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Welcome to the Show

The Trojan Horse

April 6, 2016

Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

 

Do you know where the Trojan horse went, after the famous film Troy, starring Brad Pitt was launched? It was given as a gift to the city of Çanakkale, or Dardanelia, as the ancient Greeks used to call it, named after Dardanus, the mythical son of Zeus and Electra. And it is where it stands today, on the coastal line, near the port.

 

 Photo (c): my iPad is fabulous

 

Çanakkale lies on the Asian side of the Dardanelles, a narrow, natural strait in North Western Turkey, connecting the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea. It's the place where two great Kings, the Persian Xerxes I, and later Alexander the Great, stumbled in their attempt to conquer the world. It is also where according to a Greek myth, the lovesick Leander was swimming nightly to tryst with his beloved, the priestess Hero, until he drowned in a storm.

 

 Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

I got to feel a little like Helena of Troy, maybe due to my birthday, which I got to celebrate in a project, though this was not a primarily reason of my visit. Why Helena of Troy? Because the 10 layered ruins of the once magnificent city of Troy, are at just a blink of an eye distance, some 25 km away.

Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

Photo (c): Nomaddeea

Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

 

 

Our Turkish local guide, whom was born in Troy and has a souvenir business there, told us that Homer's Iliad was of great use and guidance for the archaeologists Frank Calvert and later Heinrich Schliemann who excavated Troy for its treasures. The latter run away to Berlin with all he could find, giving the Turkish government a run for its money.

 

It is a wonderful feeling to be there and where Victor & Hector were once making their entrance in the castle, or to have a quick glance at the Hellespont. Nothing moved since the Iliad. Apparently this cat was also unmoved from Andrea's shoulder, one of the Italian guys involved in the project we had there.

We also could not miss the Trojan horse inside Troy.

                                                Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

Frank Calvert, whom was very keen on archaeology, is actually buried in Çanakkale where his family, that was coming all the way from Malta, established the English Garden, a place where the Levantines strolled, played tennis or rode horses. For Europeans visiting Troy, the first stop is Calvert's house in Çanakkale. In fact the whole city of Çanakkale is quite charming and has a colorful western vibe mixed with its countless vintage bookshops,and overlooked by the lovely Clock Tower.

Photo (c): Nomaddeea

Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

 

Not far from Çanakkale, there is also the famous Gallipoli battlefield from the First World War, with the tombs of soldiers from Great Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire. These places charge you inevitably with the thought of peace, or better said with the inquiry " where does peace go when it ends?...Well...apparently peace goes to war..!" The question " why are we so aggressive towards one another and towards the entire planet", springs in my mind now as I write. The main reason of my visit in Çanakkale was a project tackling cyberbully, implemented by Local Heroes Çanakkale, that reunited early in January 2016, talented youth from Turkey, Romania, Poland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Vietnam & Pakistan, to discuss ways to react to and combat cyber bulling, using a variety of original methods. To name just a few, there were role plays, theatre forum, debates ( should cyber bullying be punished by law? If yes, then when to intervene?), competitions, treasure hunts, stimulating methods for thinking strategically such as the Albatroz Soup, physical fight games, the Holiday Stereotype game, interviews with the locals, films and campaigns against cyber bully such as this one:

 

 

Our lectures took place in a building located in the open air naval museum right next to Cimenlik castle (or Kala-I sultanyie built by Mehmet Sultan in 1462).

 Photo (c): my iPad is fabulous

 

Aggressiveness, just like beauty, takes many shapes and forms, and passive aggressiveness can be fancily wrapped under the title of "cyber bullying", meaning us humans, hiding behind the screens of our computers, laptops, IPAds, iPhones and tablets, throwing heavy words at one another, posting rumors and gossips about a person or a group of persons, to defame and humiliate them, or to spread hatred in other people's minds about our intended targets. In short, there are aggressors in the virtual space ( basically the space in which a mouse can quickly become an elephant), whom create victims far beyond our perception and knowledge: there are suicides, rapes, beatings and murders happening as a direct result of cyber bullying.

 

The reasons for which youth engages in cyber bullying vary, however different studies show different numbers: 81% of the youth think it's simply funny, 64% say they don't like the person so they decide to cyber bully, 45% view the victim as a loser, and 58% didn't see the action as a big deal. Lovely right? Not!

 

 

The theatre plays were a treat, we cropped some plays together in a very intelligent manner. We got to chose from different topics and me and my team took "The Refugee In a Boat" case: we created a short parody to depict the religious paradox that seems to plunge over the nest of this hideous modern war. I played the voice in the head of a refugee, putting his will down, and eventually I sank his boat. We than introduced Jesus- played by a Greek writer-, that help him walk on water, a beautiful Turkish girl played an Italian coastguard that contacted the "God of the Refugees" in Syria, and a Dutch "Angel" took him back home by the legs. Not even in his death did he reach safety in Europe.

 

On the cultural level, besides having one of the best intercultural nights ever, with Italians bringing in mom's dry tomatoes and home made amaretto and sweets, we also had Polish candies, and Greek cheese and sesame to name just a few to die for goodies.

 Photo (c): my iPad is fabulous

 

What was great was that we were also very close to the Promenade area of the city which is absolutely gorgeous: a must see if you visit there: the sea and coffee houses filled with interesting locals, what more can you wish for?

Usually the fishermen gather from the early hours of the morning till the sunset, when they collect sea-shells for selling the next day, they also prepare them with rice and spices.

                                             Photo (c): my iPad is fabulous

                                                                  Photo (c): my iPad one morning in Canakkale: simply fab isn't it?

 

 

Speaking about goodies, we were sent to do shopping. Not just any kind of shopping! But one with a meaning! Did you know that Turkish people in Çanakkale area have a special sausage they can eat that cleans their teeth? Neither did we until we bought it and smiled pretty..

                                        Photo (c): my iPad is fabulous

 

And should I mention Çanakkale is renowned, apart from pottery ( Çana means pottery, Kala means fortress), for its state of the art sweets, such as the cheese kunaf. I was lucky because the cakes looked and tasted just as good...my birthday cake was with chocolate and pistachio...yuuuummm. The chefs are dressed impeccably, and all ingredients are fresh!

 

 

The reason why I love Turkish culture so much is that they are genuine in their emotions, authentic in culture and foreigner-friendly.

 

On my birthday, I wanted to taste some local pita and tea at a special cafe, with tables set by the wall of a quite famous for the area, pink mosque. The waitress had this pale skin, green eyes, all covered. I left tip European style, but she than run after me the whole street to give it back. She did not speak English at all, and afterwards remembered my food preference every time I went. I never tried to tip again, to spare her the effort.

 Above: Pink Mosque ( essentially has pink walls), Photo (c): my iPad is fabulous

 

 

Apart from the Pink Mosque, there are many other places in which a tourist can go, such as Yalova restaurant, famous for serving sea-food on fire.

you can find the restaurant here

and here

 

 

 

 

Çanakkale, like Istanbul, has both an European and an Asian side. It even has a Greek district, an Armenian one with a church ( now turned into a Sufi place), and a synagogue ( that burned down) for the 10 Jewish people that live there. It also has two bazaars, the one of Mirrors is more famous, and streets filled with hotels & palm-trees. I was there in January, so the light was not that great, but the temperature was above 15 C.

 

 

When I crossed with the ferry to the European side, wanting to go to Gallipoli, but not knowing properly the way, a man from the personnel of the ship went with me to ensure I would get the right bus when I descended from the ferry, all process done through gestures. I don't speak Turkish, and they didn't speak English. Well...I also negotiated for flu pills in a pharmacy, but in the end the experience was all good. Imagine that a Turkish lady took me and a Pakistani guy in her car to try to find an opened pharmacy. Same story, no Turkish, no English, just good will. Plenty of good will. The hotel stuff at Grand Anzac were all sugar. Perfect meals, dinners, maps directions and they even stored my birthday day cake over the night. You can visit their website here.

 

From Çanakkale to Istanbul, we took the bus, which looks like a 5 star personal plane; the "bus steward", or the guy who serves drinks and sweets for the whole ride, noticed that I did not have water anymore in my 0,5 bottle....so he gestured rapidly...took the bottle from my hands and came with it refilled. That hardly happens in our western world.

 

 Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

 

©2017 Text & Images by NomaDDeea. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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  Drama Moments & Nomad Times : served with a lem on   on  a flying zebra, and a pinch of jazz. Tips, life tricks & international coffee sips guaranteed.

Nomad

Deea

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