Monday, January 20, 2014

an unexpected surprise

Saturday night, we drove to Enez, a sleepy seaside town located on the Turkish border with Greece. Our plan was to get a night's rest at any pansiyon that looked decent, and rise at the crack of dawn to explore the Meriç Delta for any sign of geese. Though this was meant to be a strictly birdwatching adventure, I was thrilled to discover that Enez (which I had never heard of before!) is home to a beautiful ruin of an ancient castle.

Enez was once the bustling Thracian port of Ainos, and being a strategic centre of trade, the city had at one time or another been Greek, Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Genoese, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Evidence of its multicultural past can still be found crumbling into the hill— broken carvings of marble crosses, fallen Corinthian capitals, and what may be evidence of Ottoman removal of painted representations of saints (this was a wild guess at the scratch marks on circular surfaces).

Enez Kalesi was just the kind of discovery I needed to reignite my sense of wonder about Turkey. It's easy to forget that the world just at our fingers and toes is so full of marvellous things, and Turkey is incredibly rich in history, culture, geography— even birds. Though with the continued destruction of natural habitats in the name of progress (as in many other places in the world), the future is looking a little bleak for our feathered friends. I was pleased however, by how little trash I saw littered at the site— this, and my recent trip to Troy was a relief. It makes me happy to see places taken care of; whether it's a historical site, a forest, or a city street.

This year, I really want to make an effort to see as much of Turkey as I can— just imagine what else is out there that isn't in our Lonely Planets?


dinahmow said...

Lovely post! I';m off now to Google earth...

Sue Pownall said...

What a great discovery. Hope you find many more over the year.