Today we are on an overnight tour that will take us down to Gallipoli (Gelibolu) and then overnight in Canakkale (on the Asian side of Turkey), and the a tour through historic Troy before heading back to Istanbul later in the evening of the second day. The trip from Istanbul down to Gallipoli took almost 5 hours on our small private tour bus - 11 people in group all up.
Arriving into the Gallipoli peninsular, our first stop was in Eceabat (historically a Greek town known as Maydos, but renamed by the Turks) - the reason for stopping here is so we can have our fill at the local tourist trap.
After lunch the actual tour started. Our guide joined us and we headed off for ANZAC cove. Over the course of the next 5 hours we visited many of the important and historic sites (including the landing beach, war graves, shrapnel valley, the Nek, Lone Pine, and the all important high ground - Chunuk Bair, that are spread around the peninsula.
The scenery around ANZAC cove and the views from Chunuk Bair were breath taking, and it is so hard to believe that almost 100 years ago this was the site of such a bloody battle where thousands of young ANZACs and Turks alike lost their lives. The cold reminder of this is littered everywhere... just out of sight but there if you know where to look, and what your looking for. Small pieces of shrapnel and bullets litter the ground and are very easy to find especially after a good rain.
Seeing first hand the terrain that the ANZACs faced on arrival really makes you think how anyone survived. The short length of beach, the high limestone cliffs, the overgrowth - how anyone made it to the top alive in the dark is beyond belief.
One of the hardest things for me to comprehend was how close the trenches were together - the best example of this is on the way up to Chunuk Bair where the single lane road is all that separates the trenches - Turkish trenches on the right, ANZAC trenches on the left. Absolutely amazing... No more than 6-7 meters separating the two - quite literally the width of the single lane road.
All up I am extremely glad to have done the tour. Our guide was excellent and provided lots of detail and stories about each of the sites we visited.