Going to Gallipoli
Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
74Trip End Sep 11, 2007
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From Istanbul, we jumped in taxi to the Bus Station (Otogar) where after some running around we found out that our bus to Cannackle will be about 4 hours away - so in the middle of the most giant bus station ever we set some tasks for ourselves.
1. Book accommodation for the next couple of days
2. Secure the 1st Kebab for the trip
Ms Mari - had secured the 1st Travel Title for the trip (you can see that this travel thing was like a well oiled company) - "Head of Communications & International Relations".
With copious hours of self-education of the Turkish language under her belt already (2-3hrs), there was only one person to try and book the accommodation.
As we picked up the phone (after some minor technical issues, like dialling the area code), Mari was speaking a somewhat fluent/broken/more broken language to secure the next nights sleeping quarters. As the receiver is returned to the cradle, the 3 of us complete a little "jig of joy" (yes small things do amuse) as we move onto the next task. of securing "Kebabage".
As we look at our watch (actually Mike was the only one to wear a watch - making him Official Timekeeper "Omega" we discover that only an hour or so before our bus leaves. So in the middle of the giant Bus Terminal we find a grassy knoll and eat our Kebabs and attempt to play Backgammon on the tiniest back-gammon board ever.
Eventually onto the Bus and we are off.
WOW! Turkish bus transport is amazing - comfy, air-condition, cold water and snacks served and your very own F1 Driver at the helm - what more could you ask for.
6 hours later..
Jay - 5hrs sleep
Mari and Mike - 0hrs sleep
... we arrive at our destination.
So Gallipoli and the whole ANZAC thing...Not really sure what my feelings where of the whole ANZAC day thing. Each April, some 10,000+ Aussie and Kiwis (& Turks) crowd the peninsula for the dawn service. Now the idea of that many Aussies in one place gives me that "oh dear" feeling, so I have deliberately not ventured to Turkey for that day, but kept it locally in London - but being there in Mid July - does not really change the importance of the place and more importantly the "education" you get from the guide.
Sure we are all taught the basics in school (ie watch the Mel Gibson movie) - but it is not until you get there and spend some 5 hours walking around and travelling to the graves and cemeteries of the fallen, that it all sinks in. Quite an amazing place.
Sure I could dribble on here for ages about this and that and all the rest, but probably the best thing for you to do, is if you get the chance to visit Turkey, take the time to shoot down to Cannakle or Ecbate and check it out for yourself..
After the tour, a very quick beer (because apparently it was Beer O'clock) and onto the ferry across the river for another bus journey down to Izmir. Yep another 8 hours (this time overnight) and as we arrive into Izmir in the early dawn, the guys are not too happy. Why....?
Just in case you have not seen the pattern here I will try and put it in black and white for you.
This bus trip.
Jay - Approx 6-7 Hrs sleep
Mari and Mike - 0 Hrs sleep
Next time Izmir... "Turkish Men, Bubbles and Razor Blades"....