Ancient ruins and a navy perspective - Simpson Prize 2012
Well Andrew has written a fantastic entry below so there isn't much need for me to say much. It is a day in the itinerary that is something to look forward to, especially for the ancient history buffs amongst us. For me, the most poignant moment of the day is the ferry on the morning as we travel the narrows the almost impenetrable small stretch of water that the allies so desperately tried to break for the entire campaign. I always get a buzz to drift across the narrows with Kilit Biahir fort and it's love heart shape dominating one side and slowly chugging towards the town on the other side. I am cherish every moment that I spend with these kids, they are engaged and interested and I hope that some of what I say can hopefully inspire the passion that I have in this Australian story.
After an already exhausting journey yesterday, we were to embark on another long day, this time opposite the Darndenelles on the asian side. Although the day had just started, I was already exhausted, despite having an early night.
Our first destination was the ruins of Troy. Reading, watching or hearing about the fabled city of Troy at school was nothing compared to actually being on the site, seeing the crumbling, ancient stone walls that once stood tall and might thousands of years ago . The city was, as Fred (Ozgur) expertly yet hilariously described it, like a birthday cake, with layers of sponge, cream, chocolate, fruit etc. and that we were looking at the cake when the party was over, which I completely believe is true.
Our group then travelled up to the Dardanos Battery that offered a beautiful view of the Dardenelles as well as Canakkale below. Here Stuart explained the naval campaign at Gallipoli in detail, but it was rather difficult to hear and concentrate as a strong wind blew, freezing my exposed skin. Again it was difficult to imagine such a different scene to what I was given; the smell of smoke, the sights of massive battleships cruising the narrows below and the boom of cannons and explosions surrounding the landscape.
After lunch we went to the Canakkale Naval Museum. Like most other military museums, the old fort which was used as the museum contained old relics from a forgotten time. To me nothing here away particularly too interesting, but I got to experience part of the war from the Turkish perspective. At least we were given free time to wander the city Canakkale afterwards, which was a good time to breathe fresh air instead of the stale air inside the museum.
Again another exhausting day. Again a new experience. Before I left for this trip I had never thought that Turkey would be so special, that Turkey was just another country on the other side of the world. I was very wrong. I will never forget the time I spend here in Turkey and will cherish the memories forever.