Wednesday, 24 April 2003
Today we caught the ferry from Canakale over to the Gallipoli peninsula & were taken on a landing vessel to North Beach (location of the 2nd landing). We passed ANZAC Cove where the first landing occurred and Brighton Beach (much flatter) where they intended to land. My thoughts struggled between how beautiful the landscape of Gallipoli is & how much blood shed must of occurred 87 years before. As the politics and reasons behind the battle were explained, I wondered if the young soldiers even knew why.
I was surprised in Istanbul to be met by Turkish people bowing and greeting us as 'ANZACS, ANZACS'. After spending more time here I've come to learn the amount of mutual respect the Turks & Anzacs shared. With some trenches only 8-10 metres apart cigarettes, water & milk were exchanged.
We had a packed lunch at Anzac Cove & looked around the graves and monuments. Johnnies =" Australian" Soldiers Muhmats =" Turkish" Soldiers. We caught the ferry back to our room & then packed up ready to camp back at Anzac Cove to try & get a good spot for the dawn service. We arrived there at 11pm.
Thursday, 25 April 2003 (Anzac Day)
The night was freezing & we had no sleep. A DJ entertained us for most of the night as thousands more arrived at Anzac Cove. 5:30am the moon light shone over the water directly between the flag poles. This set the scene for a moving dawn service, with the Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth addressing the service, along with other officials and the 3 national anthems were played.
Afterwards we walked along the beach & trekked 7km up the hills to Lone Pine. The Australian Service was very patriotic. Sitting in the heat amongst the graves, we were accompanied by an elderly veteran when an official came & escorted him to chairs in the shade, the entire service applauded him and honoured him with a standing ovation, to which he smiled & blushed. After the service we walked to Chunuk Bair for the NZ Service. Leaving, over 300 buses slowly picked up the 1000's of travellers who had made Anzac Day at Gallipoli a part of there trip. An emotionally draining day but a highlight of my trip that I'll never forget.