On day 2 of our Turkey travels with Chan Brothers, we dived straight into one of the highlights of the trip – the Trojan Horse of Troy! After breakfast at Tusan Hotel, we headed straight to the ancient city of Troja (Troy), with loads of interesting mythical stories told to us by our guide Enis…
The Trojan Horse of Troy in Canakkale Turkey
Troy (and Trojan Horse) is just a 15 minutes ride away from Tusan Hotel in Canakkale. During this short ride, we were given an introduction to the mythical world of Greek/Anatolian stories…
Story of the Trojan Horse
First and foremost, the Trojan Horse is a myth. Nonetheless, it is an exciting story that leads to the Trojan Horse that we would be visiting that morning.
And so the story goes, Homer (or Homeros) wrote 2 books (Odyssey and Iliad) concerning the last 23 days of war at Troy. In the mythical story, there was a wedding among the gods (Wedding of Peleus and Thetis) but Eris (the goddess of jealousy or discord) was not invited. To thwart the wedding, Eris came up with a plan and brought forth an apple (that says “to the most beautiful woman”) to Zeus, who was the chief of the guards. In order not to be involved in this would be “cat fight”, Zeus handed over this issue to Paris of Troy (so smart of Zeus!)
3 goddesses (Hera, Athena and Aphrodite) came to seek the apple, each offering a bribe to Paris. Hera offered to make him king and offered him a lasting family line while Athena offered him wisdom and skill in battle. But eventually, Paris chose Aphrodite because she was able to get him Helen of Sparta who is the most beautiful mortal (wife of the King of Sparta). As a result Athens unites with Sparta to get Helen back from troy, sparking the start of the Trojan War.
In comes Achilles, a demi god and strong warrior (played by Brad Pitt in the 2004 movie Troy). At first, Achilles did not want to be involved in the war. To increase the morale of the soldiers, Patroclus (the cousin of Achilles) dressed as Achilles and fought in the Trojan War. As a result, he was killed by Hector.
To revenge his cousin, Achilles was advised by Odyssey to build a huge horse with brave men inside to besiege Troy. You’ve guessed it, this horse was the Trojan Horse!
Phew…what a long story to explain the background to the Trojan Horse! All because of Helen!
About the Ancient City of Troy
There are 9 layers to the ancient city of Troy. Meaning each time the original Trojans left (due to weather or war), the new Trojans would return to rebuild the city again. Troy layer 6 is believed to be the time of the Trojan Horse while Troy layer 9 is known as the Roman ages.
Troy was rediscovered by a German businessman by the name of Heinrich Schliemann. He followed the stories of Homer and believed in the existence of Troy. He eventually found Troy in 1871 and started to remove its treasures using the guise of corrupt locals to smuggle the treasures out of the country.
What really amazed us was how people in the hundreds of years BC, built up civilisations such as Troy by carrying these huge bricks and carving intricate monuments. They also thought of buildings walls slanted so as to deter thieves and attackers as it would be easier to defend a slanted wall. They also thought of using pitos as “ancient refrigerators” where they would store excess grain and hide them underground for use during winter.
At the entrance of the city, the Trojans would build a slope where travellers or even attackers entering the city, would feel the “aura and presence” of the city as they ascend to its gates. Of course, the city was build atop a hill to have good views over its surroundings.
Tip : While taking photos with the Trojan Horse, remember to take it from the front view as how Tom took it in the picture above!
From Troy Canakkale to the Ancient City of Pergamon in Turkey
The ride from Troy to Pergamon took about 3 hours and we took a rest in between to have our lunch. Enroute, Enis told us about olives in Turkey…
There are essentially 2 main colours of olives – green and black. Green olives are the first fruits to be plucked in October and they change to black in the December/January period. From the olives, olive oil is extracted. Should the acid level of the olive oil be less than 1 percent, it is considered as the top grade. Top grade olive oil is usually made from the green (turning to black) olives. Extra virgin olive oil is produced by cold pressing the olives without breaking its seeds. As most chefs have already mentioned, olive oils cannot withstand heat hence when using it, it should be used over low heat or lightly tossed with your food of choice.
Did you know? Italy is the top producer of olive oil in the world but 65% of its olives comes from Turkey!
The building of Pergamon (formerly known as Bergama in Turkish) was started by Philetaerus. He was entrusted with the treasury of Lysimachus who was a Roman Commander. When Lysimachus died, Philetaerus used the money to build up Pergamon and in 100AD, it was returned to Rome because of the money with which it was built. In this way, Rome had already extended its influence to Anatolia before they came.
Note : During the tour, Enis would often use the word “Anatolia”. Anatolia is actually bounded by Black Sea to the North, Aegean Sea to the West and the Mediterranean Sea to the South. The Sea of Marmara would connect to the Black Sea via the Bosphorus River. “These lands” as we know it, refers more commonly to Turkey today.
Pergamon sits atop of the hill and the most prominent portion of it is the Acropolis, a temple area where the Pergamons would come to worship their gods. The other prominent structure is the theatre which can sit up to 9000 people overlooking the city of Pergamon.
The tour bus would only be able to bring you to the foot of Pergamon. To reach Acropolis, you would have to be transferred via cable car. However, on this day, it was raining and the cable car was closed. Hence, we were transferred by local taxis through winding paths up to Acropolis. Do remind your guide to advise the taxi drivers to drive at a slower pace, else they might race up the hills (and down) as with what happened to us. Too exciting for our liking! Yikes!
The Acropolis of Pergamon
Awesome views over Bergama City and of the Theatre!
Before we reached our last stop for the evening at CoastLight Hotel Kusadasi, we stopped over at Mozaik Lokum for some olives products. The store owner who is a humorous man and can also speak some Mandarin, introduced us to the products of his shop. Before we left, we bought 3 bottles of skin care product (buy 2 get 1 free) for 100 TL (Turkish Lira). This is approximately $60SGD or $20SGD per bottle.
Not sure of its effect though but it sure smells good!
Close to the olive shop, you can clearly see the Selcuk Castle. The Selcuks (or Seljuks) was one of the tribes of the Turks. Ottoman being the most famous of the tribes. At the top of the hills sits the “First Ephesus” and at the bottom of the hill, the “Second Ephesus”. The Ephesus that we would be visiting the next day is the “Third Ephesus” also known as the “Roman Ephesus”.
Itinerary of Turkey Travel Day 2: Troy Canakkale to Pergamon and Coastlight Hotel Kusadasi
0800 : Depart from Tusan Hotel to Troy
0815 : Arrival at Ancient Ruins of Troy
0930 : Departure from Troy
1300 : Lunch
1400 : Depart for Pergamon
1530 : Depart Pergamon
1900 : Arrival at Mozaik Lokum Olive Shop
2000 : Arrival at CoastLight Hotel Kusadasi
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This post is part of our 10 Days 7 Nights Turkey travel with Chan Brothers. Below, you can find other relevant posts covered during this trip.
Turkey Trip Day 1 : Singapore to Istanbul and Ferry to Canakkale
Turkey Travel Day 2 : Visiting the Trojan Horse of Troy and Ancient City of Pergamon
Turkey Travel Day 3 : Visit to Ephesus / Turkish Bath and Hot Springs of Lycus River Hotel Pamukkale
Turkey Trip Day 4 : Pamukkale Cotton Castle and Journey to Cappadocia!
Turkey Trip Day 5 : Cappadocia, Kaymakli Underground City, Goreme Open Air Museum and Turkish Night Celebrations!
Hot Air Balloon Flight in Cappadocia with Royal Balloon : Turkey Travel Day 6!
Turkey Travels Day 7 : Istanbul’s Camlica Hill, Grand Bazaar, Taksim Square and Istiklal Shopping Street!
Mall of Istanbul (MOI) : Shopping Eating and Relaxing on Day 8 of Turkey Trip!
Find out more about day 3 of our Chan Brother’s Turkey trip where we’ll visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus!