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Published: December 9th 2013
We started with a trip to Troy. Troy is the oldest city in Turkey. It was rebuilt 9 times. The first Troy was built with high walls in 3000BC. It's really hard to wrap your brain around it. People were building cities 5000 years ago and figuring out the architecture to build stone walls for protection. The walls of Troy and many of the outlines of its buildings for the era of Helen are still standing. You can stand at the gates or on the thick wall remnants and imagine a thousand ships sailing in to get her back.
The afternoon we spent sailing back and forth between Europe and Asia. It's a neat feeling to be in a country that straddles two continents. We went to visit Gallipoli. It has hit home again and again how the geography of Turkey is and was so strategically/politically important. The battle field of Gallipoli is intensely beautiful on a peninsula of land that is narrow enough that when at the height of land you see both stretches of water. We were there as they day moved to sunset and the sky pulled me into it. I had to focus on the countryside
because the stories of war were so desperate and futile. I fall into a deep funk when faced with the violences of war (reading tombstones with boys age 19, 17, even stories of those as young as 15). The beauty of the world now left on those hills makes me feel that we can continue to recover from war. We are staying in Channukkale, across the water. It is the home town of our guide, a port city with lovey water side walkways. Tomorrow is our last full day in Turkey, and a return to Istanbul.
We got there with plenty of time to visit more sites. Jacob got a doner from a street vender and we walked up the steep streets to the Museum of Archaeology. We got to see sarcophagus that were from the places we had just been, but these were in immaculate condition. The carvings came out as sculpture and the details were beyond belief. There was a temporary exhibit on mosaic that was old but perfectly preserved as if made yesterday. It made both of us want to do our own mosaic work when home. Then we walked to the Hagia Sophia Church across
from the Blue Mosque. She is as amazing as the Blue Mosque had been. We returned to the hotel and I left Jake there so I could wander one more time, the lanes of the Grand Bazar. I soaked in the sights and sounds of the people, the colours, the vibrant cloths and the sparkling jewelry. "How can I spend your money?" the venders call. I walked back to the hotel as dusk fell, lighting the church and mosque with a soft pink glow as I passed them. This city is very beautiful, powerfully filled with history. We ended the day with the group meeting once more for drinks and thank yous. I played backgammon with Ibo and we broke a 4 game tie with his win, unfortunately. Leave taking is hard even after such a short time. I would come back to Turkey.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams
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