Today was another fantastic day in Istanbul. Walking the cobbled streets of this ancient city we found amazing mixes of the old and news at each new turn. Our Turkish guide, Ozgur, has impressed me once again this year and managed to find more beauty and more facinating stories in this city than last year.
Blog: Battlefield Tours
For our second day Ozgur, our Turkish guide, allowed us a later start to recover from our marathon effort the day before. We had a cruise on the Bosphorus were we had a rather large boat called the Purple Elephant all to ourselves. One of the highlights was passing a palace that was so opulent and expensive it help bring down the Ottoman Empire. We disembarked on the Asian side for lunch in a waterside restaurant. While we were there the weather turned drastically, we later found out it had been a twister, and we were all grateful that we were no longer on the water.
It is fantastic to be able to say that we made it here and we've all had some sleep. Our trip started with some drama trying to gather everyone together, and poor Taylor's plane was delayed by two hours, so we all only just made check in by the skin of our teeth. It was a relief to finally be in the air. The flight was long, but there was no rest for anyone, just time for a freshen up, lunch then the start of our first day.
Once again it is time for commemorative activity to ramp up here at the Australian War Memorial but also at commemorative sites across the globe. Every April we stop and reflect on the service and sacrifice made by Australians in times of war. For a very special group of students, who have completed some excellent historical research and analysis, submitted an essay and been rewarded for their academic achievement, they will receive the unique opportunity to experience ANZAC Day 2012 at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
Well like most great things, they do have to come to an end. As quickly as it seemed to begin the Simpson Prize trip for 2011 has wound up. The last few days were a blur of buses, shopping and food. It seemed that everyone wanted to get their last empty spaces in their cases filled so we hit the Bazaar for the last time.