Troy and Gallıpolı

Trip Start May 07, 2010
Trip End May 22, 2010

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Flag of Turkey  , Çanakkale Province,
Friday, May 14, 2010

HI everyone,

      This morning we woke up to a delicious Turkish breakfast including French bread, cheese, cherry jam, apricot jam, nutella, and cucumber. It seems to me every morning for breakfast, its always bread+cucumber+tomato+cheese. Sometimes a boiled egg and some black olives. Delicious yet simple breakfast. Unlike the breakfast buffet I get everywhere I go in Asia, like a regular meal complete with 40+ dishes,my my....

      We signed up originally for the tour of Troy ruins ,but since the afternoon was available, we also added the bonus Gallipoli ANZAC day tour. Since back in high school I took a class that talked about Ancient Greek civilization and Homer's Iliad, I am actually quite excited about visiting the once mighty city of Troy. As it turned out, Troy is actaully made of 9 different cities build over 1000 years with one city build on top of the ruins of the old city. It is not until 1890's, a greedy German treasure hunter Hemlich Schlichman who came to Homer's possible proposed mythical site of Troy when he started digging. According to historians, Hemlich dugged up treasure from Troy II, not Troy VI the infamous City mentioned in Iliad.

      We arrived at the Troy ruin, the archeologist up til this date only unearthed 1/10 th of the entire area, and it won't be until 2150 til all the ruins are exposed.

      The only thing left at the site are now some walls, corridors and a driveway. There is also lots of marble stone beams and segments of the former palace left behind.

      During lunch time, we met some nice Australian couples and New Zealand couple who are going with us on the afternoon tour of ANZAC memorial site. ANZAC stands for Australian, New Zealand army corp and ANZAC day is on April 25. This is the date during World War I that the Allied forces invaded Gallipoli. Since the Ottoman Empire was on the side of the Germans, the ally forces complete with British, French, Austrailan, and New Zealander forces were to invade Gallipoli to take to key water way of Bosphorus strait to have access to the Black sea. The Ottoman forces sworn to defend their homeland to death. The battle was a loosing one since the beginning for the Ally force since the ANZAC force landed 1 mile north of their proposed landing beach of Anzac Cove. The actual landing beach has a very steep cliff which made it difficult for the Ally forced to climb and General Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, later the founder of the Republic of Turkey, correctly predicted the exact Ally landing site, and was able for fend off the invaders with a small 57th  regimen. This was one of the bloodiest battle during World War I where it was fought over a prolonged period of 10 month with more than 500,000 casualties. Despite the high fatalities, this is still considered a "Gentleman' war" where the oppositing sides were throwing food and water to each other in between fighting.

       Our tour bus took us first to the Museum where all the World War I artifacts were kept and gave us a quick run down of the war, how the battle was fought then a tour of the museum. Some of the most striking artifacts in the museum include a army boot with human foot bone still in it, a skull with a bullet wedged and twisted bullet shells that supposely hit each other in mid-air. Then our tour guide took us to to the Anzac cove, Australia/New Zealand memorial site, then the Turkish memorial site. It was truely emotional to see the unnecessary sacrifice these young kids went through for a meaningless war. General Ataturk wrote on the memorial plaque saying the foreign soilders who lost their lives are in peace now, and they are now treated as the sons on the Turks.  There were lots of New Zealand and Australian tourists who came here looking for the memorial of their lost ones. According to them, ANZAC day is a big Holiday down under and this day grew bigger as the time passes.

        After the tour we returned to Canakkale for dinner and settled in for the night.

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