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Brad’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 05 May 2005

Location: Çanakkle, Turkey

MapOn Tuesday I ventured away from the comforts of the now famılliar İstanbul and my home for the past few weeks for the new horizons of Edirne. After waiting around at the İstanbul otogar (the biggest bus station in the world) for a few hours I got on a bus and arrived in Edirne at about five in the afternoon. The main reason I had come was to check out the city`s beautiful mosques which I did without delay. The most beautiful is by far the Selimiye Mosque, built by the incredible Ottoman architect Sinan in the sixteenth century. There was also this other very strange mosque with four completely different minerets. I decided to treat myself that night and go and have a turkish bath in a really old unrestored hammam also built by Sinan. Well, if you want to have the excrement pounded out of you, this is the place to come, I`m still sore from that massage.

Having seen the town`s main attractions, I jumped on a bus to my next stop, Çanakkle, on Wednesday. It ended up taking me ages to get there, going via various bus stations, but I arrived by fiveish again. I was just about to go and get some dinner when there was this huge racket outside and a whole lot of people banging drums and heading up the main street. I followed them, and as it turns out, there was a Roman festival going in the city for the next few days. I followed the street parade which finished by the river. Not much seemed goıng on after that, so I went a grabbed a pide and headed back about seven. Well, there was a huge crowd there and a band doıng some sound checks. Sure enough, in about half an hour a concert started. First off was some some Roman dancing, then a group of boys banging drums , followed by some young girls belly dancing. they were unbelievable, I wish I could stick the video up online! To end the night, this band came on playing a strange mix of Turkish folk music and pop, with a singer, electric violin, Turkish clarinet, Iranian zither and various drums. It was so way cool to be there, it was just put on for the locals and everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves. And apparantly there`s another one on tomorrow night!

I spent the morning today exploring the ruins of...wait for it...ancient Troy. What a place to spent a few hous! While the ruins themselves aren`t incredible, it is truly amazing to think of the history of such a place. More and more historians are giving credence to a lot of aspects of The Illiad, so to think I was walking over the same streets as Hector or King Priam (let alone Achillies or Paris) had three thousand years ago was mind-blowing.

Tomorrow I think I`m off to Assos, but I`m not totally sure at this stage, you`ll just have to wait for the next update to find out...