“Never again a room without an aircon or a fan” was the first sentence from Jamaliah this morning. We had the window and door open but the sea breeze was not there. Thus it was a warm and restless night. Why they could not at least have a fan is a mystery. The place has everything going for it. A nice location in front of the beach, reasonable rooms but no aircon/fan or TV. Needless to say that the prime selection criteria for the hotel we are now staying in was the presence of an aircon. We do have it but for some reason the outdoor temperature has dropped and it is now cooler outside than inside. We are finally on the European side of the continent so is this a sign for things to come? We drove from Candarli over a scenic road back to the main highway to Canakkale. The area is rolling hills with here and there a view of the sea. Olive trees are the preferred crop and everywhere you see newly planted groves. You also see several acres of sunflowers. The main highway is in general mostly 4 lanes so we could make some progress to our next ruin, Troy. This was off the main road, some 15 km before Canakkale.
The site is worthy of the World Heritage recognition. You pay 1x for an entrance and parking fee, and access to the ruin with the 9 cities of Troy on top of each other and no hassle from street vendors.
It is a confusing set of ruins but every effort was made to guide the tourist through the different city layers and explain where you stand in history (3000 BC to 700 AC). You basically walk in a park like environment over the various city walls in a circle. I still have to dig up my old black and white pictures from my trip in 1973 and compare the shots. I had a very different memory of the site. At that time there were hardly any tourists. Excavations are still ongoing so the future will still be different. Hopefully at some point they can build a decent museum on site and if all the removed artifacts can be returned, then it would be a real “World Heritage“ site.
We arrived at Canakkale around 15:30 and decided to take the ferry across the Dardanelles to Istanbul. It was a 1 hour wait and a 45 min sail. We drove up in the direction of Istanbul and stopped at the first suitable hotel along the highway. The Gallipoli Hotel is a great building. Well planned nice location in front of the beach, with a beautiful swimming pool but unfortunately not well maintained. Our hands were itching to take it over. With some fresh paint and a bit of gardening/renovation work it would be beautiful. The price is OK (Euro 40 per room) but the food is nothing special and pricy for what you get )Bernard asked when the main meal was coming after we had finished!). Still there was cold beer and a nice swimming pool where all the boys could cool off.