ISTANBUL TO ÇANAKKALE We got up at 7 and packed our gear in the lounge to avoid waking anyone up. We caught a Belidesiye bus up to the Topkapi bus station and booked tickets to Çanakkale, which cost us 18,000TL each.
We traveled down the dry European side of the Bosphorus where the summer’s crop harvest was in full swing, with the Azure blue waters on one side and the rolling golden wheatfields on the other. At Gelibolu town we caught a ferry across the Bosphorus then a bus took us the remaining 46 km to Çanakkale.
When we got off the bus a young guy riding past on a bike sent us around to his uncle’s hotel which was a cheap 7,500TL per night. Çanakkale was full of smart-alecky Turks all of whom strangely came from Melbourne¹!! We had Chai in a shop called Aussie Kiwi Carpet Shop and listened to the usual hard-sell garbage then went for a beer at a sea front bar. We spent an hour or so there watching the huge Russian ships making their way through The Dardanelles on their way into the Black Sea .
Later on we went for a look in the local museum which had many articles from the Gallipoli campaign including bullets, barbed wire, bayonets, the steel actions of rifles and pistols, and many different kinds of bombs. We also had a look around the fortifications where the huge guns that defended The Narrows, and which inflicted terrible damage on the Allied fleet moving to blockade Istanbul, were mounted.
After dinner we sat and watched the sun set across The Dardanelles.
¹A common ruse employed by Turkish touts was to adopt a fake Australian accent and claim intimate knowledge of various Australian cities where they often had “a brother” or some other relation. Presumably this helped endear them to gullible Australian tourists who would then purchase whatever service or item the tout was selling.