Not a long drive today, we hope, but we are up early to get in a visit to Pergamum before lunch. First we have get away from the hotel, and after waiting ages for the lift we get in. The doors close and we don’t move. We wonder why, and check the loading, it can take 12 people but to get that many in you have to start stacking them, so it can’t be that. Over a minute passes and it is suddenly very hot in that lift. Fawlty Towers strikes again, regardless of what button is pressed nothing happens. The doors open and we breathe a sigh of relief, but before we can get out the doors close again, and we are still stranded. We waste no time getting out and trying another lift when they eventually open again, but now everyone else is trying to check out, so we stop at every floor on the way up to the room, and again on the way down.
At Pergamum we take a cable car up the hill to these ruins and view the sites of the great library that so threatened the Egyptians, that the supply of paper was halted to prevent it surpassing their own, and thereby would attract scholars away from Alexandria. However the locals were resourceful, and took to writing on parchment, a very, very thin leather. The hillside amphitheatre is very steep, so few opt to head down there. We were beginning to think “more of the same, another bloody ruin”, but it was unique in its’ own way, and still held our interest. Our guide Burhan was well educated in the history (and this applied to whole tour), so was able tell us much. Sorry to say not a lot is sinking in, we have been told so much over the past few days, but those with an avid interest are well catered for without boring the rest. Burhan tells the stories in an interesting way, and is aware that this is not everyone’s cup of tea. The skill of those who designed and built these great cities so many hundreds of years ago is incredible.
We take a late lunch and on the way to the beach pass an onyx factory, that also does gold and silver jewellery (gold is mined locally). We are asked if anyone wants to stop, and of course there are those that do. It was another long delay that could have been cut shorter. It was another 40 minutes to the beach at Ayvalik, and we didn’t get there until 4pm, so we only had 45 minutes there. Tony waded out a fair way as it didn’t get deep, the water wasn’t too cold, but he couldn’t be bothered changing for such a short time. Cynthea had a quick dip, but they were the only two to go in for any time. It was a stunning day, and we all ended up at the café for a beer.
We get to the Berskoy Hotel at Bergama just before 6pm. We get to our room to find it pretty rough, and bloody single beds again. We ask for a change of room, but the hotel is full because they are renovating (and not before time), so our guide Burhan offers to swap. He is downstairs in a room that has just been renovated, so we figure we will be better off. Hmmm, that one is debatable! The room appears finished on the surface, but the workmanship is rough as guts. Obviously not done by skilled labour! The grouting in the tiles is all over the place, and the standard of painting isn’t much either. One would hope that there is still some tiding up to do. At least we have a double bed, and we can deal with crawling through a building site to get here (the rooms before ours are still under re-construction). The others seem happy enough with their lot, and the food at the buffet is the best we have had for a while. We go shopping for a few beers and Tony also picks up a 5 litre of water TYL1.50/$1.20 to take to Gallipoli.
We have a couple of beers in Phil and Cameron's room after tea, then an early night as tomorrow we leave for Gallipoli at 7am.