Classics in the Aegean: Exporing the Aegean Coast returning home (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about the first part of my trip in Turkey, found here. This blog included stories about my travels (exploring Toronto and spending all night at the airport in Istanbul), visiting different ancient sites along the Aegean coast, going on a boat tour, attending a pottery and carpet making workshop, and going up on the Bodrum castle. The first five days of the trip were amazing; however, the rest was even better. Here I will talk about the rest of the trip, from day 5 to the end.

On day six we drove to Selçuk. In the morning Daniel gave a talk about the biography of Artistotle and then we went to visit the Ephesus Archaeological Museum. Here, each one of us has to choose two items and answer a series of five questions. This helped us understand our selected items better, interpret them, and go beyond what was easily transmitted. This assignment required some additional research about the items as well. Afterwards we walked around the St. John castle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostle’s tomb.

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A cute tortoise we found while exploring ancient sites.

In the evening we drove to Sirince, a village of 600 inhabitants in Izmir Province, Turkey. This small town is located only 8 kilometres east of the town of Selçuk. We dined in an amazing restaurant with a beautiful view, where the food was delicious and the conversations were very productive. Here we had the Heraclitus Symposium, where each one of us had selected a couple fragments of Heraclitus and gave an interpretation of them. There were some of us that had selected the same fragments. This was good because we were able to agree or disagree with other’s interpretations, allowing for a meaningful discussion. This was one of my favourite evenings.

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The whole group during the Heraclitus Symposium in Sirince.

On the seventh day we drove to Salihli, where we were able to visit an ancient site called Sardis. Here, Rebecca gave a talk about the Sardis and then Christy gave a talk about Herodotus. The next day we drove to Aphrodisias, which is a small acient Greek city in the historic Caria cultural region of western Anatolia, Turkey. Here Zai gave a talk about the biography of Aphrodisias, whereas Daniel, gave a talk about his essay in regards to Alexander, On Fate.

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Ninth day was one of my favourites, since we went to Pamukkale. This is a natural site located in Denizli Province in south-western Turkey. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish, and the site contains of hot springs and travertines, which form terraces of carbonate minerals that are left behind as the water flows. Many people believe that these thermal, hot springs have healing powers so people go there to be cured from any medical problems that they might have. In the nearby theatre of Hierapolis, Rose gave a talk about the location of Hierapolis/ Pamukkale and then both Zai and I gave talks about our essays in the regards to the Enchiridion, Epictetus.

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The next day we went to Bergama, where we were able to visit an ancient site at the top of a mountain, known as the Acropolis. We had lots of presentations in this site, like Daniella talking about the Aesclepion, Rebecca talking about Galen, and many others.

Whereas, on our very last day we went to visit the Assos Harbour and the Athena Temple. The latter one is believed to have been built around year 550 B.C.E., during the Archaic period. Today the majority of the temple has been destroyed due to varous factors. However, the view from up the temple is magnificent. According to our tutor, Darcy, this is one of the most beautiful temples (or I guess views) that he has ever seen before.

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And with this day, our trip to Turkey came to an end. I cannot believe that all these days went by so fast. While writing these two blogs I realized how much we did, saw, and experienced. This is why I am very thankful for having gone to Turkey with such lovely people, whom made everyday more enjoyable and fun.

Also, thank you so much to our tutor Darcy for all the work he put into planning this trip and making sure everything went smoothly.

I came home last week, to be warmly welcomed by family and friends. While I do miss Quest and my friends in Canada, it sure feels good to be home for a few months.

-Poema

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