Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Day 245 - Turkish Antiquities: Part 2 (Turkey)

We stayed at a pensione in the touristic coastal town of Kusadasi, which is laden with accommodation, restaurants, bars and tourist shops. We can only imagine that in summer the place would be heaving, tourists filling the streets day and night, lights and noise everywhere, but during our stay it was little more than a ghost town. Exploring the streets in the evening was eerie, with an entire maze of streets reserved only for bars, but all boarded up and lifeless.

From Kusadasi we visited the UNESCO World Heritage Listed and world renowned ancient city of Efes. Not only is it a large and very well preserved example of an ancient city of the region, but it is also the home of the now destroyed Temple of Artemis, one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. It was certainly the most impressive of all of the similar sites we’ve visited (Afrodisias, Hierapolis and Troy) and as such the most ridden with tourists – even far away from peak season it was horrendous. We were disappointed though that there is no marking of where the Temple of Artemis used to stand.

Troy was the last of our intended stops before Canakkale and Gallipoli. This was the least impressive of all the ruined cities we visited, but the main attraction there is the replica of the Trojan Horse. Although we were excited to see the horse, and even enter it and explore a little, it was a pretty tacky replica, not really resembling what we suppose the actual horse would have looked like. Tom, Tom and I climbed up the stairwell into the horse and Ben asked a bystander to take a photo of us all together peering out the windows and then ran up to meet us. Only after we’d left did we check the photos and realised we’d chosen possibly the worst photographer of all time. The first photo had us all and the horse in it, but the next three that he took “for good measure” cut out Tom Unkles in one, Tom Unkles and I in another, and all three of us bar Ben in another. Perhaps our bystander misunderstood and thought Ben only wanted a photograph of himself.

Troy was the end of our tour of the Turkish Antiquities, leaving us at the doorstep of the town of Canakkale and the haunting war site of Gallipoli. It wasn’t long now until we’d be in geographical Europe.

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