Trojan Horse and a Long Drive to Canakkale

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September 28th 2011
Published: July 3rd 2017
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We packed up, had breakfast, checked out of the Hitit Hotel, and were in the mini bus ready to go at 8 am this morning. We set out on our long drive to Canakkale, making numerous stops along the way. Our first stop was in Izmir, at Nihat's house, so he could switch suitcases. While we were in Izmir waiting for Nihat Susan and I popped into a small shop that had all kinds of natural pharmaceuticals, but the women there didn't speak any English and we don't speak any Turkish, so we were unable to sufficiently communicate to enable Susan to buy what she was looking for. They sure had a lot of interesting things though, and it was too bad we couldn't make ourselves understood. The women were very sweet in trying to understand us.

Our next stop was for lunch at a service station. These aren't gas stations, they are restaurants, often including shops, and WCs. They are cafeteria type places, but the food is really good. On Nihat's recommendation I had a cheese and tomato "tost", which is kind of like a grilled cheese. This cafeteria had particularly good "tost". I enjoyed mine with an ayran. Susan had a rice and okra dish which she said was really good.

Our next stop was at a kilm factory called Densen Halicilik, in Bergama. We bought a lovely silk embroidered kilm. It's not very big. We will either use it as a carpet or a wall hanging. As usual, Cathy was the star shopper of our group. We are always served tea during these shopping stops (Turkish tea or apple tea), so we have had lots of tea! On the drive we passed cotton fields, with villagers picking cotton. I don't think I've ever seen people picking cotton before, and it sure looks like a hard job.

We next visited an olive oil museum, which ended up being really interesting. It is called "Adatepe", in Kucukkuyu. It is a small but really informative museum, with a very nice shop. We bought a fridge magnet (we like to get magnets on our travels) and some lavender olive oil soap.

We continued on our way but were soon at a standstill. There was blasting for road construction going on and some rocks had blocked the road. Nihat went to investigate and talked the police into letting us - and everyone else waiting - use a village road as a detour. I don't know why this didn't occur to the police in the first place. We eventually arrived at Troy. Troy was a city that existed over 4,000 years ago and was known as a major ancient civilization. Each period of habitation lies on top of the earlier ones. Troy turned out to be rather underwhelming. Yes, it's a very ancient site, but there is just not very much to see now. Just walls basically, here and there. There was a nice Roman odeon. As usual Nihat gave us a very informative tour. The wooden trojan horse, made for a fairly recent movie, is located here and though cheesy, we had some fun climbing it.

We arrived at our hotel in Canakkale, the Grand Anzac Hotel, about 7 pm. It is quite a nice hotel. Unfortunately dinner did not work out quite as planned. We went to what was supposed to be a great fish restaurant, but it ended up being very crowded and noisy (a big cement workers' dinner was taking place).The food came out sporadically, one person at a time. None of us got served
Villagers picking cottonVillagers picking cottonVillagers picking cotton

That looks like a hard job!
at the same time. Veronica and John waited forever for their sea bass, which came dry and full of bones (and was expensive). I just had two salads (shepherd's salad and an aubergine salad) which were fine. Unfortunately Susan wasn't feeling well at all and left shortly after we arrived at the restaurant. She had stomach issues today and I think she has a fever now. I hope she feels better tomorrow.

Tomorrow we leave at 7:15 am, to get the 7:30 ferry across the Dardanelles, on our way to Gallipoli. After Gallipoli we begin our long drive back to Istanbul. I don't mind the long drives as we always make frequent stops and I really enjoy seeing the countryside and the towns and villages we pass through. Nihat has been playing Turkish music in the mini bus which I'm really enjoying too. Susan and I have a bought a few CDs (and whenever I have listened to them over the years it takes me right back to driving through the Turkish countryside).

When we get back to Istanbul Susan and I plan to visit the old train station (the former last stop of the Orient Express), and the Spice Market (with Chris and Grant). We did go to the Spice Market on one of our day tours but we raced through it so quickly we really didn't see much of it. I'm hoping we get into Istanbul by 6, but the last group didn't get in till 7:15. Then we are off the following day at 10 am to fly to London. Holy moly, this has been a whirlwind of a trip. Will finish now so I can get to sleep 😊

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