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Published: November 26th 2009
Onward from Istanbul…
Dan and I are currently bumping around in the back of an overland truck- ripping through the Turkish countryside and chugging up and over a few mountain passes… believe or not some of the mountains are even snow capped. Turkey thus far has been a great experience. After leaving Istanbul, we visited the battlefields of Gallipoli and learnt a lot about the valiant ANZAC (Australian & New Zealand) troops that fought against the tenacious Turks. Many lives were lost on that small peninsula and it was a moving experience to learn the history and about the courageous fight put up by both sides- a grim reminder that no one side actually wins in war.
Since then we have visited the ancient ruins of Troy and let our imaginations take us back to a time of great Roman empires, bloody battles, beautiful goddesses and invisible gods. A place were history and legend blur into the glossy images of a Hollywood blockbuster. The history of Troy is a complex tapestry which spans 3000 years and includes iconic individuals such as Helen and the King of Sparta, Achilles, brothers Hector & Paris to name a few and of course
the infamous Trojan Horse.
After Troy we travelled to Ephesus which is the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean and the Roman’s ‘first and greatest metropolis of Asia’. Unlike Troy you do not have to reach too far into your imagination to comprehend the splendour of the ancient city. We strolled along the marble streets and visited the Library of Celus (114 AD) that was home to over 12,000 Roman scrolls, the Temple of Hadrian (118 AD), the Fountain of Trajan, (98 AD), Gate of Hercules (300 AD), the commercial Agora (3 BC) as well as the Great Theatre that was skilfully constructed by the Romans between 41-117 AD which to this very day is capable of holding 25,000 people.
Moving on from Ephesus we headed inland toward Pammukale. In contrast to Troy and Ephesus, which are gifts from the hands of man, the travertine pools of Pammukale are from the hand of mother nature- past, present and future. A small group of us walked to the base of the natural wonder and started our accent. As Canadians it was a very odd feeling hiking barefoot uphill along a calcium covered plateau that looked completely
like snow while streams of warm water rushed around our feet. The calcium rich water that creates the unique pools and formations continually got warmer as we got closer to the top. We spent the majority of the afternoon exploring the natural wonder plus the ruins of Hierapolis- a Roman spa resort built in 190 BC around the pools.
Tomorrow we are heading further south towards the beach town of Olu Deniz then onwards to Olympus where we are sure Turkey will continue to reveal new sights and experiences…
With love, adventure, joy & gratitude…
Until next time…
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