Gallipoli (ANZAC DAY 2008), a morning to remember
Trip Start Apr 23, 2008
5Trip End Apr 30, 2008
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The Spice Bazaar was truly amazing, vaulted ceilings, colorful spices everywhere, was a sight to behold. Donna and I stocked up on all the necessities for our 5 hour bus ride to Gallipoli (Turkish Delight, Assorted Nuts etc) before making a last minute dash to the tour office.
And the journey to ANZAC begins.....
Despite a 150 minute delay (utilised for a good game of cards), our bus arrived and we all boarded to head to Gallipoli (or so we thought)
Arriving at ANZAC Cove at 11.30pm, we were dropped some three kms from ANZAC Cove. The walk was Eirey, as the surrounding hills were dark and hidden from view. As the lights and stadium seating came into view, only then did we realise how big the event was and that we were only two amongst 7000 strong Aussies and Kiwi's. It was only when we stopped walking, that the warmth of the bus began to wear off and our thermal underwear start to let the cold wind in.
Finding some friends we meet in Ireland, we chatted about possible ways to find seating or squeeze amongst the people lying on the cold hard ground. Luckily, as we looked stranded, some nice people had some spare room next to them on the grand stand. Happily propping ourselves there, Donna and I begun to imitate penguins and huddle together whilst wearing sleeping bags (you have to see the photo's to believe it). Luckily on advice from friends and family, we took our sleeping bags and manged to keep warm by zipping ourselves up in them.
As we sat there on the seats, it dawned to Donna that we had no perspective of what type of terrain the grandstand was on. All interviews and documentaries we have seen and to the ones we heard on that night, we had a limited understanding of the fierce terrain the ANZAC soldiers had to tackle. In answer to our questions, the dawn light began to break on the horizon to reveal the cliff face right behind us
In reflection, it was amazing to see and learn about the rich, sad history of the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli yet stand proud to the event which seemed to determine one of Australia's national identities.
Once the ceremony was over, we walked along the aptly named Shrapnel way towards the Australian memorial "Lone Pine" and then onto "Chnuk Blair" the New Zealand memorial.
After the day was over, Donna and I decided to leave the tour at [canake ]. Navigating towards [Ephesus], despite being told we can not achieve our goal, we found transport which arrived at 1.30 am...