Tuesday 02 May 2023.
Highlights: Exploring the ancient city of Troy, Exploring Ayvalık, Exploring by boat the archipelago of the Ayvalık Islands.
Today we set out to explore the ancient city of Troy. Isik explain on the way to the site the history of Troy (as called Ilion). While most people know of Troy from the 2004 Troy movie which was based on The Iliad by Homer, Troy has a deep history before and after the sotry of The Iliad.
Troy was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt during its 4000 years of occupation. As a result, the site is divided into nine archaeological layers, each corresponding to a city built on the ruins of the previous. The last era of Troy (Troy IX) was rebuilt and run by the Romans from 85 BC to 500 AD. The Romans consider the founders of their civilasition decended from Troy originally so put a lot of effort in honouring the city during their time in charge.
Troy eventually decline as the port area become more and more swallow and block with sediment and as a result sea access moved further and further away.
Isik provided a lot of insights into the different ruins and particularing fascinanting was how the city use craved walls to it;s advantage leaving most gates protected from direct attack making a seige of the city very difficult.
In the afternoon we moved onto Ayvalık. Ayvalık was an ancient Aeolian Greek port-town, called Kydonies. Following the Turkish War of Independence, the Greek population and their properties in the town were exchanged for a Muslim population from Greece. By 1923 the Greek presence was almost entirely gone. Ayvalık is a nice quiet town with some stuning cobble streets.
Part of the city visit was a stop at the Çöp(m)adam which is a ‘Social Enterprise For Women and Environment’ supported by G Adventures. Basically women earn some income by repurposing material into useful crafts. I put a gift for my cats I hope they play with.
The last event for the day was the entire group opting for a three hour boat ride exploring a small section of the archipelago of the Ayvalık Islands. Mostly this was about finding a quiet spot to us to reflect in the sun with some going for a swim. I elected to stay on the front of the boat relaxing and talking to various members of the group.
We ended the day by driving to our hotel in Bergama and having dinner in the hotel restaurant.