Saturday, May 2, 2009

Whirlwind vacation

Grandmom and Grandad have come and taken us on a whirlwind of adventure. Of course this isn't a problem for my tumbleweeds who are already flying in circles, but it really wears me out. We rented a large vehicle for the trip. No seatbelts and horrible whatever it's called that cushions the bumps on the roads. My butt was sore every night. My head hit the ceiling a few times too. We drove from Istanbul westward, then southward to Gallipoli, crossed the Dardanelles to Canakkale and to Troy, down to Ephesus, Bodrum, Antalya, and then northward, McDonalds, gas stations, and then Istanbul.

The trip was full of diarreah, beaches, grumpy mommy, happy mommy, wonderful children, great weather, and fun. If you ever come to Turkey please see Troy. It was my favorite place and my kids absolutely loved it. There is space for them to run around. Atticus' comment on it was "Mom, I like this maze." They got to go in the Trojan horse. There were massive toads in a small pond. There were rocks for toddlers to play with. If you drive there, don't pay for parking. We did and when when we passed the gate where we paid, there was the parking lot. We could have just parked outside and walked in. Just a little tip for you drivers out there.

We sort of saved going down the Aegean coast for our last excursion. It's probably the most visited area of Turkey, by foreigners and Turks alike. It's not really Turkey to me. It's more like this historical land stuck in the past. Not in the last 100 years like other parts of Turkey, but stuck in ancient times. The times of Agamemnon and Odysseus. As we crossed the Dardanelles in a ferryboat I looked down at the water and thought "there's the wine dark sea" that they always talked about. Greek history has always fascinated me. For our honeymoon Jonathan and I went to Athens. I have all these pictures of us running through the ruins of Mycenae. Putting all these connections together is quite fun. I'm no historian but I do see wisdom in piecing together the past. I try to do a little piecing here and there, when I'm not too occupied with the tumbleweeds.

I don't think my younger two will remember all we've seen. But I think Atticus might. He might remember climbing up the steps of the Trojan horse and looking out all the windows at us. He might remember his grandmother telling him the story of how the Trojan War began. He might remember me telling him that all those broken stones that people are looking at are like puzzle pieces from a long long time ago and when they're connected they tell a story.

I realize that teaching my children history facts is not the most important thing for them, or me. But I do hope they will realize that they can go and learn about anything in the world first hand, if they want to. They don't have to sit home and watch a show about the Great Wall of China and think that that's the only time they'll ever see it. I don't want the TV to be their only window to the world.

While my kids expanded their perspectives, I did a little expanding my own way.


Sonja said...

We are listening to the Odyssey this weekend as we are driving to Colorado and LOVING it, again. My kids are riveted. "ooh, ooh here comes the part where the cannibals eat all those men. Hang on Odysseus! You're going to make it!"

Oh to walk in those very lands! (Minus the cannibals and cyclops of course.)....someday.

I'm glad you had a good trip. Your kids are so lucky. I agree, living history is the best way to learn it.

Strawberry Girl said...

Sounds fun and exciting (and of course tiring!!) :D

Is the Trojan horse something set up as an example, or is it the real deal?

Sunny said...

What a fun adventure! Was Antalya as beautiful as everyone says it is?

Bunsy said...

Yeah, it's gorgeous, but don't stay in the city. You have to go to one of those hotel resorts that have their own private beach. I recommend the Marriott.

Aimee said...

What fun! We did nearly the same trip last April. My favorite stop: Assos.