From Selcuk to Ayvalik

It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Selçuk to Ayvalik, the next stop on our two-week G-Adventure tour of Western Turkey.  Along the way, we stopped in Bergama to see the Turkish rug making process.

Bergama

Turkey is famous for its rugs and the government even sponsors weaving schools to keep the special art alive.  Rug making in Bergama dates back to the 11 century.  Rugs may be made of silk, wool or a wool-cotton blend. 

Upon our visit to the rug factory, we got to see how the silk is harvested from the cocoon (video) as well as women weave the rugs.  Additionally, we learned all the yarn is colored with natural dyes from onion, rose madder, walnuts, indigo and pomegranate…just to name a few.

What makes a Turkish rug special is that it is tied with a double-knot as compared to other rugs tied with a single fiber.  As a result, the Turkish rug is sturdier and more durable.  The value of the rug is determined by the pattern, type of yarn, and number of knots per square inch.  Of course the one I liked was $3,000.

Though I understand negotiating may lead to a price 30% less, I wasn’t in the market for buying. Regardless that didn’t stop the seller from offering tea and unrolling countless rugs.  Despite telling him we weren’t buying, he was determined to show us all sorts of wonderful designs.

Bergama Turkish Rugs

The Church of Pergamum

After our time at the rug factory, we briefly visited the ruins of a church in Bergama.  The ruins are known as the Church of Pergamum (or Perganom), one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Church of Perganom

Ayvalik

From Bergama, we continued to Ayvalik, only 45 minutes away by car.  Ayvalik is known for its beach resorts, olive oil production, and its close proximity to three ancient cities (Pergamon, Assos and Troy). 

Taksiyaris Pension

In Ayvalik, we stayed at the most charming pension called Taksiyaris.  Located up the hill, Taksiyaris provided lovely views of the town below and the Aegean Sea. 

The pension included a maze of cozy bedrooms, a handful of bathrooms, a kitchen and lounge area.  The Turkish rugs, colorful pillows, big pots, and other trinkets gave it the quaint, cozy feel I love in foreign accommodations.

taksiyaris pension in Ayvalik

I highly recommend a night here. You can book it at Hotels.com

The Harbor

The town of 30,000, which balloons doing tourist season, has a very busy harbor full of sailboats.  They  undoubtedly sail out to the surrounding islands on beautiful days.  While I enjoyed the views of the harbor, the main street is busy, and I’m a sucker for the narrow, winding back streets.

ayvalik harbor

The Market

Walking these streets took me past a few mosques and through a colorful market with vendors selling everything from walnuts and dates to garden sheers.  I love to check out all the nooks and crannies of old towns, and Ayvalik is a perfect place to do so.

market in Ayvalik

With COVID in the mix at the end of March, most of the restaurants closed early, but it didn’t stop us from dining on the terrace during sunset at our pension.  Off to Çanakkale next.  ETB

sunset view from the pension of Ayvalik

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

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