An excellent representation of the complexity of excavating the site of Troy.
On the way to the site the clouds didn’t hold much hope for us as they blocked the sky and quickly made puddles in the street. The dolmus continued to bump and turn on the winding streets. Some other tourists spoke loudy in the front. We couldn’t understand them. We only knew it was taxing to be forced to listen. The  clouds parted just as the dolmus stopped at the long walkway leading up the site of Troy. Wonderful, we thought. 30.00 Turkish Lira ($20.00  CAN) later we found ourselves standing at the base of another wooden horse. Unfortunately Brad Pitt never touched this one, but you can go inside! So of course being  me, I did. Chris on the other hand decided to climb the walls of Troy. For us, the road to Troy started at the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul. The museum contains artefacts from archaeological digs from…Continue Reading
Ciao tutti! We haven’t had internet access for the past few days.  But alas, now that we are in our 30.00 Turkish Lira room per night ($21.75 Canadian) which has a lovely view of the Fethiye harbour, we couldn’t be happier. The town is bustling and the mountains and water are so peaceful. Chris is in the process of shaving off most of his beard while I update you guys. I’ve got to admit, I’m excited. Ok, just for kicks, here’s a before shot of Chris with the beard he’s been growing since late December. He even grew out his hair! It’s longer than I’ve ever seen it. Once we’re both showered I think it’s date night on this gorgeous Friday evening. While we’re here, we have lots to update you on like the monuments at Ephesus, eating boar tongue for breakfast, our fabulous new friends Petrit and Gloria who we met…Continue Reading
While Laura has been blogging her socks off, I haven’t gotten around to putting much up in a while. So here goes: a photo update on where we are and what we’ve been up to. Broadly speaking, we are making our way down the Aegean coast of Turkey. We ducked inland at places like Bergama and Pamukkale, but will be staying closer to the coast in the next few days (weeks?) as we head around the southeastern corner of the country and continue along the Mediterranean coast, before going inland again to visit Cappadocia and Eastern Turkey. Bergama (site of ancient Pergamon) Pamukkale and Hierapolis Pamukkale was like a bit of vacation from our vacation, as it were. Hot springs, walks in the Turkish agricultural heartland, being chased by an enormous barking sheepdog–with his taut muscles, big teeth, and eyes like  a rabid werewolf. Yeah, it was bliss. Afrodisias We…Continue Reading
This is the interior of a building called the Baghdad Kiosk, located in the residential area of the sultan. It is one of many excellent examples of the famous blue Iznik tiles found throughout Ottoman architecture in Turkey.
Topkapi Palace located in Istanbul, was the headquarters for the Ottamen Empire for more then 400 years. Today it is a museum. When we went it cost 20 Turkish Lira per person, and if we wanted to go into the Harem it would cost an additional 15 Turkish Lira per person. The ticket for entering the Harem has to be bought once you are inside the Topkapi Palace. The palace is constructed around a series of courtyards, all of which are very beautiful and peaceful. The first courtyard is free of charge. In Ottoman days this courtyard was open to all, but in order to walk through the gate into the second courtyard you had to be some sort of dignitary (see the photo above of the second gate). Within this courtyard for dignitaries and officials is the courtroom where the men took care of the Empires official matters. Apparently…Continue Reading
Which one should we go to? This one costs double the price, so is it better, or is it just more because it is physically one of the oldest Turkish baths? There are so many questions when it comes to Turkish baths, or Hamams, for us Canadians who are very used to wearing lots and lots of layers of clothing. The Lonely Planet Turkey travel guide suggests three in Istanbul: the Cagaloglu Hamami, the Cemberlitas Hamami and the Yesildirek Hamami. The first two range from 80-100 Turkish Lira for the full Turkish bath experience, which is a steam room, a bathing and a massage. The third, Yesildirek Hamami, is a gay hamami which costs 30 Turkish Lira. A staff member at our hostel suggested we go to one called Sultanahmet Hamami which only costs 40 Turkish Lira for the full-deal. It’s also just up the main street from the Blue…Continue Reading
Below the streets of Istanbul, beside the famous mosque Aya Sophia, is an underground tank, called the Basilica Cistern or the Turkish name, “Yerebatan Sarnici”  meaning “Underground Palace”. It was constructed in the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Justinianus. The cistern is supported by 336, 9-meter tall marble columns. Istanbul used the cistern to store as much as 100,000 tones of water. They most likely used the Roman aqueduct, as well as newer constructed aqueducts to transport the water the 19 kilometers from the Belgrad forest to the cistern. In fact, the cistern is featured in the James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. When the movie was shot the cistern was not open to the public. However on September 9, 1987 after renovations, removal of 50,000 tons of mud and the construction of a wooden walkway for vistors to make their way through the cistern, it was…Continue Reading