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Published: October 24th 2013
Left Istanbul on the 7am Ferry to Bandirma , a 2 hour trip, then onto a bus for Canakkule and a short ferry ride across to the Gallipoli peninsula. Checked into the Crowded House hostel, had a nice lunch at a local cafe and checked out the excellent diorama of the trenches and a very moving sculpture to the Gallipoli Campaign on the foreshore. Dinner at a nice restaurant next to our lunch place, where we met Anna and Landon who are biking home from London to NZ! They are a lot younger than us, ha ha!
Had a lazy morning, then the Gallipoli tour at 12, we got in the bus and went 50 yards down the road for lunch, same place as last night, Eceabat is a small town! We then drove around the peninsula, visiting 10 sites including Anzac Cove, Brighton beach, Lone Pine, Johnstons Jolly, Chunuk Bair, the Turkish memorial and the trenches. Bulant (alias Bill) was an excellent guide, very informative and great at making the whole campaign come alive. The area was a very busy place with lots of buses and also many Turkish people visiting their sites. Bulant told
oops forgot the NZ flag!
us up to 1000 buses visit Gallipoli on a weekend. Lucky it was Friday! Back at base, we went for a beer or two , then dinner, with the other Kiwis and Aussies on the tour. Nice shrimp casserole.
Took the 9am ferry across the Dardanelles to Canakkule, then the bus to Selcuk near Ephesus. A 7 hour trip, broken by a lunch stop halfway. Checked into the ANZ pension, run by Harry, a Turk who lived in Australia for many years. Room Ok, but not fussed on the combo shower/toilet, quite common over here in cheaper places though. The hostel runs a BBQ every night on roof terrace, and there we met Robyn and Ian from Ballarat, who invited us to join them and share their wine, and became our travelling companions for the next 8 days or so! Same age as us, very easy company, we had a great time travelling with them. Funny thing was, I spotted Robyn straight away, as she was wearing my orange Kathmandu shirt, albeit in a smaller size!
After breakfast on the terrace, we joined Robyn and Ian and went up to Ephesus, walked around slowly
photo doesnt really capture how steep the landing place was
taking in the sights, a very impressive set of ruins. In the afternoon, we took the bus up to Sirence, a small village in the hills, specialising in fruit wines, olives, soaps and other products - very picturesque but quite touristy. Did some wine tasting and walked up to the old church, then had dinner at the Artemis restaurant, nice food and a great view from the outside dining terrace. Great day out. Bought some fruit wine to drink back at the hostel, nice to have company to share it with, although Ian preferred the real red stuff!
Overnight thunderstorms and heavy rain in morning, got soaked getting to the bus depot. Took the bus to Pamukkale and went straight to Aspawa pension recommended by friends, a nice room for 32 Euro a night with breakfast, about average for Turkey. No rain, so we walked up onto the amazing white terraces, formed by carbonate minerals left by the thermal waters. You have to remove your shoes to walk on the terraces to protect them. Had a great wander through the Roman ruins up top, you can walk through a long ancient cemetery road to the north gate.
Called into a terrace restaurant for a glass of wine on the way back home, with a very friendly owner. Back to our pension for homemade chicken dinner which was delicious and cheap!
After breakfast, took a dolmus up to the Red Water, turned out to be pretty lame after the Terraces yesterday, just a hot water spring with colours in the rock. Robyn and I bought a necklace each at the market. Took the Bus to Fethiye, had to change at Denizli. Was a very scenic trip over the mountains, took a few hours. Next episode, last week in Turkey....
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