In search of Brad Pitt’s Horse

The last stop our on grand Turkish road trip was to visit Hisarlik—believed to be the famed city of Troy and setting Homer used for his epic poem.


On our way, we drove through Çanakkale, where the Trojan horse from the Brad Pitt movie Troy stands near the city’s harbor. The Hollywood horse was gifted to the city. And at the risk of sounding silly, we had to get a peek at the fictitious horse from a movie about a mythical story invented by Homer. It’s all a bit of Hollywood nonsense but we gotta say, this rough planked horse is dramatically imaginative. Everything about it says, tow this sucker into the city gates and display it for everyone to see. Which is exactly what Çanakkale has done and with much better results than what happened in Homer’s Troy. 


Over in Hisarlik—the ruins of Troy, we got to see the other version of the Homer’s make-believe Trojan horse. Sadly, we found this windowed version in the throws of major renovations and most of its planked guts were laying in a heap near its base. This wasn’t quite so disappointing though, we’ve seen photos of it. And of the two fictional horses, Brad’s is our favorite. We think Homer would agree with our assessment that a sneaky Greek hideout horse designed to camouflage a belly full of fierce warriors inside, should not have windows. 


With the whole horse issue settled, we roamed the real ruins of Troy. This scattered city is a complicated agglomeration of ruins. So complicated we had to use the word “agglomeration” to describe it. This place is layered like a Ukrainian Medovik cake. One city built upon the foundation of the other—nine layers deep. Its striations of 4,000 years of history are a jumble to the untrained eye.  


The archeologists who worked to sort all this rubble into definitive time stamps must have played a formidable game of historical pick-up-sticks. It might have been easier to write an epic poem in dactylic hexameter. 


Excavated from all this historical confusion are the statuary and treasure unearthed and displayed in Troy’s museum—In Aphrodisia’s museum we discovered a skull with an arrow still imbedded in it like a Halloween pumpkin. Yet, no sign of a pierced Achilles anywhere here. 


After the four of us conquered our visit to Troy, without the need for a sneaky horse, we headed back to the Istanbul airport. Our boats were almost ready to launch.


We had seen the soaring heights of the Hagia, stood in the shadows of Hittite Lions, crawled into the underbelly of Cappadocia, soared in a balloon over terraced pools, and tracked down Brad Pitt’s horse. 


A odyssey definitely worth a Homeric poem, indeed. 

When I was working in NYC, I met a guy from Çanakkale and he was really proud of this horse that was gifted to his city. He told me I must go to Turkiye and see his town and horse. So I promised him I would someday.


This was a fun kind of promise to keep. I stood before the horse and thought of him and how one sunny afternoon while strolling through Central Park we started a conversation. A stranger, turned into a momentary friend, and travel agent. Life is good when you make an impromptu friend.

This is a photo of my niece Danielle’s super cute and awesome kids in front of the Troy horse just three months earlier. Here you can see it in all its windowed splendor.  

Seriously, aren’t they cute kids?!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *