Turkey: Page 1 | Page 2
After spending 4 days in Istanbul, I headed down to the Dardenelles in order to visit the Gallipoli penninsula, site of one of the biggest battles of WWI. From Wikipedia:
This was an attempt to push through the Dardanelles and capture Istanbul. On April 25, 1915, as part of an allied force of British and French troops, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at a small bay at the western end of the Peninsula (today officially called Anzac Cove). The campaign ended in stalemate with the Anzacs being evacuated on December 19, 1915 and the other elements of the invasion force a little later. There were around 180,000 Allied casualties and 220,000 Turkish casualties.
"I am not ordering you to fight. I am ordering you to die."
-Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (To Turkish soldiers defending Gallipoli)
While few structures were left, the area was still rife with trenches and tunnels not to mention graves. I spent 6 hours seeing most all of the peninsula and then went back to Canakkale on the other side of the Dardenelles where I stayed for the night.
Afterwards, I headed down to the coast where I wanted to take a boat ride along the coast to just relax a few days as well as see a lot of the Byzantine ruins scattered along the coast and offshore islands as there were dozens and dozens of sites, all unprotected of course. We stopped on a number of small uninhabited islands with old houses, arches and so forth standing in silence with the occasional wild rabbit scurrying across one's path. We did make a short stop in one city to grab some food and water which was Kas (pronounced "cash").
At the end of my trip, I headed to Cappadocia in central Anatolia which is known for its bizarre and otherworldly landscape. As far as I know, not much is known about how the rock formations came about but at some point, due to the softness of the rock which is believed to be volcanic, people began carving houses out of the rock, hundreds of which can be seen today. In addition, early Christians created underground cities and churches hidden in the rocks to escape persecutation at the hands of the Romans. Cappadocia was an imperial Roman province.
One of the old churches in Göreme National Park. One of the best decisions I made there was to rent a moped for about 10 dollars and spend the afternoon touring the entire region alone. Since the area is home only to small villages, traffic is very light and there are lots of beautiful places to visit as the rock formations and ruins are scattered all over the region. P.S. You don't need a driver's license in Turkey if you're a foreigner *wink*
Turkey: Page 1 | Page 2
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