|One of the required readings of many youths is The lliad written by Homer about a famous battle at Troy. While I had never actually read this novel, my wife had and was determined to see it. We had taken a morning bus to a nearby town called Canakkale. We checked a few hotels near the bus depot, but they were all full. It was decided that we would stay in the farming village just outside the site of Troy. When we arrived in town, we should have know that from all the "what are you doing here" stares that this might be a bad decision. It was Cynthia's turn to seek out accommodations, so I stayed back with the bags. Our guide book listed two possible places to stay, but usually there were more that are listed. Not this time! Cynthia returned 20 minutes later with the news that she had found the only room available in the village from the only place to stay. The Varol Pansiyon. This was the home of a nice old couple who let us stay in what appeared to be a little girls room at one time even though they never had a daughter. The room was pink, pink, and cold! They might have been old, but they still knew business which was that they had a monopoly on the local hotel markert. Appropriately, they charged the same rates that we were paying in Istanbul. Not only that, when Cynthia tried to get the price to a more reasonable amount, they would only discount about 5%.
Room in hand, it was time to find a restaurant and get some food. We passed some little shops stocked with bread, cheese, milk, soup, batteries, shampoo, you name it. But no restaurant. At the edge of town, we met nice man who said that he knew of a great restaurant. Following him, Cynthia looked at each other like "let's see where this goes". The place was decent enough, but empty and contained some meat that looked liked it had been sitting there for about 2 weeks. After a hard sell, we politely excused ourselves and set off to find one of those little shops for some bread and cheese. Shop 1 - closed. Shop 2 - closed. Mind you there were only three shops. I was hungry so at this point I took off on a light but determined to eat jog (basically running). We slipped in in the nick of time and received the "please hurry, I'm ready to go home" look from the shop owner. Items in hand we checked out and again over charged big time. What is it with this place!!
With only a room, we popped in their kitchen to each our bread and cheese. I was just about to take a bite and the owners walked in and started talking in Turkish. Oh yeah, they spoke about 10 words of english. The whole village spoke about 10 words of english. We slowly understood that there jestering was to have us stop and get up. We complied, but only to find out that they wanted to make room for all of us to sit. Seemingly, they already knew that we would not find any food, so they had prepared enough food for Cynthia and I. The meal was pleasant enough with us trying to explain in english and them in turkish with lots of nodding in agreement even though both parties were completely confused as to what the other was saying.
Dinner complete, we cleaned up using their shower (kind of weird) then retired to the ice box aka our room. We had to sleep in our thermal underwear, full clothes, hats and gloves. Sunrise couldn't come soon enough.
After eating our small, but included turkish breafast, we were off to Troy. Since the site wasn't suppose to be anything dramatic and I never read the book, Cynthia went alone and I saved a few bucks for the beach.
With Troy now crossed off the list, we waited to catch the local bus back to Canakkale to then catch a bus South to Selcuk to see the famous ruins of Ephesus.