bergama Archeological Museum. German archeologists basically ransacked the ruins around Bergama in the late 1800s, and shipped most of the important pieces back to Germany (that's why the Pergamum Altar is in Berlin). What they decided wasn't worth the hassle of lugging back, they left to the people of Bergama (that was nice, wasn't it?). All of these cast-offs are in the Bergama Museum, which actually is a pretty cool place. What I liked was the model the museum staff had put together of what the Altar of Zeus once looked like.
Made the mistake of having an Efes beer for lunch. It seems like I'd learn - beer and brutal heat don't mix, especially when you're walking. So I slowly made my way out to the Asklepion, which sits maybe a couple of miles outside of town. This was one of the first and most important mental health centers in the ancient world. Common people and even Roman Emperors came here to deal with their problems (the doctors actually used a type of early dream therapy). If you've ever heard of Galen, he was actually from Bergama, and worked here for awhile.
It would've been a great place to get better, too: there was a theatre to entertain the patients, and these big sleeping rooms where you'd be massaged and given water/bath therapy.
Then walked back to town and decided to cool down in a cafe. The people didn't understand what I was saying, and they brought me a dish of chickpeas and rice (which was actually really good by the way). They also gave me a complimentary Turkish tea. Spent the rest of the day relaxing - even went back to the hotel and took a nap. Finished with another great meal. I love the lentil soup served with a lemon. Tomorrow it's back on the bus!
There are more photos below