Marmara Region: Canakkale-Troy-Asklepion

Canakkale is located in the Marmara Region.
Kolin Hotel in Canakkale

Wow! The  dining area in the hotel was BIG and served varieties of food.  

The Kolin hotel lobby
After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and went off our way to archeological Ancient City of Troy, the site of the Trojan War (they fought for the beautiful Helen of Troy). It is 132 km away and took about more than 1 hour to get there. The bus took the coastal route of the Marmara region to the Aegean region where there are stretches of olive farms. 

I wouldn’t write much of  Troy although Ugur or Mr. Lucky explained a lot about it. He talked about Homer's Iliad, Helen of Troy and so on. Looking at the map of Turkey, there are a lot places in the western half of Turkey with ancient remains. It was once under the great empires of Byzantine, Roman and the Ottoman and it is full of history. I always thought all these classical designs and architectures were in Italy and Greece and I don’t really bother to look up on them. I had learnt a bit of those empires in school during our  history lessons on the world civilizations. Because we were kids then, those kind of infomation were lost on us. This trip really awakened my interest in history albeit a little.

However, this Troy location at Hisarlik is refuted in this blog.

 Excavation is still on-going
The souvenier stalls. I suggest that you buy some souvenirs here because the prices are cheaper and easily negotiable. The foldable postcards (more than 6 postcards per set) were easily sold at only TLR1 compared with elsewhere.

We resumed our journey (2 hours) towards Asklepion, 193km from Troy. Asklepion was a famed ancient medical center. En-route we stopped at Bergama where we had lunch. Along the route, were vast of perhaps recently harvested land and some stretches with olives as the main crop (that was what I saw). Most frequent land use that I observed was agriculture.

large percentage of land in the Marmara region are plains and low altitude plateaus 
Olive trees are plenty along the journey
Aegean Sea at the background
 They fully utilized the strong wind from the sea as energy source. Can you see the windmills?
 Lunched at Bergama Restaurant. We performed our prayer at the upstairs living quarter of the kind restaurant's owners.

The rice that we were served regularly

 Boarding the bus, ready for the next destination, Asklepion, a famed ancient medical centre.
Going to the Asklepion ruin, which was quite a walk from the entrance.
The acropolis on top of the hill as seen from Asklepion
Tunnels and water were used in the healing process

The journey was then continued to the coastal town of Kusadasi (another few hours) where we checked into Pine Bay Hotel for the night. En-route to Kusadasi, we stopped at a Turkish delight shop where we sampled and purchased some apple teas, Turkish desserts, olive oils spices, nuts etc. They cost around  15 lira to 17 lira a packet. I thought they were not cheap but we still bought a few packets.  Anyway, we have extended our stay in Istanbul so we would buy more there. A pure extra virgin oil (7 times refined) was sold for TL100 and my family bought 3 bottles.

I don't really like the pre-packaged baklavas sold here, tasted old and laden with 'sugar'. Check the expiry dates and I suggest that you buy the freshly baked ones and taste it sweetness before buying. They will let you do that. The dried peaches are softer here than those at the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), hence the higher price per kg. I suggest you buy some packages here if you only have one or two days in Istanbul as those days you are  going to spend visiting Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Bosphorus Strait and the bazaars.

 For the very sweet tooth
There are two types of apple teas: natural apple tea (real apple) and granulated apple tea (all chemical). The picture (right) is of 7 times refined facial olive oil (USD30). I bought one to see if my wrinkles would be reduced.

 Samples for tasting.
Anatolian Taste

Next >> Aegean Region: Kusadasi-Pamukkale

Thank you for reading and visit me again.


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