Anzac eve

Zoe and Lauren on the Rhododendron Ridge trail

With Anzac Day almost upon us, the plan was for a morning outing with a relaxed afternoon.  The transformation of the peninsula is complete – there are buses full of Turks, Aussies and Kiwis everywhere, at every road intersection there are police and soldiers, barricades and bunting abound.  We ventured forth to Chanuk Bair in order to walk from there, down Rhododendron Ridge, to the shore.  Our bus got most of the way along the frontline road, then a bus jam convinced us that getting out and walking was the best method.  There must be hundreds of buses on the peninsula today.

It was great to leave the crowds behind and walk down the ridge, which provided spectacular views up to Suvla, across the rugged hills and down to the sea.  The path follows ridge lines and winds its way through steep country.  We were basically following the path that the New Zealanders took to reach the heights in the August Offensive.  We made it down the shore and along to Embarkation Pier Cemetery, to look at the grave of J Facey, brother of Albert Facey, the author of ‘A Fortunate Life’.

With the Dawn Service site closed, we headed north to take the long way round back to the hotel.  A brief stop in the little village of Bigali gave us the chance to look in the house that Mustafa Kemal stayed in briefly before the Gallipoli Campaign started.  It was also a chance to site in the sunshine at the local cafe and enjoy Turkish coffee and apple tea.  We then managed to run the gauntlet of various security checkpoints and make it back to the hotel for lunch. 

Emboldened by the sunny weather, we decided it was now or never for a dip in the Aegean.  Not all students took up the challenge, but those who did dashed in for a swim and learnt the true meaning of cold water.  It was an impressive display of bravery and recommendations have been made for awarding a Victoria Crisp to all who took part in the action.

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6 Responses to Anzac eve

  1. karniks says:

    Best of luck to all Simpsonites for tomorrows services. We will be watching all of you on TV.

  2. Elizabeth and 'The Boys' says:

    Have a wonderful Anzac Day! Feel the spirit of the coastline, and draw in the sounds and sights around you. What an unforgettable experience. We’re really proud of you all.

    Lots of love from Australia,

  3. Sue says:

    Best of luck to all the Simpsonites, what an amazing experience. We will be watching out for you all. We are so very proud of you. We love reading the blogs of your experiences in Turkey.

  4. Mrs Margaret Clark says:

    Will be watching Hayley. Have told Nan and poppy and Aunty Heather. Love Aunty Marg

  5. Will Birkett says:

    Good luck everyone, have an amazing day. I’m sure you’ll make excellent wreath-handlers, and pack warm gear. Good luck for the final shopping spree at the grand bazaar too!

  6. Erin (NT Winner 2009) says:

    Hey guys I saw you on TV and use rocked it like a boss!! Nice reading QLD winners.. you all looked great laying wreaths.. Ship til you Drop at the spice markets and grand bazzar (spelling = wrong).. Hayley, particularly you as if you take casurina, actually make it cool, and times it by a billion, it still does not reach the eppicness of the grand bazzar..
    Also its probably a bit late for this, but Hayley also wins any interstate niggling as she is from the NT and we are by far the coolest territory 😛 we rock your socks off
    Take care stay safe.. listen to Andrews sneezes??

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