Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sun 12 Jun 2016. Gallipoli to Troia/Troy

Sun 12 Jun 2016. Gallipoli to Troia/Troy
Up early with sun on water, showered and departed to have breakfast elsewhere in case we were expected to pay for our no-facilities camp. Found the shop owner had put chains across the track! (no problem for Ozzie to "go bush" around them though…) 
Drove past the archeological site of Sedd el Bahr Fortress - the "Barrier of the Sea" once closely guarded the entrance to the Dardenelles. It was closed undergoing significant restoration. 

Sedd el Bahr Fortress today 

Went on up to the gigantic Canakkale Martyrs Memorial on Hisarlik Hill overlooking Morto Bay. The entry wall was dedicated to ordinary soldiers. A monument commemorating the soldiers and officers of the 57th Regiment of the 19th Division, who all were killed in action, was added in 1992. The three-story tower holds a relief inscription of Staff Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal's famous command to his soldiers who ran out of ammunition and had nothing left bubayonets, on the morning of 25 April 1915 to meet the ANZACs on the slopes leading up from the beach to the heights of Chunuk Bair"I do not order you to attack, I order you to die." As a sign of respect, there is no 57th Regiment in the modern Turkish army. The headstones in the cemetery were striking in red glass/ perspex with the sun behind them.

Went back to look at Helles memorial on the headland above our camp, commemorating the whole of the Gallipoli Campaign, plus the 20,885 Commonwealth servicemen who died there. Eerily one of the VC recipients was Captain Gerald Robert O'Sullivan. Whilst on the vantage point we saw a magnificent four-masted cruise ship sailing through the Dardenelle Strait. 

Passed other memorials and cemeteries to Allied servicemen and stopped at Plugges Plateau before going on to Anzac Cove. Pulled up at one of local water stations we've noticed since entering Turkey, some water comes down from mountains, others from underground springs. Emptied grey water from washing barrel into nearby gully and wrung out clothes, (slowly) filled barrel to rinse them, ending with a re-fill for next time. Family pulled up and each filled their little drinking bottle so BoyRob reckoned it had to be good water and filled ours when they were finished.

At Anzac Cove talked to a Turk also following trail, who showed us thumbs up and said Turks and Australians were together respectfully in this place- did we know story of Australian leader Mackenzie? the Sphinx? (pointing out one of the battlefield's most distinctive landmarks) and the Flying Turks? (who armed, took leaps from peaks onto invaders below).

The poignancy of "believed to be buried..."

Incredible to picture the ugliness of what happened here

The Sphinx

Followed rough track through bushy trees to find Hill 60 cemetery, passing plots of healthy tomato plants under irrigation, bees, wheat ready for harvest.

Turned back to finish our war sites trail at Lone Pine cemetery, one of the only sites held by the Allies until the evacuation in December 1915. 

Disquieting to see names of current family

Wanderoos had always wanted to do Gallipoli, it was good to realise a dream, but also to see it, and respect it, from a different perspective. As Aussies we have always claimed Gallipoli as our war story place, but here the story is of the Turks defense of their homelands, their ultimate victory over the invading Allies, even though it cost them 87,000 to the Allies 34,000 losses. The Turks these days are respectful in sharing the space with the Commonwealth - there are plenty of large memorials, cemeteries, flags, and museums representing the different perspectives, all well maintained. We were heartened to see those words of Attaturk to all mothers "your sons are our sons...", not just on memorials, but lived/ quoted by today's Turkish people.

Made our way back to Eceabat stopping for a lunch of salad on crackers, before making the line for the ferry to cross the Dardenelles to Canakkle, quite a short trip. The other side was very different, a modern town with Western shops. It was interesting to see almost all women were headdress free, most in jeans and T-shirts. 

Pulled up at carpark into Trojan Horse to check out suitability for camping (not allowed), plus entrance details for tomorrow, then turned to find way down to ancient ruins on beach, but road no longer existed and got caught up in tiny town. Market stalls tied down their tarps to rings in centre of concrete roads, making space left for vehicles near impassable. We pulled up to look at map and the campground owner came up on his scooter scouting for business, saying "follow me". We asked if he had toilets, hot showers, washing machine and internet - and he said yes, so we did indeed follow him!! Turned out to be same camp Boomers stayed in 2yrs ago. 

Enjoyed our early arvo stop, getting all chores done, washed hair, towels and sheets, wrote the obligatory five postcards, did some business and family emails, and FaceTime-d daughter-in-law Kelly for her birthday. Such a pleasure that it worked, but we were sad to hear she'd had an emergency appendectomy earlier this week and was just out of hospital. Ouchy.... Upgraded all devices on the free wifi, caught up download of same maps on all (too heavy to carry big iPad in backpack all time). Our campsite was full of the oleanders we have seen everywhere. Enjoyed their diner eating kofke, grilled meatballs and rice, with a tomato, cucumber, lettuce and mint salad - pretty good! Drank thick apricot nectar from a can. Found out we were in exact same site as friends Guy and Cheryl two nights ago!! Will have to track them down. Not a restful night with numbers of mosquitoes who just refused to die when sprayed. Mosque moaning went off again at midnight - ah, yes...

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