Sunday, March 8, 2015

Canakkale/Kusadasi/Pamukkale - I Conquered Turkey

On the same day itself, by 5.00pm (I Conquered Istanbul) we journeyed to Canakkale. Quite a long tiring journey, imagine sitting put in the coach for approximately 5 hours? Basically, patiently journeying and none else. None potentially, neither can you see anything outside because, believe me when I say that winter darkness will set it latest by 6.00pm, In fact even earlier. Wish there are internal flights in Turkey for flying us from one city to the other, hopefully there will be in the near future, but I guess for the time being, you don't have much choice except coach driven or if you self touring, you may consider hiring a car. This coach driven I think is sincerely a whole lot better because it does ease you from tiring yourself for no apparent reason and if you are sleeping beauty, better still. Some people I know can literally shut down anywhere, not me though. I did catnap in between, movie watching was also going on and tour guide did try to keep us entertained by speaking for the first half an hour. 

Arriving at the apartment sort of hotel after 9.00pm, I literally dashed to my room across the other block for keeping my luggage aside, and then dashed forth in the freezing winter for dinner. Prepared specifically for our group, not that I noticed any other tour groups, dinner by the way fared quite alright. Back to my room, I showered, I made sure curtains were drawn as close as possible since my room is on the lowest ground, I hopped into bed and tried my utter level best to call it a night. Sleeping during travelling for me, believe me, is hell, nevertheless, I think I did shut down for maybe 4 to 5 hours. 
Next morning, once we had tucked into breakfast, off we left for Troy. Troy! One of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, mind you, 4,000 years of history and discovered in the 19th century, UNESCO listed ancient Troy is where the legendary Trojan War took place. Having gone through a series of action reaction, including the Balkan invasion, rejuvenated during the  Greek and Roman rules and even a stint as a Byzantine town before falling into a state of ruin, Trojan War, an important Greek mythological story about the Trojan prince ((Paris) who ran away with Zeus' daughter (Helen), sparked  a 10 year war. Basically, Troy is an epic ancient historical site (Angkor Wat Cambodia)where you will see, obviously, must be the ruins right? Of course. Ancient wall cities, excavation, wooden Trojan Horse and a small open air threatre complete with raised tiered seating and a sunken stage. All of these presumably well marked, please do watch your steps because the rocky and slippery paths at certain places can get rough and tough. 

Half a day in Troy, followed by lunch and to Acropolis of Pergamum. Another well preserved historical ancient ruins (Ayutthaya Thailand) akin Troy, completed in the 5th Century BC and Bergama's richest archaeological perched atop a high steep-sided hill, Acropolis of Pergamum offer tourists like us a full glimpse of ancient Turkey when glory, power and war reigned. What will you see in Arcopolis of Pergamum? Hellenistic Theater, Trajaneum, Atheneum, Sanctuary of Athena, Royal Palaces, Temple of Demeter, House of Attalus, Lower Agora and Gate of Eumenes. Two hours of your time let loose for viewing all of these, don't miss out on taking the cable car for the broad magnificent spectrum of Bergama at the hilltop. 

Almost a whole day gone by, by this late evening, dinner was next and back to the hotel. Luggage and bags packed the next morning for heading to another city further up, our sightseeing in Kusadasi opened up atop "Bulbul"mountain and 9km ahead of Ephesus. House Of Virgin Mary. I actually went like, Virgin Mary in Kusadasi? Indeed. Unbelievable right? I know. Trust me, if I didn't do this Turkey tour, I wouldn't even have known that House of Virgin Mary exists in Kusadasi? A major discovery for me without a doubt. Recognized by the Vatican as the place where Mary spent her last days, effort in finding Mary’s house was greatly influenced by nun Anna Katherina Emmerich. Assumingly it is her detailed description of Virgin Mary's coming to Ephesus with Saint John who spent several years to spread Christianity. 

From House of Virgin Mary, we traveled to Temple Of Artemis & Temple of Hadrian. Both within walking distance, in fact almost connected to each other, Temple of Artemis, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world and built in the areas of Ephesus on a flat area has over the centuries turned into a swamp. Within this wide area, you will see the foundation ruins of the magnificent construction of Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble, full of sculptured columns' capitals and shaft, and the oldest remaining dating back to the 6th century BC. Temple Of Artemis will also take you back to the over a period of time fire destructions and how some of the artefacts and remains have been taken and used elsewhere. 

Temple of Hadrian on the other hand, built by P. Quintilius, is dedicated to the Emperor Harian when he came to visit the city from Athens in 128 A.D. One of the best preserved and most beautiful structures on Curetes street with a beautiful arch on the front facade, supported with four Corinthian order columns and considered an architectural masterpiece, Medusa's head on the porch supposedly did protect this city from enemies. Wow! Turkey does hold aplenty history. Akin a live discovery channel for me. Undoubtedly.

Back to journeying for another two and a half hours, we arrived in Pamukakle for seeing the thermal pools. Turkey's foremost mineral bath spa and natural beauty with hot calcium-laden water springs from the earth cascading over the cliffs. These white calcium pools are known as beneficial to our eyes and skin, additionally, for curing properties to illness of asthma and rheumatism. Did I dip my legs or even touch the hard white calcium? No. I didn't. Why? Actually, come to think of it, I don't even have an answer. I just didn't. Instead, I was trigger happy with picturing and standing around to admire this World Heritage site (Venice, Norway & Halong Bay)

Dot.  The end of sightseeing. 

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