2 July – 3 July
Bergamo to Canakkale and Gallipoli
Travelling through Turkey at this time of year is perfect. Though the weather was hotter than expected the sensational ancient sites, towns green fields and wildflowers made up for it. On our way to Canakkale we stopped at Troy – again another 46 plus day. We had an excellent guide who took us over this vast site and its detailed history of the siege and battles over Helen. The sight of the sea made a refreshing change and the swaying Cyprus and silvery sage green olive groves reminded us how close to the Mediterranean.
Arriving in Canakkale we found ourselves at the finish line of a 3 day car rally,which was quite amusing. Our hotel had seaviews across to the Dardanelles and the destination for the next day – Gallipoli.
Near our hotel we had the Trojan horse which featured in Brad Pitt movie about the Trojan wars and Helen of Troy. The waterfront was alive with people enjoying the hot weather, food stalls and restaurants. We enjoyed a delicious seafood meal on a rooftop, watching the sunset and dolphins swimming by.
An early morning pickup due to the heat had been arranged for a tour of the Gallipoli Peninsula and its many memorials. The ferry took us across to the Peninsula where we visited ANZAC cove, Lone Pine, the Nek, Shrapnel Valley to name a few and several cemeteries. All the sites through out this Peninsula are maintained in pristine condition, equally remembering all the people from both sides who sacrificed their lives in this futile endeavour. It was difficult to imagine such peaceful waters and beaches witnessed so much death and horror. Truly an emotional visit and one every Australian should make.
This is our last day on the Asian side of the world and tomorrow we enter onto the European side of the Silk Road.
Our little MG Shamrock has been outstanding on this trip and coped most admirably with the heat – only thing I missed was some air conditioning – open windows just didn’t do it for me. Peter and I have shared the driving but he is doing most of it. The roads and drivers in Turkey have been great and we have loved this part of our Silk Road journey and would love to return in the near future to spend more time here.