Turkey Day 2 & 3

I feel so blessed to be able to have this experience!  I've gotten to see many awesome places.  I've learned an incredible amount of history.  We're traveling for a long time, with a great group of people with just enough crazy to keep us entertained:)  We have one more day in Turkey tomorrow and then we start our long journey home in the late afternoon.  As much as I have loved this trip, I am excited to see my three awesome kids whom I have missed very much:) Yesterday included a long drive, but a stop at Troy or Troia.  Can you guess what happened there?:)


Our tour guide said that the brand new Trojan horse gets more pictures than the ruins themselves:)  We learned a lot about architecture at this site and our guide quoted from the Iliad a lot.  Made me think I should read it:)  This city was very strategic and so was fought over, destroyed and built again many times.  One spot had a "slice" cut out and you could see all nine layers of the city.  It was very cool to see, but doesn't have the same impact in a picture:)  This is a very old road into the city.  If I remember correctly, it was from before the time of Christ.


This is what happens when you coop up three Pastors on a bus and then let them loose in a gift shop:)


Our view of the Dardenelles from our hotel room in Çanakkale.


Today our visit was the ancient city of Pergamos.  It was a very impressive site and quite a big city.  This was the portico or covered walkway of the city.  These columns were huge and intricately carved.


This is us and Michael's sister Kerri standing in front of the ruins of the Temple of Trajan.


They wanted this temple to be very impressive and to stick out from the side of the mountain so they built up a valley in order for it to sort of hang over the mountain.  The engineering that they had back then was amazing.  Thousands of years and its still holding things up!  I was kind of glad that our guide didn't tell us until we were no longer standing on that square:)  This next picture is under where we were standing in the last one.  The arches are literally holding up the side of the mountain.  Super impressive.


The view from up there was amazing.


So the city of Pergamos was one of the seven churches that John wrote a letter to in Revelation.  In Revelation it mentions that they live where Satan's seat is.  At this site there was more than one temple, and also a huge altar to Zeus.  You can see the outline of it in this next picture.  Those are full-sized trees!  That is one HUGE altar!  Our guide said that this was one of the last cities that Paul preached in that accepted the Gospel because of their dedication to Zeus.  They believed that he helped them defeat their enemy so they worshiped him fervently.


At least here, down at the bottom of the mountain, we saw the remains of a church, so we know that Christianity thrived here at some point:)  This building has seen many interesting things.  It was first built as a temple to Isis, changed into a church and now is a mosque.  Kind of the religious history of the region in one building!


Pergamos was famous for its huge library.  Its also known for starting the creation of books made of parchment paper or papyrus.  Down in the valley they had a famous Healing Centre.  They started experimenting with snake venom for healing and made these monuments with snakes on them.  Sounds like a medical symbol we still have today:)


On this front entrance it says something like, Death may not pass through here.  Their way of healing people seemed to make a lot of sense.  They put people on a strict diet with no sugar, they had detoxing mud baths, drank lots of water and did lots of exercise.  Sounds like a good plan to me:)