Days 15 – 17: (Finishing up) Turkey [Istanbul & Gallipoli]

 

Day 15 – Thursday 5th July

After an overnight bus back to Istanbul we arrived around 6am feeling very seedy and tired. It was a very draining trip as it was near impossible to sleep while the driver cranked his radio all night and pumped the air conditioner, probably to keep himself awake…as well as the rest of the bus. After freshening up at the hotel a few of us went and checked out the Basilica Cistern. It was pretty cool, literally, being that it is an underground waterproof receptacle for holding liquids.

Inside the cistern

Statue of Medusas head

As there was a mix-up with our original flight out of Melbourne, Intrepid were nice enough to give us a free upgrade to the Best Western hotel on the otherside of town. We all met up with Annies brother for a pretty relaxed afternoon of beers on the roof of the hotel and then went for our favourite beers and shisha. Jenny and I have an early start tomorrow so didn’t stay out late.

Day 16 – Friday 6th July

For the final two days of our Intrepid tour, Jenny and I went for a vist to Gallipoli. We caught a mini-bus from the hotel to the main bus depot where we travelled about five and a half hours to get to a nearby town Eceabat. We dropped our bags off at the hotel ‘Crowded House’ [this is probably where the band got their name], had a quick bite to eat then were swept up by a new tour guide and a minibus with 10 other people.

It was pretty a big day with visits to lots of locations, our guide told us stories that are famous from the war such as Simpson and his donkey, and about the day where both sides called a truce to bury the dead soldiers.

“Scary” Turk carrying back an Aussie soldier

Lone Pine

We took a walk through some of the original trenches, being very careful not to step on any of the barbed wire that still lines the dirt walls.

Some trenches

More “enemy” trenches

There are quite a lot of memorial sites for both sides that we visited, jumping on and off the minibus every 5 minutes between sites. Hearing stories of brave soldiers; the youngest Turkish was 13 and a 14 year old Australian. It was a pretty hot day as we wandered around. I cannot even fathom how hard life would have been for the soldiers living in the trenches.

Day 17 – Saturday 7th July

Today is our last day in Turkey and I’m a little bit sad to be leaving the Motherland. Definitely filled with a new found appreciateion for the country and the amazing people that live here, I will be leaving with plenty of amazing memories. I’m sure that I will be back again many more times in the future.

Not much else to report for the day as we prepare for the next leg of the journey, Greece.

Some last travel photography of our time in Turkey…

So long, for now, Turkey!
Up next, Greece…

 

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