Troy and Gallipoli: memorable for different reasons

The last part of this tour has been memorable for a couple of reasons.

Yesterday we were up early to visit more Roman ruins, culminating in a visit to Troy in the late afternoon, after what seemed to be a never-ending time on the road. While the morning ruins were interesting – and peacefully empty – Troy (and no one is 100% sure that it actually is Troy) was one of the most underwhelming experiences I think I have ever had.

After reading about this site for years, I was disappointed to learn it was more or less a dusty pile of rocks along a winding path or two, with a kitsch wooden horse at the entrance to zhoozh things up. Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here. And quite frankly, South Australia’s Big Rocking Horse leaves that pony of a thing for dead!

Gallipoli, on the other hand, was profoundly moving. We were on the road by 7am, and crossed the Dardanelles back into the European side of Turkey via ferry. The morning was crisp and clear, the sun warm.

Mustafa Ataturk’s beautiful words about loss and belonging mark the entrance to ANZAC Cove. As a man who led the Turks in this battle, he knew better than most the suffering war caused, and why he chose to pursue peace as the first leader of the Turkish Republic.

Walking among the graves, reading the names of the soldiers, and their ages brought home how futile and human this battle was. It was the same at the Lone Pine memorial. Even others on the tour from different countries were moved by what the saw.

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As an Australian, I felt a deep connection to this spot, which is so, so beautiful. I can’t imagine the horror and fear that soldiers on both sides had to endure, started by men who had no business being at war.

The sad thing is that history has taught this world nothing. We are still fighting wars, and men and women are still being killed, and for what?

4 Comments

  • Turkey: highlights and lowlights | The Travelling Homebody September 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    […] The Travelling Homebody The travel blog of Diane Lee « Troy and Gallipoli: memorable for different reasons […]

    Reply
  • Susan Cooper October 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Wow you would think that Troy would be a memorable place. I am glad the other places were. 🙂

    Reply
    • dileeshus October 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      I think the long bus ride and the fact we were there quite late really worked against Troy :/

      Reply
  • Turkey: highlights and lowlights – The Travelling Homebody December 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    […] and because this was coupled with long road trips, was punishing and quite exhausting. By Troy, we were all so over it, we’d built a bridge. Getting there late in the day (5pm) only to be herded through a less […]

    Reply

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