After leaving Canakkale and the WWI memorials, we drove the next day to the ancient city of Troy. This town is famous for its place in the Trojan War, where legend has it that a giant wooden horse filled with soldiers was used to fool the guards and win the battle. Homer wrote about it in “The Iliad”, and it’s been occupied by humans since about 3000 B.C.E. In 1998 it made the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, and it consists of at least 9 different cities build upon the same foundations at different times in history. We were led through the site by the archaelogist Mustafa Askin, who has written a definitive book on the history of the site. As appears to be common in Turkey, his brother conveniently owns a souvenir shop not too far from the entrance to Troy. 🙂
It was quite amazing to be in the same place as Achilles, Odysseus and the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.
After leaving Troy, we drove to Bursa, a city of about 3 million people. Our hotel has a natural spa, with warm mineral water coming from a spring. It was refreshing to bathe and swim in the mineral-rich waters in the hotel spa. While the women went to a different Hammam, or Turkish Bath, the men received a Turkish Peel in addition to the spa treatment. This was a thorough scrub-down and massage by a couple of Turkish men, and it was quite refreshing. The massage part of the washing was so vigorous, I thought the masseuse might break one of my bones, but I left feeling completely relaxed and clean. Sorry, I don’t have any photos from inside the Hammam!
After leaving Troy, we drove to Bursa, home of the Turkish championship soccer team, among other things. We stopped and saw a performance of Shadow Puppets, all performed by one man.