Almost all people who visit Bergama – the Turkish name for the ancient city of Pergamos – they do it for it’s well preserved Hellenistic and Roman ruins.
The town who gave the name to parchment (“pergamini” in Greek) and pioneered the goat skin as a writing surface, which replaced expensive papyrus, was the first not touristy town we visited in Turkey.
The ruins of Asklepieion are right outside the town and those of the Acropolis on the nearby hill, but they haven’t altered its life and feeling, at least in low season.
We wild camped in a gravel surfaced parking right next to the Kiziz Avlu – the Serapeion Basilica and the following morning we strolled for hours downtown.
Early in the morning, I left the girls sleeping and walked in the narrow sokak (streets) of the old town, which is left as it was decades ago. Most houses need are delapidated or urgently need restoration and I saw only 2-3 little hotels.
Bergama is busy like any other Turkish town but not overwhelmingly busy. We walked uphill to the Asklepieion UNESCO-listed ruins and strolled around almost on our own. We could meditate there – so calm it was.
Then we had the best köfte and our first Ayran drink and we roughly paid 10 euros for a light lunch for three in one of the local restaurants – the Altin Kepçe. Early in the afternoon we decided to leave the town and drive to nearby Izmir.
Read more about Bergama and ancient Pergamos on wikipedia.