Tuesday, 11 March 2008


The bus from Selcuk wasn’t all that bad. The guy sitting next to me was an English teacher among other subjects. (He takes home about 1000ytl a month. There are about 2.3 of those to one English pound…ouch!) and we enjoyed little chats along the way.

Once I have disembarked from the bus at the bus station I realised that my self drawn map for the hotel started at the ferry terminal…


800 metres later the taxi stopped outside the door of the hotel. Damn, I had just started to get comfy in the front street.

I’m in a hotel, 1st time since Greece last year. It’s only about 20 GBP a night. The room is large in both the vertical and horizontal sense. The ceiling must be getting on to 4m high. It’s got free wifi (which saves me having to spend 3 hours in an internet café) the only downside is the staircase. It’s a bit creaky and twisty and the motion sensor light doesn’t come on till you are half way up (or down). Apart from that, me likes.

The town of Canakkale is to be honest not that touristy. I think most of the Aussies and kiwis stay in the town on the other side of the Dardanelles strait so that they are closer to the war memorials.

On my second day here I wandered around the town. Along the seafront is a prop from the Hollywood film “Troy”. Yep!…it’s a big wooden horse. I bimbled for about an hour down quiet back streets (my favourite way of getting a feel for a place) before ending up at the local archaeology museum.

It looked quite good from the outside and I was somewhat disappointed when I was told that cameras were not allowed. That’s the 1st time that’s happened on this trip. However, as I spent a very slow 15 minutes walking around I was disappointed at what I saw. I was glad I didn’t have my camera because lets face it the lens cover would have stayed on!

The next day I went to Troy.

I left the hotel just after 9 am and walked the several streets to the minibus depot. I sat on the steps and waited. 20 minutes later I was on board the minibus moving out of the town. (If you ever need to catch the bus to Troy, it’s the blue one).

Troy is a 30 minute, 30km ride out of the town of Canakkale. You travel through a couple of “rural farming villages” before getting of at the main security gate. In exchange for 10ytl you get an entrance ticket and a glossy leaflet. Unfounately it doesn’t really tell you much about Troy or even have an explainable map of the site.
The security gate and the entrance to Troy are about 800 metres apart. As I walked along the road 2 coaches went passed. One was full of Germans, the other one Japanese. There are 3 types of tourist groups that an independent traveller like me doesn’t want to have on a site (the other one is of course the English) but luckily they were the only coaches there.

The city of Troy has been rebuilt on the same site several times and so it’s quite hard to tell the difference between say Troy 1, 3 or 6.

Troy 6 is of course the setting for the Iliad. It was cool thought to have when I went along the old city wall that Achilles chased Hector along the same path my feet were walking along now.
I easily managed to avoid the tour groups and I had several “sit down and look” moments.

When it was 1st excavated back in the 1800’s the guy in charge was just looking for treasure (which he later smuggled out of the country) so he just cut a big trench right across the middle of the site. I watch time team so I know that’s a big no no. The people that came after him did a better job of it. Even now they are still working on site during the summer months.

Due to the nature of the site in one photo you’ll have examples from across the whole history of Troy. No, I will not be explaining which is which.

At one point along the path you can leave the city and head 300m off the mount to an old well inside a cave. Most people don’t and so they miss out on a great view of the Troad plain heading down to the sea in the distance. Imagine 100’s of ships and 1000’s of men staying there for 10 years.

When I got back to the hotel I turned on the laptop. Whilst the photos were uploading (free wifi, so about 200 plus photos thank you very much) I made good use of the extremely comfortable and supportive bed

Its my last full day here in Canakkale today (the 14th) but I didn’t do much. Tomorrow I’ll be on a bus for the 6 hour journey to Istanbul.

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