October 23, 2011

Turkey: Gallipoli

Continuation from here

The next day, we checked out from the hostel as we’re gonna start our tour with Turista Travel. Their representative was supposed to pick us up at 6.30am but we waited until 7am and nobody showed up. My sister called the agency and we kept on getting ‘we’re on the way’ replies. I thought we were conned. Finally a guy showed up with a van at almost 8am and said we needed to get to the bus station fast. Our bus would be leaving at 8.30am. Whaddeeee??!!

The next thing I knew, we’re on the road speeding like F1 drivers. We reached the bus station at 8.30am sharp and luckily the bus hadn’t left yet. Pheww!!! The guy gave us the bus ticket, said bye and we’re off leaving Istanbul. 

I was so jakun when I hopped on the bus. I'll show you why...

The bus was like an aircraft ok! Aircraft has in-flight entertainment for their passengers during a flight and this bus has a similar in-bus entertainment. Woot!

You can watch the route you take, or watch movies and listen to the radio during the journey.

Awesome kan? And the similarities with an aircraft didn't end there.

Look! They had snacks onboard too. Double woot!

those cakes were yummylicious !

inside the bus

We followed a tour so everything was paid for already but I took note of the bus fare just in case I want to make a trip of my own in the future. The fare was only TL30 and you got all those services like boarding a plane. I wish Malaysia has this kinda bus. Or is the Aeroline Coach to Singapore like this? I don't know since I've never boarded one.

Oh I should tell you about our tour. It wasn’t like a grouped tour where you move in groups with a tour guide in a chartered bus or van. The tour that we took is like a link-to-link tour. We’re now on our way to Gallipoli. Then in Gallipoli a tour guide would take care of us. Next, when we moved to another area, another tour guide would take care of us and so on.

We reached our destination, Eceabat at 1.30pm. Met our tour guide, had lunch and started our tour of Gallipoli. 

This place was where the Gallipoli Campaign took place nearly 100 years ago. Once a battlefield in the World War 1, it is now a serene site and a national park.

We were first brought to visit the ANZAC cove, a beach where the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops first landed.

memorial of Anzac Cove

The history was that the Allied forces set out to capture Istanbul, the then capital of the Ottoman Empire. The battle failed and more than 10,000 New Zealand and Australian servicemen were among the 100,000 soldiers killed in the eight-month combat.

the Sphinx, one of the battlefield's most distinctive physical landmarks


We were also brought to Lone Pine Australian Memorial and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly and Kaba Tepe Gallipoli Museum. 

Australian cemetery at Lone Pine

the Turkish memorial and cemetery

 Hill 60 - the New Zealand memorial

I walked around the cemeteries and noticed that the average age of the soldiers were from 18-22. How brave the youngsters back then!

a statue of a Turk soldier carrying a wounded Australian soldier

underground tunnel and hide out place

the trenches

Luckily, we had an excellent guide who knew heaps of details about World War I and the Gallipoli landings from both sides of the conflict. He made the history sounded interesting. I should've gone to visit these historical places before I sat for my SPM history paper. Might get an A1 then!

After the tour ended, we boarded ferry crossing the Dardanelles to Canakkale. 


The crossing only took 45 minutes to reach Canakkale. We were sent to our hotel, located very near to the quay. We're free at night so I took the opportunity to roam the small town. 

The area around the hotel was quite happening. It was the eve of Hari Raya Aidiladha or better known as Qurban Bayrami in Turkey. Nahh.. I didn’t see people making ketupat or rendang, instead I saw people drinking beer like it was the eve of Christmas. Well I guessed they were tourists.

Continued walking around and I came across this horse! 

and that was what to come the next day...

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