Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Turkish Odyssey - Day 4

Day 4 will take us from Çanakkale to Pergamum, home to a Roman health center and a giant hillside theater. The theater and top of the old city are unfortunately closed because the tour buses were causing damage to the ruins. It was all the same because we were taken through a Roman health center. Sick persons were not allowed in and those persons who were shown in were treated to more an ancient world spa than a hospital. A marble slab heated from below was used as a table on which a person would lay. A masseur would then come and "make massage with hot oil" while a physician whispered "you will be well." We are increasingly left with only 15-20 minutes to explore sites on our own. This has started to feel akin to a cruise. A land out for land sharks.

The group tends to lag. Chief among the lagers Wolf Lady and Red Coat. There speed, the result of age, might not be so bad were it not for their propensity to speak loudly among themselves when they do catch up and Levent is speaking. Pergamum aside, we are on the bus. Arriving in Kuşadası around 5:15 for dinner. Hotel KoruMar puts on an elaborate spread. Why have 1 dessert when 50 are presented? Best food and hotel thus far...apart from a leaky toilet and not being able to recall the room number (I visited the room next door, uninvited or intended). We question the punctuality of AAAS and feel dejected that I am likely not a finalist. I try to take heart in the trip to Ephesus in the morning, but it is hollow succor and my shoulder blade has developed a knot that hurts when I breath. Sleep comes slowly and restlessly.

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