Well here we are for our second day in Istanbul, oh wait I've just looked out the window and we are at sea?!! Why so. Further enquiries reveal that we have left because there were several small explosions in Istanbul overnight. The captain announced that it was in the interest of all our safety. Then with more than a touch of irony he announced that we could all enjoy a scenic daytime passage of the Dardanelles. Now this is the area you will recall of the great heroics of the first world war's Gallipoli landings, shame P & O and captain Turnbull could not show some of the same backbone! Two other cruise ships remained in Istanbul today!
As I am awakening this morning and digesting the news from istanbul I see the leak team have moved into our corridor for the umpteenth time. The water is being cut off for half the day. The carpets are covered with plastic sheeting and the engineers set about trying to stop the plethora of leaks and water coming through the ceilings.
Just another day on board MV Aurora.
Anyway we are off and on our way to Piraeus Greece where we are looking forward to celebrating our wedding anniversary together there.
This afternoon around 4:00 pm we passed through the narrow straights at Gallipoli where in the afternoon sunlight on the northern coast we saw the Ottoman (turkish) war memorial followed by the French and finally the combined British and Anzac memorial. The Captain said some poignant words as we passed and a wreath was floated by a group of passengers representing the Anzac soldiers and sailors.
Some brief facts least i forget. Battle of Gallipoli took place in 1915/16 over eight months. Winston Churchill in a decision he regretted until his dying day ordered an allied attack on Gallipoli to ensure access to the Black sea and Russia. The assault was against the ottomans who had been on our side in the Crimean war just a few years earlier. Churchill failed to listen to military professionals and ordered the attack against the Ottomans without knowing either how many troops were there nor how well prepared they were. The result was a disaster lasting 8 months where the allied forces lost about 45,000 men and the ottomans lost about 90,000. Of course many more than this for both sides were injured and suffered illness during the campaign. The ottomans were not defeated and the allied forces had to leave empty handed without ever penetrating the Dardanelles. Most of this was new to me and I feel humble looking on at where so many of both sides gave so much. Least we forget.