Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 12, 2012

Flag of Turkey  ,
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Here I am in Turkey, and it's far different from anywhere else I have been. For the most part I have enjoyed the strange society. I was travelling from Antalya to Çanakkale so I could visit Gallipoli, as all the Australians do.

Çanakkale was a nice small town and I would recommend a tour of Gallipoli for every Australian. Just being serious for once, it was one of the highlights of my trip. I am a second generation Australian, and I have no connection in my family history whatsoever to the battle that was fought there in 1915. But it was the way we fought this battle that defined Australia as a nation, and in a small way that attitude defined a bit of who I am today. I’ve always been patriotic, but this tour really reinforced that, and showed me why every Australian should be proud of their nation.

Not a great deal happened in Çanakkale, although I of course met several other Australians. I also met a couple of cute German girls. What they were doing there not even they really knew, but I plan to see them again when I return to Istanbul. I did witness something rather hysterical when I was on the bus back to Istanbul however. We had just taken the ferry across to the European side of Turkey when the congestion of cars trying to exit reached breaking point, quite literally. It was only a small dint in the side of a small car, but its driver and his passengers were more upset than my stomach after a dirty kebap. As we tried to drive off they somehow managed to open up the baggage compartment, prompting the staff and several of the bigger passengers to get out and join the remonstrating.

I was tempted to run outside and get closer to the action, but instead I chose to get out my camera to try and catch the ensuing violence on video. Sadly I didn’t get the footage started in time. Leading the charge was our noble baggage man. This bloke was only half the size of the driver of the damaged vehicle, but quite convincingly he managed to beat the guy to the ground, keeping his torn shirt as a trophy for all the passengers to enjoy on the ride back. Unlike the last baggage bloke this guy wasn’t naturally violent, and he did seem a bit upset about the whole ordeal. I cheered him up with a high-5 and a pat on the back. I love it when the instigator of violence deservedly gets his ass kicked!

In Istanbul again before I head out east to Georgia and Armenia. I went to a Turkish football game, which as you could imagine had a kickass atmosphere. The hostel I was staying at was great after a recommendation from a girl I met in Çanakkale. They can be hit and miss, but I made a good choice on this occasion. Sadly I am getting close to the end of my journey, but I still have another month to go. Georgia and Armenia are next and the experience there will be something crazy.
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