Here are our latest adventures
– Troy, Yeşilyurt, Adatepe Ottoman Villages Turkey
We have finished our time in Gallipoli, so it is time to drive the car on the ferry from Eceabat to Cannakale.
I wish we had time to look around this town, but we want to get to Troy, so “we can’t see it all” as we say, and head on.
We arrive at Ancient Troy at 4:00 pm and we don’t have long, so we buy our tickets and instantly we discover Turkey is more expensive than Greece for Archaeological sites, and tourist attractions. It is $20 AU for the 2 of us or 40TL and then the guy charges me to park the car. I had driven already in and there was nowhere else to park – what choice did I have? – this miffed me big time.
So we race up the Trojan Horse. We have the quickest history world schooling lesson ever on this day!
We climb in and climb up.
There are busloads of Japanese, so we get into the spirit and have our photo taken with the soldiers after they all left. It is really getting towards closing time and people are leaving by the droves, and oh, is it cold!
We then race around Ancient Troy.
Explorason has completely lost interest in Ancient Ruins. He is “all ruined,” he tells me!
That about ends Troy. We have no time to buy souvenirs, but we want a small statue of the Trojan Horse – darn! We try to stay at a hotel there, but we are all alone in a cabin and it smells, so we drive on. It is getting dark and I hate driving in the dark. This is the second time I drive in Turkey in the dark, and I always say, “Never again!”
We finally stop at a town called Küçükkuyu. We find a nice family run hotel where we can park the car off the road.
We pull in our cooler bag and make some snacks for dinner. I don’t win “mother of the year” award, but we do OK. We had already had a great lunch where Explorason discovered Turkish shredded beef, and now he is hooked. Tonight is a random snack, finished with a bowl of cereal.
The family-run hotel and staff here are great – Club Hotel Gultur. They want us to stay two nights and it is offseason. The family invites us into the kitchen for breakfast, and the grandfather knows English. So next thing I am sitting down with the map book planning our journey. He is joined by two other non-English speaking gentlemen, who start a discussion on directions in German – this is weird! I’m in Turkey and there is a huge German influence – I never knew.
We had no internet all night, but I discovered just as we left, I had unplugged the modem to charge the iPad – oops!
He tells us to visit the old Ottoman Villages.
First, we head to Yeşilyurt. There are a few small stores open selling dried foods and olives. I wish I had bought a bag of the dried Tomatoes, but I didn’t have my head around the Turkish Lira at the time and forgot to half the price for Australian Dollars.
We have few winter clothes out until we get to the housesit so it is pretty much the same clothes day in and out. But I have a warm jacket and we just walk quickly to warm up.
We see donkeys and cobblestone laneways but it is really dead – there is not a person in sight. The origin of Zeus in nearby we are told, but we have a ban on ruins right now, according to Explorason, so we leave.
We love the Turkish people. From what we have seen so far, the Turks in the countryside are really hard workers. Here they gather olives.
Next, we drive onto I think it was Aliağa and there is an olive oil festival on. We are given a sample bottle of olive oil and we also try a heap of olives and olive oils. We buy 2 bottles – the bottle shapes are cool! I have just discovered Olive Oil lowers cholesterol – so I drink two tablespoons each morning, and I also use it mixed with honey and warmed (not boiled) in the microwave as a great hair conditioner – local produce – you will be amazed how soft your hair will be – try it!
As we drive on we see ladies in the back of this truck waving at us. Then we notice tractor after tractor with the husband driving and the wife sitting in the back of the trailer or side saddle – all dirty from the days work. They seem happy people, and we overtake to-and-fro three times with the laughing ladies waving at us.
We drive through Izmir but we divide it is too big a city for us, and we are running short of days. I don’t want to leave the car half full of things in the street out the front of a hotel, especially as our friends recently had their vehicle broken into in Rome at night and every item stolen, and they tried to hot-wire the vehicle, leaving it damaged.
We want to see Ancient Ephesus tomorrow, so we figure we might as well keep driving, and sleep closer to there.
But what we don’t realize is we are meant to have an ‘electronic beeper/pass’ to drive on the Motorway. I can see it wants an electronic pass you have adhered near the rearview mirror, but we don’t have one. It is Saturday night and I don’t read Turkish. I don’t have a phone. There are no police. It is a drive-through situation. So I step onto the accelerator, ‘gun it’, drive through the first electronic reader, and suddenly, a short red light beeps and goes off. I figure I will find someone at the other end of the motorway. But alas, it is the same again. This time when we drive through the red light flashes and a siren goes off. And I mean a loud screaming siren as if we have committed a crime. We ‘gun it’ again and feel like criminals that have robbed a bank. We are constantly checking for police coming behind us. What could I do? Explorason is in a panic, and I get a nervous laugh. Life sure is an adventure!
We drive into a town called Selçuk, but we can’t find any police station.
We are so glad we did. We find Efes Antik Otel. We decide to stay two nights – the hotel manager is so kind – he gives Explorason a Trojan Horse – perfect – such a kind man. I can so recommend staying here. We will blog on this tomorrow as it is too nice a place not to share.
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Questions and Comments
- What do you find fascinating about Turkey?
- Have you been to the Ottoman villages?
- What do you make of the culture of the residents?
- Do share your comments with us below.