Days: 523 (30 November 2015)
Total distance travelled: 133,247.8 kilometres (82,762.61 miles)
The morning air carried a chill as we strolled the largely empty streets of Ҫanakkale, our bodies grateful for the warmth our brisk morning walk generated.
Before long we were stood in a largely empty car park, a small shop where a couple of locals sat sipping coffee the only sign of life.
We were here to catch a bus, well at least we were hoping to.
Not really interested in either the cost or the lack of freedom in a tour, we’d decided to do this one on our own, a visit to some of the most famous ruins in the world, the ancient city of Troy (or Troia).
Eventually a microbus appeared, we eagerly boarded to escape the chill, and we were on our way.
Figuring where we needed to leave our transport, that proved a far easier task than expected (basically, the end of the line).
Arriving just as the first tour buses also made an appearance (a surprise to us given the early hour), we paid our entrance fee and entered the site… or should that be sites, given there are at least nine layers (or periods of the city unearthed thus far).
It was a feline welcome to the place, with care needing to be taken so as to avoid trodding on the many cats munching on a morning feed and after navigating our way through, and taking time to climb the tacky yet not unexpected wooden horse, we were amongst the ruins proper.
With the sun now up, there was a touch more warmth in the air, although once back in the shade, the cold was quickly felt again.
Whilst I see it as a good thing that the site doesn’t appear to be reconstructed, rather than simply excavated, it was a bit of a surprise (given its fame), both how small and truly ruinous the place actually was.
In truth, it wasn’t long before we were finding it all a bit anti-climactic!
It wasn’t bad, but I think with its level of renown, it was all a bit surprising.
It was however, certainly popular, and despite it being the winter months (fortunately the skies remained clear), the busloads of tourists continued to arrive, the majority of them large groups of Chinese.
We’ve born witness to some very average behaviour across the many ruins we’d visited to date, most memorably the young Americans who thought it not only a great idea to climb a cordoned off pyramid in Tikal, but also to carve their names into it.
But for whatever reason, for me today, enough was enough.
When I saw several Chinese take turns climb underneath a barrier so they could pose for photos, by sitting on some ancient carvings, I had no hesitation in calling them out and making my disapproval abundantly clear.
They appeared to wait for me to move along so they could continue their posturing, so we deliberately lingered longer, and eventually they wandered off.
It was in the carvings and script that Troy brought me the greatest pleasure, although as curious as I’ve been, my efforts to attempt to translate this Ancient Greek with the aid of Google have been unsuccessful…
The odd tuft of grass or weed poked their heads up between cracks in the large bus parking area, where to our surprise (despite the apparent crowd now within), we found to still have ample room for at least double the volume of coaches presently resting outside the park.
We ambled away from Troy, no longer dreaming of Homer and The Iliad, but rather wondering what our next meal of the day might be…
* A microbus from Ҫanakkale to Troy cost us ŧ10.00 Lire per person one way (and the same return).
* Entrance into the ancient city of Troy was ŧ25.00 Lire per person.