Day 30, Aug 11 (112km) - Is this Germany?

Trip Start Jul 13, 2012
Trip End Aug 16, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Saturday, August 11, 2012

On my way to Gallipoli This is the addition I made to my original plans from years ago. So glad I added it. Not only to see the sites of the Battle of Gallipoli (one of the most horrendous battles in the history, a battle that lead to Winston Churchill to be demoted and a battle that laid the seeds for the birth modern Turkey as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lead the Ottoman Empire to victory over the allies), but to visit the site of ancient Troy.

The ride itself was not too bad. The usual mid to high 30s with a mountain to cross but was just over 100km. I could take my time. About have the cars were German that passed me on my way down the Gallipoli Peninsula and I am sure some of the others were Germans in rentals based on their excessive speeds, especially around corners. AT least the roads are generally very good here but they drive like that on the mountain roads in fjord country in Norway where the roads are single lane but two-way traffic.  Another thing I noticed that on my 3rd day in Turkey I have seen several Burger Kings but no McDonald`s yet. How peculiar. 

I arrived at the ferry from Eceabat to Çanakkale with one minute before it was leaving - good timing for a change. Çanakkale was full of life and really felt like a resort town. Which it is with the exception, of all other resort towns like this, of not having a beach. It really seemed like people were headed to a beach. Because of the history of the area there were quite a few Australians and some New Zealanders walking about. The battle of Gallipoli was like their Battle of Vimy Ridge for Canadians (except they lost) and they somehow grew up as a nation. Funny how killing people in generally senseless battles for the rich and powerful makes you grow up. I was always taught that working out your differences through peaceful common understanding and discussion was what made a person mature. Ah the writers of history. 

ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) was all over the place. When is the last time you saw such tribute to a losing invading force. This is a special place and resonates at the core of Turkey.  

There was some sort of celebration/festival going on and there was a free open air concert right next to the hostel I was staying at.  There was a lot of atmosphere and activity but at the same time seemed more relaxed than other places in Turkey. Except for the driving in the cities - that is insane in all Turkish cities. I still can't believe I did not witness anyone being run over while watching from the roof top patio.

With my time winding down and my energy levels still pretty good but still a bit low I decided that I did not want to bike out to the site of ancient Troy tomorrow and relax a bit. So I booked a tour for the morning it was organized so that one could also continue and take an extensive tour of Gallipoli. I am in. I can be a regular tourist sometimes.
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