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Istanbul – Istanbul
Max. 14 People
Private | Regular | Combination of small group tours
06:30-07:00 Pick up from your hotel in Istanbul and head for Troy in Canakkale. This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour of Troy! If you’ve seen the movie – ‘Troy’ or read the poet Homer’s – ‘The Iliad’ you’ll be familiar with Paris – Prince of Troy, his prized Helen and Hector – Prince of Troy on the Trojan side and Agamemnon and Achilles (he of the heel) on the Aechaean (Greek) side. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was bought alive by it’s rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed 9 ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC!
We enjoy a tour of the ruins and bear witness to a replica of the stoic Trojan wooden horse that, as the story goes, was filled to the gunnels with Aechaean soldiers who helped sack Troy. Canakkale city is also home to a replica of the Trojan horse used in the 2004 film Troy. Movie of Troy features an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. Overnight Canakkale. (B, L)
Start your day at 08:00 with a pickup from your hotel and take a ferry across the Dardanelles to Eceabat – closest town to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. The battlefields cover an extensive area from Cape Helles at the southern tip of the peninsula north for over 35 km (22 miles) to the Anafartalar hills. Around 100,000 were killed and 400,000 wounded during the nine-month campaign (1915-1916).
The World War I battlefields of Gallipoli are now a serene site. Here, we’ll embark upon a guided tour of the region, once the site of fierce fighting and today almost hauntingly beautiful, with its wooded landscape dotted with understated memorials to the war dead. Our guided tour of the region will take in sights such as Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery (the site where Albert Jacka became the first Australian to be awarded a VC in WW1), Chunuk Bair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery, the Nek(where the Australian Light Horse Brigade suffered heavily in August offensives), Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years. Roughly 3 feet deep, the system of trenches provided much need safe cover for troops as they desperately fought the enemy.
We’ll also visit the Cape Helles Memorial to the missing where the majority of those who fell in 1915 are commemorated and Seddulbahir to see the grave of Doughty-Wylie. We then visit the British sector where the SS River Clyde landed 29th division on V Beach and the Lancashire landing site where the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers were awarded six VC’s before breakfast (walk duration approximately 2 hrs). At X Beach, we see where HMS Implacable landed the 2nd Royal Fusiliers before visiting Krithia vineyard, Krithia war museum and nearby Redoubt Cemetery. This visit requires some walking as the roads to the beaches are not accessible by coach.
The day ends on the small Kabatepe Information Centre and Museum – a museum of modest proportions which exhibits period uniforms, weapons, copies of letters from servicemen, and other poignant personal possessions. Outside the small museum are some memorial gardens and top views of the peninsular memorials dotted across the landscape.
18:00 We return to Istanbul in the evening arriving back at approximately 23:00 hours. We are able to organize extra post-trip accommodation and day tours/activities if you wish to extend your stay. Happy travels! (B, L)