1. General Remarks
2. What to Bring
3. Day 1: Traveling There
4. Day 2: Troy
On our first full day in Turkey, we traveled from Corlu in the upper peninsula of Istanbul to Troy. Breakfast (kahvaltuh) at most hotels began at 7am and we had our first fill of tomatoes, olives, bread, hard boiled eggs, and of course tea.
The shortest route down to the ferry at Chanakkale would have been a smaller road that ran along the coast down through Tekirdağ (120, my preference). We opted for what we hoped would be better roads (110 to 550 south). This path involved some climbing (the road would have taken us to Greece less than 20 miles after we turned south from it) so did use extra gas and likely time.
That brought us to the ferry (only 29 lira for the car). So we crossed the Dardanelles, the strait across which King Xerxes, husband of Esther, once built pontoon bridges for his armies to cross as he waged war against the Greeks.
|The Dardanelles from the ferry|
So our first day in Turkey was largely a classical day. After the ferry, we continued south on 550 to Troy. Troy is of course the famed location of the Trojan War between the likes of Achilles and Hector around 1200, during the time of the judges in Israel (a couple hundred years before David).
|Outside Priam's House at Troy|
|Walls of Troy|
Of more interest from a biblical perspective is (Alexandria) Troas, which is not far south of Troy (39-44-48.24N, 26-8-36.35E). We did have some trouble finding it and I suspect there is an easier way than the way we found (probably turning west at Ezine). We went down toward the coast to Dalyan and then followed coastal streets hugging the beach.
|Looking south toward Troas|
|stork on way to Troas|
It was neat to think that Paul almost certainly walked on this Roman road:
|Roman road facing west toward the beach at Troas|
We didn't stop at Assos, we felt our way back east across small roads to 550 and headed south. By that point we were all pretty tired from jet lag. The opportunity to detour a little west to Assos was missed. Everything we heard, though, was that Assos is a magnificent site, one of the few coastlines that is as it was back then. On his third missionary journey, Paul walked from Troas to Assos, from which he set sail south.
We did stop for some "mezeler" (appetizers, picture on the second post) as 550 began to come down out of the mountains. It was a wonderful place on a curve on the side of the road (it reminded me of a great restaurant in Greece at Delphi that overlooks a valley as well).
|coming down toward Edremit|
The rest of the day was spent traveling south. We ended up spending the night at Ayvalik, a wonderful seaside city that conventional travelers would like. Travel to countries like Turkey often involves getting used to hotels that aren't as nice as standard American fare, but Ayvalik would be comfortable to most Americans.
|The bay at Ayvalik from breakfast|
This city had a couple abandoned churches. After the wars of the 1920s, Ataturk required the Greeks in Turkey to leave. So the Greeks left Ayvalik for the nearby (Greek) island of Lesvos (Paul stopped briefly at Mitylene there sailing south from Assos). Meanwhile, the Turks on Lesvos were relocated to Ayvalik. Lesvos is probably only about 10 miles off shore of Turkey.
Friday is the Muslim holy day of the week, and I guess the main activity is to pray at a mosque from 12-2pm. We would have been on the road during this time so didn't really notice any difference. The following Friday we were in Istanbul and the Blue Mosque was closed to visitors for a time in the morning, although I don't know if it had to do with the holy day. We would get used to the morning calls to prayer just before sunrise as the week went along.
P.S. Here's Dave Ward touching Troy 2 (2500BC), which he mentions in his comment below.
|Troy 2 (2500BC)|