Location: Cannukale & Troy, Turkey
The only “bad” weather we had throughout our trip was limited to this day.
When we got off our overnight bus, it was drizzling. We hopped on a shuttle bus to nowhere although someone from the hotel was supposed to come and fetch us. I reasoned that people usually pick up guests after the shuttle bus drops them off.
Using Foursquare, I found out that our hotel was on the other side of the bank. At first I thought we were at one of the banks of a really large lake. I later found out that we were actually separated by the sea.
It was drizzling heavier when we reached the ferry terminal. The shuttle bus driver told us to take Ferry 1 to the opposite bank for the hotel.
The ferry seemed to take forever to reach. We sat indoors where the food counter was. I looked out of our windows and felt that the scenery outside crept too slowly.
While we floated across the sea, one of the little girls awkwardly took secret photos of my and my mom. Her smartphone angle was too strange.
We finally reached the opposite shore. Being the know-it-all, I directed mom to the left side of the road. I was embarrassed to find that I brought us to the wrong direction.
Eventually we reached the hotel. The ponytailed receptionist told us that our day-use room was still occupied so we cannot check in.
He also told us that our tour to Troy which was supposed to be in the morning was scheduled for noon.
So mom and I sat in the lounge, playing with our smartphones until breakfast time came.
The breakfast had typical Turkish food such as bread, olives, 2 cheese, butter, tomato, cucumber. There was a tank that had two faucets: one gave hot Turkish tea while the other gave hot water for us to balance the strength of our teas.
At breakfast, a horde of young people came to eat. I’m a bit uncomfortable with loud human crowds so we quickly finished our meal.
It took another hour or so before our room was finally ready. It was a small twin-bed room on the third floor. I heave our suitcase up the multiple flights of stairs.
Mom took the opportunity to nap while I tapped out more words. We didn’t feel like leaving when 11:30am came.
Start of Troy tour
Well, the Troy tour actually begins with a lunch at the backyard of the hotel. The lunch felt like something from a school cafeteria since the hotel doled out sides onto plates.
If you were staying in Istanbul and opt for seeing Troy, you will be travelling starting from about 7am to Canakkale where lunch is served. Then you will be driven back at 18:00 and reach around midnight.
Moral of the story. Do not take the Troy tour if you are staying in Istanbul.
Our tour finally departed after it was well past 1:00pm. Our guide brought us on the ferry to the Asian side where a bus awaited. The drive to Troy’s site was short. The landscape in the window had hills with multicolored patches.
The hills were much better than the Troy site.
Fake wooden horse
I think I chose to visit Troy for the wrong reason. Mom’s friend’s future son-in-law had visited Turkey on a tour group. They had visited Troy as part of their visit so I added it in as well.
At the beginning of the site, there is fake wooden horse. On the day we went, the horse was closed and we could not climb in.
The wooden horse is a replica but even so, it wasn’t impressive. From our cordoned off area, it looked quite tiny.
Most of the remains of the various Troy cities were the stone wall. I didn’t have enough imagination to think about how it might have looked.
The walk and tour took less than an hour. We looked at stone walls, crumbled mud walls, trees and what used to be the sea.
In short, it was rather boring.
We were shuttled back to our hotel for our ride back to Istanbul. Along the way, there was a souvenir shop stop but the shopowners were not as enthusiastic as the other shopping stops we were on previously.
The long way back
At 18:00, it was time for the private shuttle back to Istanbul. Mom and I were the last ones to board so we got terrible seats at the back.
The journey to Istanbul would take 5 hours. That sounded like forever.
For two hours, we zoomed on the highway next to the sea. We had the view of the Asian side of the shores for a long long stretch. I
Next up was our dinner and restroom stop. Mom and I had an overpriced dinner of roast chicken and gozleme (Turkish roti canai).
When we got out from the restroom (1 lira entrance each), we went to look for our bus.
I was looking for our bus when we were suddenly stopped by two local school children. One had long curly hair in a pony tail while the other had blonde hair.
The two kids were super excited seeing us. They asked, “Korean? Japanese?” I said, “Malaysia.” but it didn’t register.
They started talking in long Turkish sentences and mimed taking photos. I wasn’t sure if they meant for me to take photos of them or not but I said, “OK.”
They shouted to their friends, making photo-taking gestures. One of the boys looked bashful and walked away, saying something rather reprimanding.
No one with a camera appeared so mom and I were allowed to go. We walked around a bit more. Our bus door was not open so we stood in a corner, hoping the wind would not catch us.
There, the two students found us again. This time, another boy with a Nikon DSLR was there. As about 6 students gathered around us for the photo, cameraman tinkered with his camera for a long while but didn’t manage to take any photos.
I asked them to take a photo with my camera instead. And they did. By that time, the Nikon camera worked and we were stunned by a bring flash.
After the photos, everyone was too excited to leave and kept speaking in loud Turkish. Suddenly, a woman appeared and told the kids to calm down. She turned to us and said, “I’m their teacher. Sorry.”
Laughing, I said it was no problem at all. Mom and I returned to our bus, thinking what a funny incident it was.
Our bus to Istanbul finally arrived at past 11:00pm. Our hotel still kept our room and we retired.