this is Nics travel blog: Self Fulfilling Prophecy.
here i plan on posting updates, rants, raves and other general information and tidbits associated with my travels
Monday, 30 April 2007
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well. Ataturk, 1934
So last post i made Jo and i had been hanging out in Istanbul. on the afternoon of the 23rd, we made our way to the hotel where our tour was to start. watched half of spiderman dubbed into turkish (cos CNN had wall-to-wall Boris Yeltsin coverage...) while we sunk beers in our hotel room, then headed down to the bar to see if we could meet any other aussies on our tour. met a bunch of blokes who had been working in the ski fields in france and were just starting a trip round europe. was cool hanging out with them but we had a 7am start the next day so had a relatively quiet night.
next day was mostly ordinary. it started out with us being taken to most of the touristy sights in Istanbul me and jo had already seen in the last few days... but i did enjoy the trip to the carpet showroom, where we were given a demonstration of how they are made and the different types, styles and materials were explained and illustrated. then it was on the bus for the 6ish hour ride to Galipolli. along the way we managed to not watch Galipolli (the movie, like we were sposed to, grr), stack the front of the bus on the ground during a dodgy u-turn (and thus were delayed for a good half hr or so) and spend (seemingly) forever stopped for food and toilet breaks.... so finally after packing all our warm gear, passing through the bag searches and pat-downs and picking up our information bags (including ANZAC bikkies!) we finally rocked up at the site round 7:30pm
after being away from home for a month and a half, it was so weird being totally surrounded by aussies (oh and kiwis i spose..). it was a real communal atmosphere. me and jo scored seats with the four guys we had met the night before and 2 sisters also on our bus. chris' housemate lisa was also there with some of her mates (they got there at like midnight ha!) and came and hung out with us for most of the night. so didnt sleep a wink that night. not that it mattered, had cool ppl to talk to, interesting things to watch on the big screen and the icy cold wind to contend with!
if you're on Jo's mailing list you've probably read her email on the dawn service. couldntve put it better, was definitely goosebump atmosphere. you really couldnt help but imagine what it must have been like almost 100 years ago, and it it really made you feel proud to be Australian, the true atmosphere indescribable. the sunrise, the last post, the flags, the speeches, the anthems....
once that had finished and after a quick snooze on the recently vacated grass, we headed up to the Lone Pine service at 10:30am. this was also an experience, which i appreciated just as much as the dawn service. it seemed a lot more relaxed, with everyone sitting in the sun (i was in a singlet just hours after wearing 5 layers plus a sleeping bag...) amongst the gravestones of fallen soldiers. from there we walked further up the hill, taking in sights such as the soldiers trenches, the many memorial sights and the spectacular views over the coastline. pretty amazing.
after waiting forever for our bus to come pick us up and then even more forever to get back to Istanbul me and Jo were both bloody stuffed and crashed out round midnight. jo flew onto Germany and i flew back to London the next day, and both had ourselves some well needed sleeeeeep!
other highlights -
the boys brought BBQ shapes and vegemite!
managed to meet my cousin after after the dawn service, and have since worked out that he and his girlfriend met with mates of mine in Ireland for St Paddys day!
gave one of the band members a piece of bread and vegemite as they walked past our seats, he was so stoked!
flagged down a flatbed towtruck to give us a lift up the hill to the lone pine service, tops fun
turkish airlines were great! best inflight entertainment i've had so far. i really shouldve tried to sleep on the flight back but..
so was great trip, really really happy that i did it, and was cool to hang out with a familiar face while i was there too. i really appreciated hearing all the history and stories about what happened, and really felt it highlighted how stupid war in general is.
i think i'd like to go back i rekon. chris and i were talking the other day bout the 100 year anniversary in 2015. any takers? haha
oh ps - pics! Istanbul starts from the bottom of page 3
i've decided that now is the time for me to make my first overseas endeavor, and so i am doing a bit of traveling, doing a bit of working, and mostly just doing a bit of everything.
so i leave (or have already left!) Sydney on March 3 for numerous overseas locations: some already planned, many not.
wish me luck!
to get in touch with me you can leave a comment on one of the blog posts, email me, or if you're lucky, catch me on msn or skype
oh yeah im also now on facebook