The last time I visited the remains of the ancient city of Troy, I was about nine years old. Our family photo album from the trip is full of images of me proudly showing off my scabby kneecap, gouged from a fall in a garden somewhere near Pamukkale whilst jousting with my friend. We were the noble horses carrying brave knights (our younger siblings) on our backs to battle. I have never been an elegant person, and in typical fashion, I tripped over my horse legs, ripped my favourite plaid pants, and took a nice chunk out of my right knee. My sister found this to be an exhilarating part of the ride. Bloodied from battle, I sobbed away in search of my mum, the Beatles song "Michelle" playing in the hotel lobby.
I don't remember too much from the actual visit to Troy except a crumbled ampitheatre and a replica of the city's famed wooden horse. I remember warm sun and fields, and was happy to experience both again. The site is more developed now, with a souvenir shop and a museum in the making— oh, and a newer wooden horse. More of the ancient city had been uncovered since my childhood, some of it appropriately reconstructed, as the rest lay in rubble or under earth still.
You can see the contours of buildings and the spines of walls, prompting the imagination to take a spin. This is not just the Troy of the Iliad and the Odyssey, but the site of many other Troys since the Bronze Age. What you see when visiting, is layer upon layer of civilisation.
It's easy to take for granted all the beauty and history in Turkey, as I move about within my daily routines. When presented with a long weekend or a holiday, my first impulse is to check airfare to some nearby country I have never been to, telling myself I can explore Turkey any old day. But what an amazing country this is— besides the history, you have regional cultures, mountains, deserts, and seas. There is so much at my feet, and considering my fifth anniversary of moving here is on Friday, it is my goal for 2014 to see as much of Turkey as I can.
Let's see what we can get.