Essentially wending our way back to Istanbul, we headed to Assos and the Caravansy Hotel by the sea. Our concierge graciously booked 2 days at this wonderful rustic resort that looked over the bay and up a hill to a castle. We had a good view of the acropolis in Pergamon as we passed, but we didn’t stop. The ride down the hills to Assos was long and hazardous but we made it and checked into our third floor room-with-balcony.
Only eight rooms had a view-with-balcony, which had a heavy overhang to keep out the weather and resembled a small watch-tower.
Walking the waterfront and the tiny village only took 30 minutes. Off to the. Pool…freezing.. .ha! The 7:30 seating for dinner offered minimal choices: fish or chicken. The food was good and the service excellent. Then the rains came down and we got to watch passing ships from our watch-tower.
Breakfast overlooking the bay, with some clouds and choppy waves. We tried walking up the hill to the village above but only got as far as the crumbling but majestic amphitheater when it started to drizzle. The rain actually enhanced the appearance of this ancient structure but not the quality of the dirt road returning to the hotel. We had to step off the road when cars passed. The second time this happened we heard some noise from a fruit orchard and there was a herd of goats, chewing quietly, staring at us. I whispered and they cocked their heads, moving closer, paralleling us along the fence fearlessly. Being unused to goats on the other side of a shabby fence, we walked quietly until the road shifted away. Then, bravely, we looked back and missed their curiosity. Watching them chew made me hungry. Nearing our hotel, we stopped at Gazleme, a small restaurant with grape vines covering the overhead lattice work that kept us dry. Lovely lamb stew. Our hotel was filled with Turks. The only English spoken was by one receptionist. Our Turkish was meager but people were very hospitable.
Taking a ferry boat to “wine island” today. The approaching pier of this old fortress, “Bozcaada Castle” loomed over us. The castle was built originally in the 8th century on Roman ruins and classic Roman design. It towered over the bay guarding the Dardinelles.
After lunch we found the winery but alas, no tasting, only selling. Then we ferried back to Asia and drove to Canakkale, got another ferry to Europe and drove to Gelibolu (The Greek Gallipolis is better remembered as the site of a major battle in the 1st World War).
While crossing the Dardenelles, I noticed the many crumbling fortresses lining this most strategic body of water. More than 5 countries used the Straits to get to the Mediterranean, a vitally important access to commerce. From the looks of the many fortresses, it was not easy. We found Hotel Owa in the non-tourist town of Gelibolu and got a lovely large room. Our balcony overlooked the downtown and a very busy harbor. Our concierge recommended Ilham Restaurant for fresh seafood. We ate on the outside deck to watch the water action. Their special was grilled sea bass and it was excellent. Everything was lovely. . .except for the three kids screaming and running down the aisle. Their parents totally ignored the disruption of all the other diners while they continued chatting with their guest. There was muted applauses when they got up to leave-they pretended not to hear.