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zaktim Bergama - A travel report by Tim
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Bergama,  Turkey - flag Turkey -  ‰zmir
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zaktim's travel reports

Bergama and the Ovacik Gold Mine

  8 votes

Bergama, like so many parts of Turkey, has an improbably long and interesting history. The nearby Ovacik Gold Deposit (and mine) was in part discovered due to diligent archaeological research concerning the sources of gold for the Roman Empire nearly 2000 years ago. That aside, step inland from Mediterranean Turkey and you find a far more humble, enchanting cultural crossover between East and West.

Favourite spots:
Australians will never pass up the opportunity to visit Canakkale (pronounced 'channakalay') due to its proximity to the famous landing and slaughter site of Australian troops at Gelibolu (Gallipoli). Beyond that there is a constant string of quaint little seaside resort-ish fishing towns down to Izmir. Go inland though and the character changes dramatically; religious adherence is more obvious in dresscode and behaviour, smiles are more forthcoming from people other than carpet salesmen, and you get a real sense of Turkey as a hard-working dominantly rural nation. Fun to read Homer's The Odyssey and retrace Jason's steps.

What's really great:
That despite sporadic anti-mining public opinion and in general a decline of governmental interest in mining across Europe, the Ovacik operation is neat, well run, and has been orchestrated in conjunction with extensive community consultation. Despite much ill-informed poor publicity in Australia, credit should really go to the mine's operators.

Accommodations:
Sorry, I can't help here.

Nightlife:
Most of the coastal towns have some concession to global youth culture, and from the numers of revellers and the decibels emanating from one such club in a nameless resort town, you shouldn't have too much trouble find a place to hit the dancefloor.

Restaurants:
Are great. Try to organise a selection of starters (meze) rather than ordering from an a la carte menu per se. This makes for an entertaining experience not just for your tastebuds. Have a crack at a genuine doner kebab in a streer kiosk, and find your way to a turkish delight (lokum) shop...forget about your waistline and your dentist, and enjoy...especially with two.

Published on Monday January 27th, 2003


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