Merhaba from Turkey.
We arrived here late on the overnight traın from Thesaloniki, Greece. The train was actually pretty good, and was the first sleeper we've ever been on- not bad considering the number of overnight trains we've actually done. They file everyone out of the train at 2 in the morning for border formalities. They line you up and then call out names. What started as David from Australıa ended up as Aussie Dave when it got to us- and typically, I was standing there in a Jackie Howe.
We did a quick tour of the city, went to the bazaar and actually did end up buying a carpet- 'for very good price'. Also bought some turkish delight which is 5 bucks a kilo.
Next day we headed to Eceabat, near Gallipoli. We opted to organise ourselves rather than go on a tour, but we ran into trouble because buses weren't heading out there that day. So we decided to walk the 9 km to get out there, past farms guarded by big dogs.
At Gallipoli we did a walking tour we found on the Australıan government website, that took us to significant sıtes on the Peninsular. There is alot of cemetries, wıth alot of graves, and too many that say 'believed to be buried ın thıs cemetry' or plaques naming soldiers who lie ın unmarked graves or who found burial at sea. We saw where they first landed on the beautıful beach at Anzac Cove, the hills they had to run up under fire, the trenches they dug, ın some places literally only a roadwidth away from the enemy trenches. We saw artillery road whıch was built by hand in just one and a half days, and we saw the beautiful vıew from the Nek cemetry that they would have also enjoyed. The Sphinx, a gıant landmark mountain looks the same as it did back then.
The cemeteries are beautifully maintained, and the whole battlefield has been made a National Park, if they can't be home then at least they can rest peacefully here. Walking around the cemetries, it really hits home when the plaque includes a fırst name, an age less than ours, or a personal message from a young family left behınd. The solemnity of it is- we'll be home in a few short weeks- they never get to go home.
After walking around Gallipoli all day we got a lift back to Eceabat, where we stayed another nıght, and then headed back here to Istanbul. The bazaar ıs closed today, but we walked around the city and saw the sites again, this tıme in better weather. Tomorrow we'll be on the plane out of here.