Troy and Canakkale
Canakkale Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
March 28th, 2001 – by: etoile
Breakfast was the same as it had been daily in Istanbul. Tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and sliced cheese are always available. There is a selection of buns, all of them fairly small, with butter to put on them. Corn flakes are the only cereal available, but there is milk for them. The yogurt is plain, but they give you a variety of ways to sweeten it: sugar, honey, or a couple of types of jelly (cherry being common). They provide tea, of course, and coffee (instant, the word for which is Nescafe) for the addicted. There’s also something resembling orange juice, but it’s very watered down. Our excursion for the day was to Troy. The ruins there were interesting, but hard to understand: there were actually nine versions of Troy, all built on the same site. Looking at it now, though, after excavation, everything is side-by-side. It’s all labeled, of course, but it’s hard to remember that when moving from place to place on the site. I’m not sure about the veracity of the stories about Troy - Achilles and his vulnerable heel, etc. - but it is obvious there was somebody here long ago, and that’s enough to make it interesting. We decided to skip the trip to Gallipoli and have a quiet afternoon in Çanakkale. We visited a pastry shop for lunch, and then set off on a walk. Our first stop was the PTT to buy additional stamps - the rate had gone up in the past couple of days. We waited in line for a while as people used the international telephone. Someone overheard us wondering what was going on, and explained in pretty good English that we could just push through and ask for stamps. We bought some, and headed up what appeared to be Çanakkale’s main drag. There was a TurkCell shop, so we stopped to ask if they had any banana slug items for sale - it’s apparently their spokescreature. We tried combining English and pointing to indicate what we wanted, and the girls behind the counter chattered to each other in Turkish for a while, and finally came up with “I don’t know.” My girlfriend asked “you don’t know, or you don’t understand?” and the girl repeated “I don’t know” - which we took to mean she didn’t understand. I had brought the phrasebook, so I pulled it out, pointed to “I want to buy…” and pointed to one of the toy banana slugs. She looked at the book and read “…satin almak istiyorum” to herself - we’d never have figured it out ourselves. She read it again, realized we were pointing to the toy, and laughed. So we spent 10 minutes determining they didn’t have them for sale after all. I stopped in a computer shop, and the girl behind the counter spoke no English but was very eager to try helping us anyway. I ended up purchasing a computer game and a PSX game for 2 million lira each - about $4. After we left the store, I noticed the CD key printed on the case of the computer game - I hadn’t realized the games were burned, and I was surprised there was an entire store of them. We went back to the hotel then and rested - I did some puzzles and wrote a bunch of postcards, and my girlfriend wrote in her travel journal. Dinner was the same food as the night before, minus the rice pudding so I couldn’t have dessert. We had to get up early the next morning, so we watched some Turkish TV - actually we watched Deutsche Welle until they switched to German, so we switched to BBC World - and went to bed.
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