Published: January 12th 2013January 9th 2013
Well, some people who are following our blog have been kind enough to say that they are enjoying our photos of the amazing sites that we are seeing. On the other hand, some of our followers just want to see pictures of my hats!! I didn't realise that mentioning my hat purchase would create so much interest.
We were on the road by 8.00am again this morning. Very cold again today, but clear and sunny here on the Aegean Coast. It only took us about 25 minutes to drive to our first stop today at the legendary City of Troy. Before exploring the city ruins we were able to see the Trojan horse. As with most other sites that we have visited there were lots of stray cats and dogs roaming about but, of course, these ones have the distinction of being Trojan cats and Trojan dogs!
The ruins were much smaller than I realised they would be. What is interesting about the City of Troy though, is how many times it was rebuilt and expanded on the same site. Because the earliest versions of the city were built of sun-dried bricks they were very vulnerable to fires, floods
and earthquakes. Disasters of this nature virtually razed the city to the ground leaving no materials that could be re-used. So they just built the new city on top of the ruins. In all, Troy was rebuilt nine times. There is one area of the site that has been excavated and labelled to show the different eras of Troy. Troy was occupied for over 4,000 years from the Stone Age until the Roman Era.
After Troy we continued down the coast through hectares and hectares of olive trees. Some of the trees were planted in plantations, but many of them were growing wild for as far as the eye could see. We stopped for lunch - Pides today - before visiting the ancient city of Pergamum perched high upon the hilltop. We took the cable car to the top of the hill and had the city to ourselves to explore. It was awesome being about to take photographs of this spectacular ancient site without having to worry about any other pesky tourists swarming over it.
Pergamum's first claim to fame is that it was once ruled by Alexander the Great. The second thing that Pergamum is famous for
is parchment. The libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum were the two greatest libraries of the ancient world. Alexandria stopped supplying papyrus to Pergamum in an attempt to prevent them from having a larger collection of scrolls ... so they invented parchment (made from the dried skins of animals) to write on instead.
Back onto the bus for a two and a half (maybe three) hour drive to Kusadasi where we will be spending the next two nights. Rather than waste the time sleeping, I have been very productive getting a head start on today's diary entry. Poor Bernie is going to have trouble catching up with the photos.
We arrived in Kusadasi after dark, but it was only quarter to six! Our hotel for the next two nights is the Grand Onder Hotel ... which is not quite so grand these days. The hotel is a bit old and tired and certainly suffers from comparison with the beautiful accommodation we enjoyed in Istanbul and Çanakkale. On the plus side our room was warmed by a split system reverse cycle air conditioning unit, rather than central heating, so it was not stifling hot like the other hotels have been.
It was slightly annoying to discover after paying for internet access that we could not log onto travelblog.com. We'll be off the air for a couple of days.
Steps for the day: 8,660 (5.92km)
There are more photos below