3rd August 2015:
Next morning it’s on the road again … Heading for Canakkale on the shores of the Dardanelles, across the water from Gallipoli.
We make good time and get swim on the shores of the Marmara sea at a little sea side village called Gurecialti … A village of holiday homes by a tranquil sea. Then find a spot in the shade in the next village for lunch of bread, cheese , promote and tomatoes and cucumber … ( our standard far… Plus the best peaches we have had so far purchased the day before in those fantastic markets in Bursa.
Then on Canakkale …on the southern banks of the Dardanelles. We plan for 2 nights here and stay at the ANZAC hotel … Because we are patriotic …but mainly because Lonely Planet says they have parking.
We are finally just across the water from Europe. Feeling quite proud of our achievements and celebrate with very nice seafood dinner overlooking the ferry port where we will cross.
The next day … 29 July Barry, Pete and I opt to head to Troy. The fabled city of the Trojan Horse story of Homer. (And the movie ). Tom chooses a trip to an Island for some sun and beach.
Troy today is set of ruins and with a good self guided audio tour around the ruins you get the idea on the 4,500 year history of the city or more correctly city on top of city ….and hear the tale of the German business man who became obsessed in finding the place in the late 1900s. In the process he stole many of the treasures he found and provided a poor example of archeological technique …providing a basis for much better techniques to be developed.
Then in the afternoon …. I have more adventures tying to use Western Union … First time after ½ hour wait … Sorry not working . And then at the second back after a 20 minutes wait … I am disappointed again when the nice lady explains that she believes I need a Turkish tax file number to transfer money. The form , as I read it asks for either a tax file number or a passport number . After much discussion and an impasse … And bunch of other customers getting fed up with waiting I leave bewildered at how are we going to pay our dues to the nice fellow in Ashgabat who helped us out by delaying our payment so we had enough cash for Iran???
On the 30 July we cross the Dardanelles and we are in Europe !!!!!
We head of to explore Gallipoli. First stop the simulation museum … A very powerful , multi media experience designed for both Turkish and Foreigners like us. The whole battle and plan of attach and defence is explained as we move from room to room set up like the different parts of the story. One room a battle ship, the next the trenches etc and the story unfolds on film and surround sound.
Mainly we learn how important this place is to the Turkish … We think our ANZAC legend is big …and for us it is … But for Turkish people this place helped define their nation. Every school child is required to visit the area as part of there schooling …that’s is how significant this place is.
After show which goes for over an hour … We take in the rest of the museum, before venturing around the various monument on the peninsula. Not lot more I can say. But a very, very moving experience as you contemplate the massive loss of life.
I think the best way I can express this is by repeating some words expressed to Tom and I when we are talking with trader we are buying some goods from in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul a day or so latter .
He said something like this :
“You ANZACs are our most interesting enemy. In Turkey we have been in many wars over the generations.
But at Gallipoli there where the British and the French and others but it is the ANZACs we respect. Some how you weren’t supposed to be there .. But we where all there and now we need to forget the waring .. And move on”.