Published: January 8th 2013January 8th 2013
We left Istanbul at 8.00am this morning in the snow! The roads were pretty wet and icy, but we made it out of the city without incident heading for Gallipoli. Once we cleared Istanbul the weather actually improved a bit. We thought that it might be worse on the Gallipoli Peninsula, but the snow stopped and the sky cleared. We even had some sun.
We had a comfort break after a couple of hours. I think the minibus appreciated the break the most - it had a complete wash down to clear all the snow sludge from the windscreen and windows. The bus has an electric door and side step mechanism, but the ice had fouled things up a bit and the step was stuck halfway out ... or was it halfway in?
After another hour on the road, we stopped at a village for lunch. Yalcin gave us the option of eating in a village or stopping at a more cafeteria styled restaurant on the main road. We all said that the village option sounded good as it would give us an opportunity to experience a little bit of rural Turkey. The food was fabulous - lamb shish
kebabs, lamb rissole, salad, bread and sheep's milk yoghurt all made in the village.
We had another couple of hours in the bus before we arrived at the simulation museum that was opened in August last year. The museum is set up to provide visitors with a simulation of some of the key engagements between the Turkish and Allied forces in the battle to gain/retain control of the Dardenelles.
To the Turk's one of the key dates is 18 March 1915 when they successfully repelled the Allied Force's sea offensive. The theatre for this section has a moving floor that mimics the pitch and roll of the deck of a ship while you watch a film of a battleship under attack.
The museum also commemorates 25 April 1915 when the Allied Force's commenced their land offensive. The simulations continue right through until December 1915 when the Allied Forces were stealthily withdrawn from the peninsula without any of the Allied Forces objectives having been achieved.
Following our visit to the museum we drove on to Anzac Cove and the Anzac Memorial site by the water. From the beach we drove up to the ridge where we stopped
at the Lone Pine memorial and the memorial to the Turkish 57th Battalion. The hills are dotted with memorials, but we visited only a couple of the key ones.
While it was bitterly cold and windy during the time that we spent hopping on and off the bus exploring the Anzac sites the rain (and snow) held off for us. With sunset fast approaching, we continued on to the end of the peninsula where we took the vehicular ferry across to Canakkale where we are spending the night. The Amethyst Hotel in Istanbul was lovely and we really didn't expect any of our accommodation to be better than that. However, the Hotel Kolin here in Canakkale is beautiful.
Step for the day: 6,030 (4.11km) Too many hours today on the minibus!
There are more photos below