Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Turkish Odyssey - Day 3

Day 3 comes at 5am as an Imam cracks the mic and gets to the serious business of intoning. We are to eat, pack, deposit bags outside the door and depart at 8am. Somehow time on the first leg of the bus journey flies by. Levent's anecdotes about Turkey help, but also lull one to sleep. We lunch at a fish market style restaurant next to the ferry dock. The ferry takes us from European Turkey to Asian Turkey. Once in Asia, we visit Troy, which is mostly a non-site. A few walls and a reconstructed house dot the sight. I am again at a loss with just how old these ruins are. From Troy I to Troy XI a thousand years? 500 hundred? Cartoon lengths of time either way.

The age of the place makes it seem fake to craft stories about these places. Archaeologists somehow manage to do it, and Levent is most knowledgeable. Homer most likely stretched the truth in his tale of the place. Levent is suspected of doing this. While in Troy, he spoke of and gestured to what was called an oracle center. Informative signage tells of a religious center. Is that the same? Who really knows, but he could tell us anything and we would take it for truth.
We stay at Hotel Akol in Çanakkale. The Ç is a CH sound. "CH-NAH-K-LAY, this is a hard word to say." Lovely views of the Sea of Marmara from our balcony and of the Trojan horse from the movie Troy. A 2 million dollar investment by the city. Money well spent? The Turks prepare for the 18th of March celebration, which commemorates the victory at Gallipoli in WWI. Turkish pride on display. At dinner we eat with some polite mid-westerners from near Chicago and some pushy folks from Cumberland, but both are nice enough. We are the only 2 people to notice teenage Turks launching mini hot-air balloons that drift off. Candlelight eventually lost to the distant night far above the water. 

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