Canakkale is the home of the legends of Troy and the excavations of the land of the Iliad, Homer’s fictional account of the battle of Sparta and Troy over the most beautiful woman in their world, Helen of Troy. Briefly, it was the call of Paris to fulfill his destiny predicted by the oracle and gifted to him by Aphrodite. The story is fiction but the battleground is real and believed to be uncovered in Canakkale. Archeologists have discovered ten settlement layers and it was this unearthing that our tour focused on. As fascinating as this information was, it turned out not to be the highlight of our day.
Following the two-hour walk-through the archeological site, we headed for the new Museum of Troy, a new, as of 2018, contribution to archeology. Still exhausted from yesterday’s all-day experiences, Robert and I headed for the café, enjoying a well-deserved rest. We joined two young women who offered us the vacant chairs at their table. One topic led to another of photography and Robert began a photo shoot with these two very beautiful young women. This attracted the attention of five equally engaging young men who also wanted to pose for the camera. Soon we found ourselves surrounded by a cadre of five additional youngsters. We learned that all of these young people were students from a high school in Macedonia, all of whom were conversationally fluent in English. Soon, popping up with a microphone and many questions was a young male interviewer whom we perceive to be their teacher. We and our lives became the center of these students’ attention. For approximately 30 minutes, we two octogenarians engaged in conversation with approximately 15 very well-behaved teenagers.
The interviewer also was accompanied by his 11-year-old sister who had her own questions.
Soon we were all called to our buses, and our moment in history came to an end. To experience such a joyful engagement with youngsters of another culture could not have been planned. It will undoubtedly be the best memory we will hold of this trip to Turkey. I hope there will be a chance for these youngsters or their teachers to catch this blog and know what appreciation we hold in our hearts for them and this encounter.
From this chance meeting, we are confident that the future of our world will be in excellent hands.