Day 20 - The ANZAC's Head to Gallipoli

Gallipoli Travel Blog

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The names of the fallen at Lone Pine number in the thousands

Our tour leader was kind enough to give us 6am wake up calls.  Not a huge problem for Michelle and I but naturally it presented a challenge to a few in the group who were out until the wee hours.  The hotel didn’t have storage sufficient for all our bags so we were forced to check everything out and store it in the bus for the duration of our overnight trip to Gallipoli.

 

A couple of our group slept through their wake up call and then the traffic leaving Istanbul was a bit of a nightmare too.  Our driver did his best to catch up the lost time but heavy traffic and the need to stop a number of times (for toilets, food and then a cash machine) meant the plan of arriving ahead of the hoardes was partially compromised.

A time for reflection
  Our first stop was supposed to be the Gallipoli museum but the queue when we arrived was absolutely enormous – so we decided to postpone our visit for a day. 

Before heading to ANZAC cove to settle down for the night, we visited the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair cemeteries, the sites of Australian and New Zealand memorials the following day.  There were already a lot of people moving around the area and the big stands erected indicated just how large the crowds were likely to be.

 

We only spent a short time at each cemetery as everyone was now anxious to get to Anzac Cove and grab a spot to sleep for the night and from which to watch the dawn service tomorrow.

 

The coach could only take us part of the way.

Ataturk, overlooking ANZAC Cove
  Thereafter we had to climb out, grab out day packs (which we’d packed with all our sleeping gear) and walk around the point on foot.  As soon as we rounded the corner we could see the site for the ceremony and we amazed by how small it looked.  Again, stands had been erected but they didn’t seem to encircle a very large area.  Before we were able to get up close and have a look though, we had to submit to a bag search and pat down and then grab a complimentary bag of commemorative goodies.

 

Our fears were realised when we walked into the venue.  How were they going to fit all those thousands of people in here?  There was nowhere near enough space for everyone to sleep on the grassed area and we weren’t keen to be sleeping in the stands!  We’d wandered halfway into the venue when Trev yelled out. He and Mirella and their tour group had already arrived and were staking out a large portion of grass for the rest of the Topdeck groups.

Some of the trenches remain today ..
  So, we hopped the fence, spread ourselves out and made ourselves comfortable. 

For the rest of the afternoon, all evening and even late into the night and in the early morning, people continued to stream in, looking for somewhere to sleep or sit.  We’re glad we arrived as early as we did.  We were able to stick together. In fact, with as all the others piled in we were very, very close together. 

Music and Audio visual entertainment (items giving information on ANZAC history) ran through the night, keeping the nocturnal amused and the light sleepers (such as myself) awake.
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The names of the fallen at Lone Pi…
The names of the fallen at Lone P…
A time for reflection
A time for reflection
Ataturk, overlooking ANZAC Cove
Ataturk, overlooking ANZAC Cove
Some of the trenches remain today …
Some of the trenches remain today…
ANZAC Cove at Sunset
ANZAC Cove at Sunset
Nathan, Scott and Chris bedded dow…
Nathan, Scott and Chris bedded do…
Gallipoli
photo by: scacos2006