no turkey in turkey...

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May 29th 2006
Published: May 29th 2006
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ok that was a bit corny but I felt the need to. So far, I've been eating a lot of vegetarian cuisine with the odd bit of beef or lamb. Turkey has some tasty drinks which I've just been introduced to including the famous apple tea which is like an apple cider but less rich, and salep - its like a white hot chocolate, traditionally turkish, made from the root of a mountain orchid.

Yesterday, we took a tour to Pergamon, famous for being the second largest library in antiquity, and when the library at Alexandria was burned, Marc Anthony ransacked this one to give it to Egypt. This was also the site which Janice had based a lot of her Master's thesis on. There wasn't a lot left to the site but it had a great view of the valley below. Down in the valley below was the Asclepion, where people flocked to be cured by bathing in the sacred water and had their dreams analyzed. What amused me about this site is that the Turks have decided to base a military shooting range around this archaeological site. there were several stern signs warning us not to take pictures of the military area and there was an officer patrolling the site to also ensure the tourists weren't wannabe spies.

Today, we took another tour to the famous, but less visited cities of Priene, Miletus and Didyma. Priene is known for being one of the first few cities laid out on a 90 degree angle grid. Didyma was known for being a famous oracle center as important as the one at Delphi. The one great thing about this tour was being able to walk into the temples or the theatres whereas in Italy and Greece, you can only walk around the outside. The sites arn't very well maintained here and I wonder where the tourist dollars collected from admission fees go to.

We're packing in the tours this week. Tomorrow we're heading inland to the site of Pamukkale famous for its beautiful cascading terrace steps formed by calcium deposits. Then we're doing a crazy whirlwind tour of Cappadocia known for its amazing rock formations and houses carved out of these rocks. I'll be a little smelly and worse for wear when the next travelblog comes around (this next tour is going to require some fantastic local no-sleep night buses).

Interesting thought for the day: The only places that dispense medication are chemists/pharmacists. As such, one is required to stay open during the night. This is great if you're sick, but not so great if you're at the hospital and you have to get someone to run down the highway to get your medication for you (its not dispensed at a hospital).

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My new friend My new friend
My new friend

I relished being able to touch (and hug) a column in Turkey unlike in Greece where I had the whistle blown on me.
Serenity Serenity

ok. I couldn't think of anything more original for a title.

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