Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Smyrna -

This city ruin is actually in three places.  We were so discouraged the first day when we went to "Smyrna" according to directions to the rental car guy.  Our GPS took us right there.   This what we
found the columns or pillars of the agora (what I am understanding, is the financial and business trade area of these ancient cities.)  It was in the center of a neighborhood and on the backside of a park;  fenced in and locked up tight, we were disappointed that we couldn't approach.  That evening Terry contacted a preacher friend of ours who has done extensive research on this -- he told him that we were actually at "Old Smyrna".  this was the location before Alexander the Great moved the city to a more strategic site on the other side of the bay.

Feeling somewhat relieved, we went back to Izmir the next day in search of the "New Smyrna" -- what we found was very interesting.  The top of the hill, looking into the bay were walls and cisterns built to fortify and sustain this city.   I can't imagine how they built these fortresses with out the use of heavy machinery and cranes.  Thinking the whole time that Alexander the Great had walked these walls, looked at the bay and lived here, right here (for a time), was really cool!

The view from the wall was beautiful.  Standing  on top of the wall was amazing (for you who know me, this was a personal achievement).  You can see the agora for this city -- in ruins -- near the big parking garage in the Center left of this photograph.  It's a pretty long way down there, so that tells us that was a pretty large city.

The locals present at the site were interesting as well.  You see their homes where right up next to this history.  The first, an old lady who I thought represented the "older" generation of Turkey very well.  I asked if I could take her picture and was prepared to tip her, but she refused.  That doesn't happen very often.

The second was the lady looking out onto the city after hanging her laundry on the roof of her home.  I wouldn't have liked standing there much less having to cart my wet clothes to the roof.  I watched her descend with grace and confidence down a narrow stairway -- no rail or wall to old onto.

Then of course we have the pazaar at the end of the street.  Right inside the wall.  Everything from carpets to bracelets and we got some of each.

What started off as a disappointment turned into something special -- I will have some pics of the agora tomorrow --

Thanks for stopping by --

1 comment:

  1. Happy to see you had a wonderful trip! Love the pic of the Turkish woman as well!