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Istanbul and Gallipoli Peniusula

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"Lest we forget"

We left our apartment early on Good Friday excited about our decision to travel to Istanbul and spend more of our remaining time in Turkey.

The metro and bus took us easily to Budapest Airport in plenty of time for our two hour flight to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport on the Asian side of Istanbul.

On arriving we quickly found the bus that takes you into the heart of Istanbul. For around $6 this bus takes you directly to Taksim Square. Much cheaper than the quoted $100 for a hotel transfer! From Taksim Square the metro had us within easy walking distance of our hotel in the Fatih district looking over the Sea of Marmara.

Crossing the Bosphorus into Istanbul

Crossing the Bosphorus into Istanbul

The Metro in Taksim Square

The Metro in Taksim Square

After a quick gin and ‘lemonate’ (seems we must extend the search for tonic) we did a brief scrutiny of the local area, walked up to the Blue Mosque, grabbed a late bite to eat and then wandered back to our hotel.

Gin and Lemonate anyone?

Gin and Lemonate anyone?

Images from an evening walk from our hotel

Images from an evening walk from our hotel

Images from an evening walk from our hotel

Images from an evening walk from our hotel

Images from an evening walk from our hotel - The Sea of Marmara

Images from an evening walk from our hotel - The Sea of Marmara

Images from an evening walk from our hotel - The Blue Mosque

Images from an evening walk from our hotel - The Blue Mosque

Images from an evening walk from our hotel

Images from an evening walk from our hotel

Images from an evening walk from our hotel - everything the 'aging gentleman' needs!!

Images from an evening walk from our hotel - everything the 'aging gentleman' needs!!

The Blue Mosque under lights

The Blue Mosque under lights

The next morning, we caught the metro back to Taksim Square and followed a route back through the city suggested to us by Wayne & Raewyn Green, friends of ours who lived near Istanbul for a time while teaching here.

Taksim Square

Taksim Square

As is always the case we ‘sussed’ out a good place for coffee to get us ‘revved up’ for the day. We found a nice roof top café that gave us some great views over the city.

Coffee with a view

Coffee with a view

Coffee with a view

Coffee with a view

The security presence in the city is obvious but not over-powering. Metro stations and large stores have scanners and controlled entry and the main tourist areas have a higher presence of police and armed vehicles.

We followed Istiklal Cadessi (this street used to have an old tram operating down the middle however this has now been ripped up) along to the Galata Tower where there were queues of people lining to get up to see the view. We were happy with our view from coffee so carried on. We wandered slowly down the quirky little streets until we reached the bridge across the Golden Horn (a branch of the Bosphoros). The bridge at both ends was lined with fisherman. From there we walked up through the Spice Bazaar and into the Grand Bazaar. The crowds were amazing and nothing quite like we have seen anywhere else on our travels!

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Galata Tower

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Galata Tower

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Galata Tower

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Galata Tower

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul - some Mosques are bigger than others!

Walking the streets of Istanbul - some Mosques are bigger than others!

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Spice Bazaar - it's a shame the photos can't replicate the smell

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Spice Bazaar - it's a shame the photos can't replicate the smell

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Spice Bazaar

Walking the streets of Istanbul - Spice Bazaar

Walking the streets of Istanbul - The Grand Bazaar

Walking the streets of Istanbul - The Grand Bazaar

Walking the streets of Istanbul - The Grand Bazaar

Walking the streets of Istanbul - The Grand Bazaar

We continued up to Gülhane Park and the Blue Mosque stopping for a tea break on the way. The crowds were much smaller to enter the Blue Mosque, however the carpet salesmen were out in force!! We followed our way back down the hill to a bar not far from our hotel for a cold beer and orange juice.

Walking the streets of Istanbul - chunky scaffolding!

Walking the streets of Istanbul - chunky scaffolding!

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul

Walking the streets of Istanbul - some Mosques are smaller than others

Walking the streets of Istanbul - some Mosques are smaller than others

Turkish Tea Time

Turkish Tea Time

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

Turkish Tea Time

Turkish Tea Time

I don't think this guy is auditioning for a job as the Otago Rugby team mascot?

I don't think this guy is auditioning for a job as the Otago Rugby team mascot?

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

A quiet beer at the end of a day after walking the streets of Istanbul

A quiet beer at the end of a day after walking the streets of Istanbul

Dinner that night was at a roof top restaurant we would only recommend for the view!

The sun setting over the Sea of Marmara - from our roof top restaurant in Istanbul

The sun setting over the Sea of Marmara - from our roof top restaurant in Istanbul

The sun setting over the Sea of Marmara - from our roof top restaurant in Istanbul

The sun setting over the Sea of Marmara - from our roof top restaurant in Istanbul

The sun setting over the Sea of Marmara - from our roof top restaurant in Istanbul

The sun setting over the Sea of Marmara - from our roof top restaurant in Istanbul

With the good advice from Raewyn and Wayne we planned a 10 day trip around the South West area of Turkey. Our rough plan was to head down to the Gallipoli Peninsula, on around the Aegean Coast and up into the Cappadocia region before flying back to Istanbul from Kayseri on the 26th of April.
We planned on returning to the same hotel in Istanbul so trimmed our luggage down from 45 to 15kg and left the balance behind. No green packs this time so we had everything in one bag. We started our journey with two nights booked at the Crowed House Hotel in Eceabat and flights back from Kayseri. The rest of the journey would unfold as we moved along.

On the bus to Eceabat

On the bus to Eceabat

We caught the bus from Istanbul at 10.30am and arrived in Eceabat at the scheduled time of 4.00pm. Pauli our host at the Crowed House Hotel was certainly familiar with welcoming guests from downunder! There was plenty to indicate there had been many before us! The town was small and quiet so the restaurateurs were keen for our custom. The conversations provided much hilarity as not all were as conversant with English as Pauli.

Gallipoli Memorial on the waterfront at Eceabat

Gallipoli Memorial on the waterfront at Eceabat

The front door to Crowded House Hotel

The front door to Crowded House Hotel

Making friends at the local cafe in Eceabat!

Making friends at the local cafe in Eceabat!

Making friends at the local cafe in Eceabat!

Making friends at the local cafe in Eceabat!

The harbour at Eceabat

The harbour at Eceabat

We had pre-booked a tour of the Gallipoli Battlefields for the following day so we could easily fend off the plentiful offers coming our way!
Our tour the next day started with lunch! We were fortunate to have a very small group. Just two other girls from Australia made up our little group. The girls were teaching in Ankara and it was school holidays so took the opportunity to visit.

One of the last things we did before leaving NZ two years ago was to visit 'Gallipoli: The scale of our war', an exhibition at the National Museum at Te Papa in Wellington. It was a sober reminder of the extraordinary situation New Zealand and Australian soldiers found themselves in during this campaign! If there was just one thing to be done while visiting Turkey, it was to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula!

Denis well remembers the prominence placed on the sacrifices made by Old Boys of his High School (Waitaki Boys) in this campaign through the construction of the ‘Hall of Memories’ and the naming of dormitories after sites on the Peninsula… Chunuk Bair, Sari Bair, Lone Pine, Anzac Cove, Quinn’s Post to name a few.

It was a sombre day indeed and certainly put the geographical nature of the demands placed on soldiers in perspective!

ANZAC Cove

ANZAC Cove

ANZAC Cove

ANZAC Cove

Ari Burnu Cemetery

Ari Burnu Cemetery

Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove

ANZAC Commemortive Site

ANZAC Commemortive Site

Ataturk's message to ANZAC Mothers

Ataturk's message to ANZAC Mothers

Ari Burnu Cemetery - Anzac Cove

Ari Burnu Cemetery - Anzac Cove

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial


The view south along the peninsular from Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

The view south along the peninsular from Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

Lone Pine

Lone Pine

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial

Trenches near 'Johnston's Jolly'

Trenches near 'Johnston's Jolly'

The Quinn's Post 'Battle Lines' today!

The Quinn's Post 'Battle Lines' today!

The Quinn's Post 'Battle Lines' today!

The Quinn's Post 'Battle Lines' today!

The view down Scrapnel Gully towards ANZAC Cove

The view down Scrapnel Gully towards ANZAC Cove

The Nek Cemetary

The Nek Cemetary

Chunuk Bair Cemetery and Memorial

Chunuk Bair Cemetery and Memorial

Chunuk Bair Cemetery and Memorial

Chunuk Bair Cemetery and Memorial

Chunuk Bair Cemetery and Memorial

Chunuk Bair Cemetery and Memorial

Our Turkish tour guide did a very good job of keeping a ‘balanced’ view of this fateful campaign.

57th Turkish Infantry Regiment Cemetery and Memorial at Quinns Post - not one soldier survived from this regiment

57th Turkish Infantry Regiment Cemetery and Memorial at Quinns Post - not one soldier survived from this regiment

A list of Turkish soldiers at a mass burial site near Quinn's Post

A list of Turkish soldiers at a mass burial site near Quinn's Post

The last Turkish soldier from the campaign died at 110 years old!

The last Turkish soldier from the campaign died at 110 years old!

We feel fortunate to have visited this Peninsula that defined the courage and commitment of the ANZAC’s and earned them respect worldwide!

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"Lest we forget"
The Woodsies

Posted by denis.lynelle 05:14 Archived in Turkey

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