Tony's EPIC Road Trip Turkey (West)
Istanbul - Eskisehir - Kütaya - Izmir - Selcuk - Ephesus - Bergama - Dardanelles - Gelibulu/Gallipoli - Edirne - Safranbolu Text and Photos: Tony Steurer
Early in the morning I walk 3 km up the hill but don’t get far as a chap called Ismail who has lived in Vienna for a long time stops to offer me a ride. His German is perfect, and he gives me an insight into the carpet weaving history in Bergama which has collapsed due to lack of demand from Europe. In the evening, I visit him in his carpet shop. Years ago he bought the carpet inventory of some local cooperatives, who were already in decline. He tells me that for the past two years only tourists from China, Korea and Russia are coming, no more western Europeans. Tourist guides are looking for other jobs, some hotels stand empty. Up on the mountain the steepest amphitheatre of the antique world with some 10,000 seats. The mighty Trajan temple rests on a massive base. The world famous Pergamon altar can be seen in Berlin’s outstanding Pergamon museum. Unfortunately for the locals, only the basis of the altar remains here.