Tomorrow….Back in Istanbul
17 October ’04, Sunday. First I must tell you about our beds since we have been sleeping outside of “Bumble Bee”. All of our beds have been single beds that have been slid together…so far not a big deal… Now this is were I start having a small problem…the sheets are singles that are laid across the beds. Now we each have 2 sheets, one covering the top half and the other the bottom half. The big problem comes now…THEY DON’T STAY ON !!!! They end up all bunched up under you, and uncomfortable as heck. There also is no top sheet…you only have a “single” heavy comforter that will not stay in place…my toes are always out, or I’m out…no in between. Ok, that’s all out, now back to our leaving the hotel across from the beach and the village I didn’t know the name of… Our drive today was taking us along the Aegean Sea coast-line. We would pretty much follow it all the way up to Canakkale, were we would catch a ferry across the Dardanelles. Crossing the Dardanelles was interesting to say the least. First, the passage through the Dardanelles, to the Marmara Sea, the Straits of the Bosperus, and then into the Black Sea is one of the heaviest traveled by tanker ships anywhere in the world. Now this ferry must be able to slip it’s way across all the shipping channels of incoming and outgoing ships, in water that seems to be boiling….white caps were everywhere and the ferry seemed to find each and everyone of them to slip an slide on. It was a rough ride. Besides that, when they load the boat, they are loading it with small cars to HUGE TRUCKS, and they don’t have any rhyme or reason as to the loading pattern….we were hoping that it was balanced good enough for a safe passage….thank God it was. After our safe landing, we headed over to see Gallipoli Peninsula. Just 1.4 km wide at its narrowest point, the Strait of “Canakkale” Dardanelles, has always offered the best opportunity for armies to cross between Europe and Asia Minor. From King Xerxes of Prsia in 481 BC, Alexander the Great 150 years later, and on and on. During the 19th Century, England and France competed with Russia for influence over the declining Ottoman Empire. At the start of WWI, an all-out war was fought on this peninsula with heavy losses all around….The British..200,000 casualties, with 36,000 dead, French...47,000 casualties, 500,000 Ottoman troops became casualties with more than 55,000 dead. Take a look at the size of the Gallipoli Peninsula…it took us about 45 minutes to drive completely around the battle field…it just doesn’t seem possible that so many could have lost their lives or been one of the casualties here….why? To secure a passage way for who? Why don’t we make ALL the heads of government make a trip here before they can be sworn into office, and go through the memorial and museum.
Tomorrow….Back in Istanbul