Day 28 - Tour Day 26 - Kavala to Gallipoli, Turkey
Another day on the road, today we head to Gallipoli, Turkey, this means we will be crossing the boarder so chances are it'll take a little bit of time to cross. A few sore and tired heads this morning as there were a few out quite late. I'm still not feeling the best today either, but mines not from drinking too much, but I'll have a few hours to sleep on bus if all goes well so hopefully I'll get better as we go. We headed off and after a couple of hours made it to the boarder, we had our passports checked while we waited in "no mans land" for everything to get checked over. We then continued toward the Turkish border and drove past the armed soldiers who looked all of about 16 or 17, chances are they were older, but who knows. We reached the Turkish border and one of the guards got on the bus and checked the names on our passports, he approached Fabian and checked the name, looked at Fabian again, checked the name again, checked what country the passport was from, looked at him again. And then carried on. Fabians last name is Tahir which is Albanian, so probably had something to do with the checking of the passport so much. We were let through and then continued for another hour or two until we reached our hotel for the night to pick up our guide and then headed onto our guided tour of Gallipoli. It was here on 25th April 1915 that troops from the nations of Australia and New Zealand landed as part of an offensive against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. We headed to a beach first to overlook the bar and were shown how the ships were to come in and how all the guns were setup along with mines etc. after which we headed back onto the bus and made our way up to Lone Pine, a spot that acts as a cemetery for the Australian lives lost in battle. The lost of names on the walls was huge and was sad to see the names of so many who died. We took about 10 minutes looking around and paying our respect to those soldiers. Lone Pine Cemetery is named after the hill as use to only have 1 pine on it, the pine that is there now is not the same one, but is a second generation of the first tree that was there which is a nice thought knowing that the trees heritage is still there too. We then proceeded on down the road to some of the ANZAC trenches which haven't been maintained, but that's more of an intentional thing, they said when they did the Turkish ones, they found a lot of remains of soldiers and other things like weapons or ammo, so they just want to leave it as it is, I guess as a sign of respect. We then proceeded onto the Turkish cemetery memorial site before continuing onto the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair hill, which is the highest hill that New Zealanders captured while waiting for British reinforcements to show which never did and the hill was lost back to the Turkish. Another sad moment, I took the opportunity to head straight to the wall with all the names on it and read every name on that wall, and then headed down to look at the tombstones just a little further down. I then headed back up the hill and looked at the amazing view overlooking the bay. Certainly a spectacular view. These days you can walk the track that the kiwis took to get to the top of the hill in about 1:30 hours, but back in the day it took them at least a couple of days. We got back into the bus and headed down to ANZAC cove, this is where they hold the ANZAC ceremonies each year. Actually, it's the second site, the original site just a few hundred meters down the road has become to small to host everyone so the new site has been established to accommodate more people. After visiting ANZAC cove and one more cemetery (one that was used from day one of the battle) we headed back to our hotel to checkin. By this time my throat was really sore so I headed off to find a pharmacy to get some more stuff. After which we headed to dinner. It was a pretty average meal, but I enjoyed the entree which had a carrot purée which you put on bread, I had a few of those and skipped the next meal, but had the main when it came out as that was chicken and I just love chicken. After dinner, everyone headed off to bed pretty quickly, it was a long and tiring day in the heat of the sun and some sill have barely slept since the previous day, so getting an early night was a good idea. Unfortunately for me and Ryan who I shared a room with, we both had massive coughing fits lasting a long time, so sleep was a it hard to come by for a while.