On the third day of our vacation we visited the Ancient City of Troy. This was an all day event. We spent 5 hours in the car driving through Turkish villages brimming with character and giant, craggy mountains before we landed at our destination. The drive was absolutely beautiful; the shimmering sea, the majestic mountains, green, lush fields. After hours and hours of driving, we were very eager to stretch our legs and explore the ruins of Troy. My history lovin' husband was on cloud nine.
We explored the ruins of this once glorious city dating back thousands of years. We saw walls and towers still in tact from the Trojan War. We saw the remnants of homes, a theater, the citadel, a well, bridges, and walkways. At the top of the hill, Dan pointed out the fields below us where the fighting during the Trojan Wars took place. The farm fields about a quarter of a mile from the city used to be covered by the Aegean Sea but have been filled in over the course of thousands of years. Because of this, we found little seashells scattered throughout the ruins of Troy. The natural beauty that surrounded the ruins made our hike even more enjoyable. It was about 65 degrees outside and felt like a perfect Fall day (even though it was just days before Christmas). The sun was beginning to set, which painted lavender and pink hues across the sky. We were surrounded by farm fields and nature, which made the whole atmosphere quiet and serene.
On our way home, we drove through a tiny, quaint village near Troy. We saw roosters and donkeys, little boys playing soccer in the street, and old men drinking Turkish tea. I hopped out of the car at a little produce stand to buy some delicious bananas for the trip home. Then we started our 5 hour drive back to the hotel.
One of the challenges we found while driving through Turkey is that there are no drive-thru's. There are many little kabob stops in local villages, but nothing quick and easy when you have a long day of driving and can't afford the time to sit down at a restaurant. We ended up eating granola bars for lunch many days. After several hours of driving on our journey home, we spotted something familiar...a Burger King at a Turkish mall. Since we had a light lunch and skipped dinner, we were eager to make a quick stop at this familiar spot.
As we walked into the Burger King, we quickly remembered that we were still in Turkey...and the employees didn't speak English. We went through our routine of "survival communication" which consists of charades, pointing, and a couple of key Turkish words that we have learned. We felt that we had successfully communicated our order of 2 burgers, 2 fries, 2 Cokes and a happy meal. Phew! The Burger King employee then asked us a question in Turkish. No idea. We did our usual smiles and sheepish "I don't know" nods. He then made a gesture as if he was holding a handle and said "Bucket?". Ah, yes. Bucket. Yes, we would like our food "to go". Thank you.
Dan handed the man some Turkish Lira and the man handed us an unusually large amount of brown Burger King bags. When we left the restaraunt Dan commented, "Wow! That was an expensive Burger King! Our meal cost 40 TL (which is almost 30 dollars)!" We peered into our 3 large bags to find 5 Cokes, 5 cheeseburgers, and 5 orders of fries. I guess we'll never know if our Burger King friends thought it'd be a funny joke or if we're really that bad at communicating in a foreign country. Either way, it was definitely a memorable language barrier experience. And we had all of the fast food our American hearts desired.