Beware of Greeks bearing gifts

Trip Start Jul 17, 2011
1
70
124
Trip End Dec 20, 2011


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Turkey  , Balikesir,
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It was with no small dose of irony that we waited impatiently for a large German tour group hogging the museum at Troy. Troy, the place of legends, was originally excavated by a German called Schliemann who managed to damage much of the site and run off with it's treasures. Typical bloody German. I had a feeling that these tourists wouldn't be told this part of the local history.

Of course Troy's claim to fame is the big wooden horse. And haven't they got a nice big one at the entrance! Handily this one includes stairs and windows to look out of. I'm pretty sure neither were features of the original given the Greeks were trying to hide from the Trojans. But in Troy you shouldn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. The whole allure of the area is off the back of a story by Homer. Not Homer of the doughnuts and wife Marge, but the ancient writer. The Illiad is a story everyone remembers bits of. Achilles and his heel, Helen being stolen by the Trojans, and Odysseus and his horse. Immortalised on the silver screen by Brad Pitt and co, the timber horse from that film is on display in nearby Cannakale. And that's about the sum of Troy because nobody really knows whether any of Homer's story is real. It hasn't stopped UNESCO making it a world heritage site even though arguably much more deserving sites such as Ephesus are not protected. If only there was a book on Ephesus by John Grisham, and a movie staring Tom Cruise, then they would have heritage protection in a jiffy.

Troy does have one other important feature however. As you stand on the hill at the site of the ruins, you look out across a straight of water which is the Dardenelles. You look across to see the first glimpse of Gelibolu, the Gallipoli peninsula. For the Australians in the group it is a lump in the throat moment for we know that tomorrow is a big day for us. No more of this created history of Troy. Tomorrow we experience real history that is so central to the national spirit of Australians, New Zealanders and also Turks. We are excited and nervous.
Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: