7 Oct 2010

2nd day at Eskisehir

View of Eskisehir from Selale Park

Old Quarter of Eskisehir

View of the Posuk River in Eskisehir
Early on the second day we drove out of town towards Gordion, a small village  about 80 km away and famed for its ancient sites. It is said that when Alexander the Great came to conquer Asia Minor, he was asked to unravel the great Gordion Knot, which only a wise ruler could do. We all know that Alexander was a great warrior, but from this story we also know he was a practical and intelligent man! Instead of spending hours trying to unravel the knot, he just took his sword and cut it into two, thus unraveling the knot at the same time. He then went on to conquer the country, defeating King Darrius III and proclaiming himself Emperor of  Asia Minor. At that time Asia Minor included Persia, (today's Iraq), Turkey and Syria. We saw the ruins of the city that was built there in the early 7th century, the ramparts of the citadel and parts of the walls of this ancient city.
Ruins of the Gordion civilisation

Near Gordion too there's another famous figure, though this one  we all thought was only fictitious. This person is no less than the famous King Midas (pronounced as Mi (me) Das (Dust). Yes, the one with the golden touch. It seems there really was a King Midas and he did indeed had a golden touch, that is, whatever he touched turned to gold. The legend is that Midas had performed a good act for one of the gods (cant remember which one) and in return was told he could have anything he wanted. So he said that he wanted anything he touched to be gold and at once he got his wish. For two days Midas was very happy, running all over the palace and touching everything. Everything that he touched did indeed turn to gold. But alas, soon he realised the foolishness of his wish because he could not eat. Even the food that he tried to swallow became gold pellets and who could eat gold pellets? In sorrow he sat in the garden wondering how he could eat and drink when his little son came running to him. He turned to see the little boy and was so happy to see the child forgot about the wish. He carried his son in  his arms and found to his horror that the boy had turned into a golden statue. Regretting his greedy wish, he begged for forgiveness and told the God that he would give up everything, just to have his son back.  He was told to go and bathe in the river Oshu, near his palace and the gift would be overturned. And after he had bathed in the river, he found that everything was back to its original status and his son was again a normal boy. From that incident he realised how foolish he was and that he had to be grateful for what he had.

In Gordion we visited the tomb of King Midas, which was deep under a hillock. The museum c lose to the tomb had artifacts and even a statue of King Midas. I knew that Turkey had a rich history but never really understood how rich it actually is, with a civilisation that goes back to Mesopotamia, the Romans and later the Ottoman Turks.

At the Gordion Museum with a collage of Alexander the Great at the back.

Having coffee at the colorful garden of the Museum cafe

1 comment:

naida said...

What an interesting trip you had! Very nice that you got to see the tomb of King Midas. And how fascinating to visit the ancient city. The garden sounds lovely too. Nice photos!