Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Before we leave.....Troy

I forgot to mention that en  route to Canakkale we passed within 5 kms of the (disputed) site of the ancient city of Troy, complete with trojan horse (reconstruction) and ABA. The guide books do not excite as the ruins are fairly nondescript (see later) but the chance of a photo with a wooden horse and maybe running into Brad Pitt making Troy II persuaded the other four that it would make a good lunch stop and was not an arduous detour...
Malc was leading and missed the sign, Ken dithered and was passed in a flash but I turned off down the very narrow lane. I waited for 10 mins but they didn't appear, not being able to quickly turn round on the dual carriageway, and met ONBF who had been and were retracing their steps back. They said it was worth a visit so we pressed on. After 5 km we suddenly came across a barrier in  the road like an east German checkpoint . Investigation revealed that to proceed further required payment of 30 lira, parking and walking was not an option and turning round would be difficult, so duly paid with bad grace. A mile further on brought us to a dusty hard baked uneven car park full of rubbish and coaches but a little shade under a tree next to Richard & Monica having lunch and waxing lyrical. So we had lunch too, during which the other four turned up muttering about bloody 30 lira ( they are northern)...too hot to walk round ruins....better be worth it etc etc
The ruins....supposedly discovered in 1873 by a German amateur archaeologist, Schliemann, but he got the idea from an Englishman , Calvert who had begun digging and had identified the site from studying the Iliad. At first, Schliemann's work was hailed as the dawning of archaeology but is now considered to be vandalism, and one quote I read says that he singlehandedly managed to accomplish what the Greek failed to do and destroy the city of troy.
He dug a huge trench down across the site, exposing foundations of 9 separate developments from the bronze age to 5bc and looted everything he could lay his hands on. He lied about the treasures but they were smuggled out to Berlin and then looted by the Red Army and are now in the Pushkin museum. His entry in Wikipedia, under criticisms ,   makes interesting reading. Anyway, what is left, after wars, earthquakes and heaven knows how many archaeological campaigns is a vast area of trenches and low stone outcrops that mean very little to the casual observer ....especially ones that have been to Pergamon and Ephesus. The experience is not enhanced by being accosted by a Roman legionnaire (?) offering to let you be similarly attired and photographed in his chariot (sans horse) made of plywood.
The Trojan horse, currently under renovation and therefore closed is a very modern looking construction, spoiled by the staircase emanating from the testicle region by which visitors may enter the body presumably, and made of highly polished mahogany which is unlikely to be have been lying around on the beach or been part of a galley. Its 4 feet are firmly planted in the earth, not on a platform, so how it might have been dragged from beach to town is unclear.
I've wasted enough time on this ......and Brad Pitt wasn't even there.

1 comment:

  1. "Investigation revealed that to proceed further required payment of 30 lira, parking and walking was not an option and turning round would be difficult, so duly paid with bad grace."

    and yet

    "the other four turned up muttering about bloody 30 lira ( they are northern)..."

    So the lesson here is that only northerners mutter about the iniquity of these things but it's acceptable to pay with bad grace?

    ReplyDelete