Indiana Jones – eat your heart out!!!!
Karen and I hit up the ancient ruins of Troy this morning, and we had an absolutely fascinating visit. The ruins are a few km off the main road, about 20km south of Canakkule. We parked the bike, paid our entrance fee (maybe 20TL each) and hired an Audio Guide each (10TL), and then started our self-guided, self-paced walk through history, using the map that accompanied our audio-guides and which showed where we needed to listen to the next narration.
A German man – Heinrich Schliemann is credited with discovering Troy, and for starting the science of archeology, but his early techniques which included digging a deep, wide trench through the hillside down to bedrock and destroying everything he encountered on the way down met with criticism at the time, and once he realised the damage he caused he started using other techniques to preserve things he found.
The ancient ruins of Troy consist of nine seperate strata, built up on top of one-another over the centuries. As old houses fell into disrepair they were just destroyed and new buildings erected on top, creating the strata effect.
Troy was originally a port-city and was located at a strategic junction at the southern tip of the Dardennelles, but silting of the port over time had pushed the sea back, and from the hilltop ruins we could look out over the farmers fields to the distant sea.
The audio guide provided a very interesting insight into the history of the city, and we thoroughly enjoyed our walk around the small site.
Once we’d finished and had cooled down a bit with a cold drink and an ice cream we rejoined the main road south to Bergama – the E87. Our ride distance today was only about 230km, but after our long day yesterday on the bike we were both looking forwards to arriving at our destination.
Again we had an idea for some accommodation options but hadn’t made a booking – that allows us to maintain flexibility and change our plans if necessary, so I pulled up in Bergama just up from the fruit and vegetable markets so we could check the addresses and plug them into the GPS. We headed up the cobbled street and made our way to the Athena Pension, and were immediately greeted by Angel, the young lady caring for the property – which we later learned was originally a camel trader’s mansion dating back to the 17th century.
I parked the bike inside the cobbled courtyard, and Angel showed us around the property, leading us into the garden and pointing out the Acropoli high on the hill overlooking the town below. Karen and I were stoked to be so close to the Acropoli, and when we pulled back the curtains in our cosy room we could look out the window at the same enthralling view.
After a shower and change of clothes we went for a walk into town. Iden – the owner of Athena Pansyion had recommended a small cafe to us for dinner and we went off searching for that, but couldn’t find it.
We walked through the Covered Bazaar and bumped into Angel, chatting with her Japanese sister-in-law outside her textile shop, and we were invited in for tea and conversation. Angel’s brother Yakoob soon joined us, and described in some detail the disappointment local businessmen and women were experiencing as they had anticipated a lot of tourist trade to arise from the Canakkule 2015 (2015 Anzac Day) celebrations, and in reality little if any tourists had ventured south from Canakkale to Bergama.
Karen bought a lovely lightweight towel from Angel’s sister-in-law and we carried on our walk, stopping for tea at a little eating place. Due to a small communication mix-up we ate our cold dinners there, when neither of us really wanted to eat there once we’d seen what was being offered, and how it was being offered. With that said neither of us got sick and we’ve now sorted out how we can quickly pull the pin on a restaurant.
We had an interesting stroll back to our pension via a section of the old town, and upon our arrival we were invited to sit in the garden with Iden and some of his other guests – a Dutch couple on a three week cycling holiday in Turkey, and enjoy a glass of Iden’s Turkish wine.
We had a lovely time chatting to Jaques and Monique, even whilst we questioned their sanity at riding push bikes for holiday fun – and especially when they said that their second overseas ride was in China, and had required them to push their bicycles for 18 kilometres through thick mud on an unmade road. They were a fascinating couple to chat with, and it was only when the wine ran out that we all said goodnight and retired for the evening.