27.07.2014 - 27.07.2014
Arriving in Turkey at 1am in the morning, we were dropped off at a restaurant outside the city of Edirne. When I bought the tickets, I asked for the bus station which is 7km outside of town, instead they dropped us here 7km the other side of the city. Discussing our options, one of the Turks called us a ride, and while it was over priced, we took the rickety ride the 14km. Here we waited for several hours with no sleep as we were warned that gypsies were a problem in the area and stabbings common.
Exhausted, we arrived at the hostel long enough for a köfte. Then we departed on a tour of the Gallipoli battlefield. Despite being a sprawling site, several miles long the allied British and French forces never made it that far inland. Despite losing, the fearlessness of the Australian and New Zealander troops gave rise to a sense of national pride to these British colonies. If you have watched the movie the final scene is made much bigger than it really is. It is only about the width of a football field.
When we returned we pretty much passed out til dinner where we had iskendar kebab and eceabat köfte. The former is thicker slices of roasted lamb on top of bread and slathered in a rich tomato sauce and heaps of yogurt. The sauce was overly sweet, much like SpaghettiOs. The meatballs had an unusual consistency, very similar to Chinese meatballs that are beaten until chewy. These are then cooked in a less sugary tomato sauce with cheese on top.
For desert I tried to find a local desert mentioned by the young man at the bus station to no avail. In the end I went with the classic desert, baklava. Thin, flaky layers of dough seperating several layers of a nut paste and honey. Unlike others I have had in the states these were not overly sugary and the paste had a good consistency.
The next day we traveled to the ancient city of Troy to see what remained of the city. The site is well preserved despite the efforts of a German businessman. You could see the several layers of the city. Each has its own style and materials for construction. The site is still being worked on and will continue to grow. The horse is the one used in the Hollywood movie despite not being filmed in Turkey.
Following this we made the 6 hour trip to Istanbul. Our original plan of going to Cappodocia was canceled when we couldn't secure transportation to Istanbul due to the festivities at the end of Ramadan. We were also unable to get public transport to Istanbul from where we were but fortunately our hostel had an inexpensive shuttle we could take.