Tuesday, July 26, 2011


After an overnight stay in Canakkale (along with a couple of refreshing Efes) we set off to Troy.  Legendary Troy.  That's right, TROY!

Eris was grumpy, she hadn't been invited to the party - not really that surprising since she was the Goddess of Strife.  She came up with a plan to annoy Athena, Hera and Aphrodite.  She sent them a gift, a golden apple, marked "to the fairest."  Naturally all three thought it should be hers.  Finally Zeus stepped in and sent them to Paris, Prince of Troy (him of outstanding beauty and intelligence, hmmmm) for his honest opinion.  He thought Aphrodite was "like totally the hottest!)

OK, they may have bribed him. Athena offered skill in battle, Hera offered land, and Aphrodite offered Helen - the most beautiful woman on Earth. Oooo-er!

So Paris and Helen lived happily ever after - both matching each other in their beauty...

Nope, Helen was already married.  To Menelaus, King of Sparta, who, strangely enough, didn't think his wife should run away with the little upstart.  He persuaded Agamemnon King of Mycenae to help him fight against Troy.

The Greeks besieged the city for ten years, they won many battles, including the killing of Hector (who seems to be the best of the lot of them).  Paris defeated Achilles (the one with the heel), but later died.  His little brother then married Helen - good grief!

After ten years the Greeks really really really wanted to capture the city.  They constructed an enormous wooden horse, sent most of the army away, and hid the rest inside.  The Trojans (in an enormous burst of gullibility) towed it inside had a party, went to sleep and got slaughtered.

And that was the end of that - except for Melelaus, who was planing on killing Helen.  He set eyes on her beautiful face, forgave her and they sailed home to live happily ever after. 

Actually, there are nine Troys, all on top of each other (Achilles, Helen and that lot were probably there during Troy VII) and it had descended into myth.  It was rediscovered in the late 1800s and lots of loot was removed to Museums around Europe.

It is ancient, the first city was around 3000BC (The Bronze Age), the last gone by 400AD.  What is left is the outline of one of the most important cities of antiquity, a link between Anatolia, the Aegean and the Balkans.  There are excavations ongoing and you can see for miles.

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