Today it is all about what is the same and what is different!! What is the same? Well, we can tell you that the bus seats are the same old bus seats. We have all staked out our spots and that does not seem to change to a large degree.  The same driver and guide and the same cohorts in our Turkey adventure. It seems like the archeological ruins are the same, yet they are very different. Yesterday July 17th,we visited the city of Troy – you know the one that made Brad Pitt famous or is it the other way around? No matter, Troy is famous in its own right. It was written about in Greek mythology as the bronze age city that was attacked during the Trojan War.  The city has been built and rebuilt multiple times and it was amazing to see the differences in the layers of buildings stacked upon each other like Lego blocks.  While they did not “fit” together concisely they still felt balanced in their symmetry. So, while different yet the same and the differences just added to the awe of the site. The wooden horse from the movie Troy was located at the site and while we could not climb into the horse, we did get a chance to wander around it and see how grand and large it was. Our goal when returning home is to watch the movie. Dave might have to twist Kathy’s arm to watch a buff Brad Pitt in old small Roman outfits fill the large screen of our TV.

What is different?  Well, we left the hotel Blanca yesterday after being baked alive in our rooms during the night. At no point could we get the temperature to drop below 85 degrees and we sweated, tossed and turned through the night, desperately wishing for some relief. After our road trip to visit Troy and the archeological ruins of a hospital we arrived at the coast along the Dardanelles.  We checked into our hotel room. The room overlooked the water and we blissfully basked in the cool of the air-conditioning that actually worked in the room. Dinner was served at the early hour of 7 pm and consisted of trays and trays of appetizers and then a main course. A lovely time was had by all. We then walked along the river’s edge where we people watched and saw some local musicians entertaining the crowd. The biggest difference was in how well both of us slept that night. It was quiet, cool, and felt lovely.

While we have not loaded many pictures, we plan on uploading bunches when we get home. Today we get on the ferry and head towards Istanbul, our last stop before coming home.

Another difference, our numbers have reduced. We started the trip with a group of nine: a couple Algeria now living in France, a couple living in Austin that were originally from Iraq, and a family of three from Florida. We are now down to just the Florida family and us. The other two couples left with a group of Spanish tourists that were on a quest to get to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul to do some shopping.  We started our journey with a short ferry ride and arrived on the European side of the city of Turkey. We headed immediately to the sites of the WWI battlefield of Gallipoli where we solemnly viewed the gravestones of the many Australians, New Zealanders, and Turkish soldiers who battled each other in 1915. The Turkish government has done an admirable job of honoring all those who died during the battles waged on Turkish soil, the only WWI battle site in all of Turkey (and there are no WWII battle sites as Turkey was neutral during that war.).  After touring multiple sites, we boarded our bus to head into the heart of Istanbul, a long journey through mountains, along the straits of the Dardanelles and along the coast of the Aegean Sea, and by hundreds of fields of sunflowers

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