ANZAC Day

Gallipoli Travel Blog

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Just to remind us of where we are
As more and more people came in the space available diminished.  A few times during the night - around 2 or 3am - the host jumped on the mic and asked for everyone on the grassed area to squish up as more bus loads were coming in.  At about 4am he asked if we could all wake up and sit up so more people could fit.  As alot of people were able to sleep through the "entertainment" they were also oblivious to the announcements.  But quite a few people did make some room allowing more people on the grass.

The dawn service began just around 5.30am which funnily enough was just as the sun was raising it's sleepy head.  Due to the layout of the area, most people had to watch the service on the big screens which wasn't bad but it would have been nicer to actually see the guards performing their tasks of raising the flags and the various ceremonial marches.
Flying at full mast after the ceremony
  Delegates from Aus, NZ and Turkey all made moving speeches which I'm sure probably brought a tear to one or two eyes.  We each held our aussie flag and heads high as we sang Advance Austalia Fair.  It was also great to hear the kiwi's proudly singing God Defend New Zealand and the Turks sing The March of Independence.  But it was the sound of the single bugle calling out The Last Call over the beach where so many young men lost their lives that was very emotional and will be in our memory. 

It was all over by 6.30 and as it was still very cold we just laid back down in our sleeping bags while people around us were packing up and leaving to go to the Australian service at Lone Pine.  After a little while we did the same, but headed off towards the bus to drop off our gear thinking the bus was only a short walk away.


Eventually we made it to Lone Pine and found ourselves a seat in the stands.  The service was similar to the earlier dawn service but this time more focused on Australian stories and even included some war poetry which were quite funny.  Yet again, hearing the national anthem and Last Call was very moving.

It was a fair walk to the other services and they started immediately after the Aussie one meaning we'd arrive near the end so we decided not to give it a miss and stay at Lone Pine.  We had a look inside the chapel which is only open on ANZAC day.  On the way out we were asked about the origins of the flag by a local soldier.  As thanks they offered to have photos with us so Craig and Mish had their photo taken with a General.

Mid afternoon we boarded the coach and headed back to Istanbul.
Down on the beach
  It was quite a slow process to get on the coach due to the sheer number of coaches crawling through ANZAC Cove.  Thankfully nobody went missing and we hit the road with gusto as I think the coach driver had had enough and just wanted to get home.  It was a quiet drive back with many people getting much needed sleep.

Back in the hotel a few of us met downstairs in the bar to try and catch some cricket.  Unfortunately it wasn't shown on any of the available channels so we ended up listening to it over the internet.  After a few beers we called it a night.
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Just to remind us of where we are
Just to remind us of where we are
Flying at full mast after the cere…
Flying at full mast after the cer…
Down on the beach
Down on the beach
Poppy flowers were scattered all o…
Poppy flowers were scattered all …
Large crowd at Lone Pine for the A…
Large crowd at Lone Pine for the …
Standing for the Australian Anthem
Standing for the Australian Anthem
Lining up to enter the church
Lining up to enter the church
Wreaths and other items laid in th…
Wreaths and other items laid in t…
Lucky enough to have a photo with …
Lucky enough to have a photo with…
Gallipoli
photo by: scacos2006