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Lauren Cooper

Lauren Cooper

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Group email by Lauren Cooper, 30 April 2001
Lauren Cooper

Group Email

30 April 2001
London

Hello one and all

I'm not writing this email to make you all jealous, moreso to tell you what an amazing month I've had in the northern hemisphere!!

Lets begin with a quick trip to Liverpool to see my friend Dave. Went there with another friend Karen to celebrate St. Pats Day. Liverpool well not too bad, all the people seem to be stuck in this little narrow minded world, but we had fun so that the most important things.

 

Two ladies at dawn
Taken approx, 4.00am the morning of the dawn service. It was just a matter of sitting around and waiting for the sun to rise, 25 April 2001
Lauren Cooper

Travelling two weeks later I find myself in Hamburg, Germany for a quick catch up with Hamish who I used to work with and his friend Mark who lives there. Lovely place, the Reeperbahn was bizarre and even though it rained quite a bit we had such a great time just hanging around!!!

Easter came and went with a quick trip to Majorca (oh I love saying that!!) The sun, sand, surf of this most beautiful Spanish Isle was amazing. We spent a lot of the time living under huge bamboo styled umbrellas on the beach sipping cocktails. Ahhh its a hard life

Yet on our fourth and final day we decided to hire mopeds and ride around St Ponza, where we were staying.

No problem with that until after being on the bike for approx. 200 metres (yes 200 metres) I crashed mine into a parked car!!!!!!!!! STOP LAUGHING I know funny, but I did cut my hand (oh how sad) there was blood a man yelling at me in Spanish and the 4 of us just standing there half in shock half in laughter!! £90 later I left the bike shop, without a moped but with a mini bandage on my hand and an excuse to drink sangria to drown my sorrows!

Don't stress peoples I'm ok!!

Group of people in cemetary
We spent a few hours after the Lone Pine service wandering around the area. There were many Turkish guards around and I think we spent nearly an hour with them talking and taking photos, first on our cameras and then all of a sudden they all popped out their cameras!! The men were so friendly towards us and interested in where we were from, what jobs we did etc. I remember the weight of the guns surprised me so much. 25 April 2001
Lauren Cooper

I'm being brief about all of the above because I really want to spend time telling you about my recent journey. Returned last night after spending 10 days travelling around Turkey. This is by far my favourite country in the world so primitive, yet with so much to offer. Sooo much history its hard to take it in, but a country so rich in natural beauty and the most fascinating culture its difficult to explain.

My main purpose of my visit to Turkey was to head to Gallipoli peninsular for ANZAC Day. I've have never in my life felt more proud to be an Australian. I will admit now that my Oz history WW1 history is pretty bad, but I have come away with a new appreciation of what happened to Australia back then in 1915 and how that has shaped who we are now.

Anzac Cove
Anzac Cove. It was taken the day after the Anzac Day celebrations. It surprises you how truly beautiful the cove area is. In the background of the picture you can see the terrain that had to be faced, rather frightening. 25 April 2001
Lauren Cooper

We sang the National Anthem with tears in our eyes, we listened to people tell stories of way back then, we shared a new love and pride with our New Zealand Counterparts and we walked many a trench, read many a gravestone and in realising that most of them are younger than my age we walked away with an understanding that you must live every moment as it comes, every day as it travels by. I couldn't live through a war and those that fought for our country, made our country, saved our lives. They need to be honoured in any way possible.

Yet beside ANZAC Day we travelled EVERYWHERE possible. A land so primitive that you just know it is so very special.

Our trip began in Istanbul and the following day travelled to Pamukkale in Asia Minor. In Pamukkale there are the most amazing cascading calcium terraces a natural phenomenon. They call them the cotton castles. Right near them is what is called 'the sacred pool' where apparently Cleopatra once bathed so obviously that is where I headed oh so divine.

Group of people in front of trees
This photo was taken in Shrapnel Valley. These are all the guys on our tour who got up and sang with so much sincerity Waltzing Matilda. I remember the rest of us, sitting there just in silence it was such a special moment for our group. 25 April 2001
Lauren Cooper

Travelling onto the small farming village of Selcuk we visited one of the seven wonders of the world the temple of Artemiss, also visited the house where Virgin Mary spent her last days very religious!! Also the world of Ephesus persevered ruins from so many many years ago its unbelievable!

Travelling still around Western Turkey we head to again more ruins. This time Pergamum home to the steepest amphitheatre in the world!! Then following the Aegean Coast we head to the ruins of Troy personally a waste of time, but seems cultural. Then we travelled towards Gallipoli for our first glimpse of the infamous Dardenelles!!

Following ANZAC Day we all head back to Istanbul which followed in a spot of shopping at the Grand Bizarre, a visit to the Blue Mosque, Saint Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace etc.

 

So a quick run down of my favourite country. And what a way to end the visit than with a beautiful Turkish bath. Lying on Marble domes in this old building as someone washes and scrubs you from head to toe we left feeling like princesses ahhh how wonderful!!

Group of people with large crowd in background
This photo is taken at the Australian service at Lone Pine. The amount of people was just amazing. 25 April 2001
Lauren Cooper

So that's it and that will be it for a few months yet I think. I need to get back into a routine of actually having hot water, of not having to squat in a dirty toilet and then having no toilet paper, and to eat food not containing cheese, olives, oil or any type of meat!!

So lovelies that's my amazing experience. Makes the money saving worth while, makes the dreary London weather look even worse and makes you appreciate what you've got!!

Am going to dash off. Many a thing to do and see, including food shopping and washing ah see life is really normal after all!!

 

Hope you are all wonderfully well. Please take care and enjoy.

All my love

Lauren