Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008 On the Road and Canakkale

And thus our two week adventure began. We all got up at a pretty horrible single digit time and went to meet the Profs and the other poor people that would be joining us on the Fez Travel bus behind Aya Sofya. I call them poor people because they're most likely not used to having 10 crazy Americans in the same bus for a whole two week trip. Anyways. We got our stuff on the bus, got on the bus, and headed off.

First stop was Canakkale, or Gallipoli. We were to stay in Yellow Rose Pension or something. All of us, with the exception of the Profs, were in dorm-style rooms. Some shared the room with the other peeps who just didn't have the money to pay for the single or double room as need be. Anyways. Before even getting to the pension, we actually did the tour of Canakkale with probably the...I don't know how to put this politely, so I'll say in a roundabout way that I didn't enjoy our tour guide at all. Probably because I'm Turkish, I would have rather heard the Turkish stories, but all we were bombarded with was the ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Armed Corps or something) point of view. As interesting as that might have been, it wasn't. The guy just couldn't do it. The Kiwis in the group were probably interested but I was bored throughout.

There was also an incident where a girl in the group (not my group) asked if the First World War had really been started because of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a young Serbian man. She was essentially really surprised that a young fellow could do that...at which point two questions popped in my head: 1) do you not watch the news lady? and 2) what type of world history class did you have??!?! I might come off as snobbish, and I apologize for that, but for some reason I just can't accept ignorance at that level. Why does it seem so hard for a young person to go and assassinate the Archduke? If someone sets their mind to it, they can pretty much do anything.

Anyways. Back to Gallipoli. We went around a lot of ANZAC monuments, churches built up in memory of the soldiers, repetition of the same story over and over again, and "like" placed in unnecessary places, making the tour guide's speech even worse.

To clearly sum up my feelings: I was only impressed in two places--one was the Turkish soldier monument, and the other was when we were walking around the trenches. The trenches because they were so close together, and the Turkish monument because you can feel the sadness but also the interesting energy of the place.

Just for the fun of it, here's a picture of Edward and I sitting over the ANZAC sign...
After walking around the battlefields, we crossed over the Dardanelles I think to get to our hostel. We left our stuff in our rooms and went to dinner at a pretty nice restaurant. I had fish. It was delicious. :D

After that, we walked around to try and find a bar type thing we could go in to watch the game. True to Turkish fashion, we won the game only in the last seconds with an awesome last goal. I don't remember who we were playing, and the matches all had the similar characteristic of ending with a desperate goal by the Turks in the last 30 seconds of a game sooo...yeah. Anyways, we watched the game, the Turks won, so we went out to celebrate, and it was awesome. Turks know how to celebrate after a win. Oh yeah, while we were celebrating, at the end it was David, Amanda, Kelly, and I remaining to celebrate. To this foursome came a random creeper and essentially stalked us for a while despite David putting himself between the three of us girls and the guy. Finally, after what seemed like a really long time, David managed to make said random creeper understand that he was unwelcome and we were finally free of him. Nothing much else happened.

Oh, we saw the Trojan horse that Brad Pitt touched while filming the movie Troy. Here's a blurry picture. It could've been better but we were walking and that's the best my camera can do at night...
After the celebration, we went back to the hostel and went to bed. Woot. I'm still not over the bad tour guide. Subsequent ones weren't really any better. Just a heads-up. :D

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