Friday 26 April 2013 by Stuart Baines. No comments
Anzac Connections, Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize 2012

Today was an opportunity for us to have a shorter day in preparation for the ANZAC day activities. We spent the day looking at other parts of the peninsula, making our way down to Suvla and spending more time talking about the Turkish experience. Looking at the experience of the Turkish and the conditions that the Turkish faced is an important way to provide a balance to the tour. It is always a challenge on this day because do security changes, road closures and dignitaries so we always have to play it by ear a little. Bryce reflected on today;

Today has been a wonderful day with quite a lot to do. This morning we visited the house of Ataturk in Bigali which was where he commanded the Turkish army for a few months. It was very interesting and informative. Our tour of the house was inspirational and highlights the other side of the Gallipoli experience. I find it quite sad that we seem to be mainly focusing on the experiences of the Anzacs rather than addressing the entire picture. This is history remember, for every story there is always two sides and this gave us a taste of the other side. I sampled some traditional Turkish tea at the coffee house and found it to be a little watery for my taste but it was ok. We engaged our selves in the past at the village museum and I was personally shocked to discover that the turks where suffered almost as bad, if not worse than us during the Gallipoli campaign despite them having the "home soil". We travelled to hill 60 cemetery and visited the gun posts. There was the most amazing view of Suvla bay and the water view was breathtaking. The crystal clear water resonated the tranquil surrounds of a perfectly calm and mild spring day. We returned back to the Kum hotel for an early lunch and then rest. I found it a little difficult sleeping considering the brilliant sunshine but I did lie down for a bit. We are expected to leave for the Dawn Service late tonight for an early start tomorrow morning. It is going to be freezing cold, especially for me because I am reading up the front. I am feeling nervous. I hope it all plays smoothly.