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Liz and Vicki Gallipoli 2015

Welcome to Liz and Vicki's Travel Page. Follow us on our journey to Gallipoli to commemorate the 100yr ANZAC celebrations in memory of our Grandfather Jack and his brother Vincent.This trip is particularly special as it was our dads dream to go to Gallipoli. We will be remembering his anniversary on April 26th at Gallipoli.

Diary Entries

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Location: Turkey

Last Post! Today we set off up to Galata Tower and caught the old tram to Taksim square and wandered back down Istiklal Ave which takes you back to Galata Tower. Istiklal Avenue is one of the famous avenues of Istanbul, frull of boutiques, coffee houses, music stores, restaurants, patisseries. We were able to take our time and do some last minute shopping on the way and have time to stop off for some very good coffee presented on a platter with side helping of fruit, water and a sweet treat. Certainly set the standard for a double shot flat white!
This afternoon we caught up with our cousin Susan and her daughter Ilyana again. It is incredible to think that we are meeting for the first time, a hundred years after our grandfathers (brothers) fought in Gallipoli. we so enjoyed their company.

We have had a wonderful fortnight, it has been a special time and now looking forward to coming home.
Love and hugs,
See you Sunday
Vicki and Liz xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Location: Turkey

Tuesday was our day earmarked for shopping. After a late start we headed off for Taxim square via the metro and funicular. Taxim was unremarkable just an ugly square. The shopping Mall was 100 meters from it. Fair to say it was like all shopping malls all over the world with similar or same brands,we had the list and were heading for set shops with some success I hope!!

Last night we went to a local restaurant called Karakoy Lokantasi and had delicious mezes like Tapas. We were surrounded by locals drinking Raki (aniseed liquor) They insisted on us trying which we did, disgusting! we were very happy to stay with our Turkish red. The food was beautiful we are enjoying the meze style of eating.

Today we headed back to Sultanahmet to see a couple more sights. First up was Sultanahmet Mosque ( Blue Mosque) named for the blue tiles adorning the walls of the interior. The mosque is still used so we had to adorn head cover and remove shoes. The interior is grand as you would expect the exterior is visually stunning. By contrast Aya Sofya's interior was incredibly beautiful the use of marble, tiles and the intricate craftsmanship was stunning, Incredible architectural achievement.
Meandered back to Beyoglu via some interesting streets. Walking down one street a young Turkish man calls out "You've dropped something". Lizzie turns round and looks down to see what she had dropped. Turkish man calls out "You have dropped my heart!" This is typical of what we have encountered.
We are really enjoying Istanbul, the city is so vibrant, the people are friendly and we feel very safe. Tomorrow is our last day so will explore some more.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Location: Turkey

We are now staying in Karakoy Beyoglu which is just across Galata bridge in a very central location.The hotel is very comfortable and a good base for next five days, and yes Maggie and Georgie shops close by!!
Yesterday we set off to visit some of the many sights on offer. First up was the Archaeology museums which consisted of the museum of the ancient orient, archaeology museum and Tiled Pavilion. You could spend Hours here, incredible detail on the artefacts especially the Sarcophagi.
Topkapi Palace was next what opulence the Sultans lived in. Incredible architecture and tiling though. On the way back we explored back alleys and found interesting little shops. Being Sunday it seemed like everyone was out doing the same. We feel very safe, the people are friendly and helpful. The men are charming as one said to me after I declined his invitation and told him I was taken said so was he that in Turkey we have a saying "we like to take honey from every flower".

Today we took a cruise up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, with the aid of an audio guide to explain the sights on the way. We passed palaces, pavilions, mosques, seaside residences. I can assure you they were not baches. We ended up at the seaside village of Anadolou on the edge of the Black Sea. Great coffee and meze. The Bosphorus is one of the most busy waterways, Turkey has had to grant passage between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marama and that means there are 45,000 vessels vying for space carrying all sorts of cargos that present environmental nightmares should one stray off course.
Just off for a walk around the waterfront and dinner.
Love Liz and Vicki xx

Monday, 27 April 2015

Location: Turkey

Hi everyone, well this is the third time we have tried to post our Gallipoli visit. Due to technical difficulties we have been unable to save to the travel page, so hope you are reading this now.
We were picked up by Crowded House Tours and bussed to Eceabat on the Gallipoli Peninsula Thursday morning. Nice little coastal town on the western shores of the Dardenelles the strip of water that the campaign was all about. That afternoon we were taken on a guided tour of the Gallipoli battlefields. It was pretty amazing stepping foot onto Anzac Cove and giving us an insight into the enormity of what the Anzacs were up against. The terrain is steep, full of gullies and the undergrowth, thorny and much as it would have been 100 years ago. At the top ridge the view was spectacular, across to the Dardenelles on one side, and out over the beautiful blue Aegean Sea to the island of Imbros where General Hamilton had stationed himself, well away from the action! Following the tour we were taken back to Eceabat and ferried across the Dardanelles to Cannakale where we stayed in a skody hotel. Canakkale is the biggest town close to the battlefields and was in lockdown due to the number of dignitaries staying.
The next day before being dropped at Anzac cove we went to Troy an ancient city the subject of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and famous for the Trojan excavations which revealed there were nine cities built on top of each other. It was all very fascinating especially being able to see the layers of civilisation.
We then left for Anzac Cove only to be once again delayed by the organisation of the police in getting so many people to the Commemoration and focusing on the dignitaries, the result they closed the water passage between Canakkale and Eceabat and we had to be bussed another hour up the peninsula cross the water at Gelibolu then back down to Anzac Cove we learnt very quickly that nothing was going to run to to time.
Arriving at Anzac Cove at Dusk was beautiful clear starry night. We went through three security checks, two wrist bands, backpack check, x-rayed, and frisked fortunately we got to keep our clothes on!
We were lucky to get a seat as those on the grass weren’t allowed to lie or sit and were packed in like sardines. It was bitterly cold. Overnight we watched a reflective programme that told the story of the Gallipoli campaign and the bonds that have been established between Turkey and the Anzacs.
As dawn approached you couldn’t even hear a pin drop except for the lapping of the water, it was a poignant moment especially with the naval fleet in the Cove silently passing. The service was so moving and the Last Post chilling.
Following the dawn service we climbed 6.5 kms up to Chunuk Bair via Artillery Road…gave us a look at the harsh terrain the soldiers had to deal with while keeping their heads down. There are still a network of trenches that are visible.
Chunuk Bair, the high ground where NZ briefly held the summit was the scene of the NZ ceremony. The memorial commemorates more than 850 NZ soldiers whose graves are unknown. It was nice to have our own service, the Australians had Lone Pine, we were outnumbered 1 to 4 by them.
Once again we had a good seat, looking straight at the VIPs. The large screen captured more than we thought, thanks for the snapchat Georgie! Harry was a hit, we can confirm he prefers blondes!
At the end of the service we laid a poppy for Grandpop knitted by Mum. It was certainly a once in a lifetime event, Dad would have loved to attend but we were remembering him on his anniversary, the 26th.
Getting off Anzac Cove was a mission, again the dignitaries took priority, with long waits, eventually back in Istanbul at 2 am.
Back soon, lots of love to you all,

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Location: Turkey

Hi everyone, It is 2 am and have just arrived back at our hotel in Istanbul after an amazing and epic 3 days on the Gallipoli peninsula. No wireless and dead phones so haven't been able to communicate. We are just off to bed, but will update you all tomorrow with some good pics and news.
Love and hugs, Liz and Vickixxx

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hi everyone, a fantastic day visiting all the Gallipoli landmarks, limited wireless and battery so will contact you when we can. Troy tomorrow and then in for the big Anzac ceremony. Love and hugs, Vickixx

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Hi everyone we have been in Istanbul two days and after a couple of good sleeps we are feeling back to normal although still in the clothes we left in on the 19th! Yesterday after a hearty breakfast one has to be polite!! We set off for the Grand Bazzaar. On the way we made the mistake of pulling out a map like a couple of tourists. Before we new it we were hijacked by a charming Turk and off to his rug shop. There we were plied with Apple tea and pressured to buy a rug. Despite us resisting he took us to a local eatery and fed us beautiful traditional Kurdish food alongside the locals I am sure in the hope we would purchase the rug.

Eventually we made the Grand Bazaar, a maze of alleyways full of touts selling all the same commercial stuff, and pestering us to buy. We weren't that impressed really. In the end we bailed for a glass of wine on the terrace back at the hotel and an introduction to hookah smoking courtesy of two Arab women who insisted we try the rose inhalation.

The biggest joy of the day was walking back to our room to find our suitcases had arrived. So relieved.

Today , Wednesday is cold and raining with a clap of thunder. Big sightseeing day for us and lots of walking. Walked to the spice bazaar down by the Galata Bridge. So much better than the Grand Bazaar. Beautiful spices, dried fruit, teas, all sorts of foods plus the usual suspects, rug men, shoes, handbags and souvenirs. We did find some lovely linen places and have fallen for pomegranate tea. Delicious. It was another day of "firsts". First Turkish coffee and baklava. Devine. First Turkish pide (pronounced peeday) yum. Lots of smells and flavours.
We walked over Galata Bridge, a good vantage point to look back at the different architecture. There are so many mosques, all seem to be very grand. Architecture from Byzantine, Ottoman and Seljuk eras. So many different empires that are visible through Istanbul buildings.
Tonight we caught up with our grandfather's brother's granddaughter who is attending Gallipoli ceremony. We hadn't met before. She is here with her daughter. It was great to compare notes about what we all knew of our family history and lovely to meet up.
Well we are now packing up, an early start to head towards Gallipoli. A night in Eceabat and then to Anzac cove.
Looking forward to the next phase.
Vicki and Liz. Xx
Ps. Love your messages

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Location: Turkey

Thanks for lovely messages, it makes us feel loved.xx
After sitting on tarmac on flight to Bejing for two hours we were advised to bail as chances were better out of Hong Kong to Istanbul rather than Beijing. At that stage we had a four hour wait and China had closed all airspace dure to "bad weather".
we found a loveloy Cathay Pacific staff member who got us on flight to Rome at 1 am. We were rushed onto flight, sat on tarmac for two hours and then 12 hour flight, at least we were asleep for some of that time. We were met in Rome and whisked through immigration and put on flight to Istanbul. Arrived yesterday afternoon minus luggage.

It was so nice to arrive at a lovely small hotel with a warm welcome and a horizontal bed! We are still in clothes we left in, (we have used both sides)! legs like tree trunks and black bulging slashes under the eyes! Never mind the looks! We are having a great time and we are hopeful of bags arriving today or before we go to Gallipoli.
Here are some pics taken from hotel terrace where we sit for breakfast.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Location: Hong Kong

Hi everyone, so far our trip has not got off to a good start . Our flight to Hong Kong was delayed 9 hrs then diverted to Manilla, as a result we missed connecting flights to Istanbul. Today we spent in HongKong. For me I was able to go down a bit of memory lane. I must admit I don't miss the pollution or the humidity but I did enjoy the familiar sights and smells.
Tonight we boarded the flight to Beijing and ended up sitting on the tarmac for four hrs due to poor weather on the flight path. Once again we have missed our connecting flight. We are sitting in HK airport waiting to be rebooked. Our bags are apparently off the plane. It is costing Cathay Pacific a bit. We are well looked after but lacking sleep and process is wearing thin.
Plan from here is for Cathay pacific to get us on first available flight out so who knows what country we will be visiting tomorrow!
We have had a few laughs. There are six of us in he same position.
Hopefully next post will be from Istanbul.
Vicki and Liz xx

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Recent Messages

From Mum
So interesting reading your exploits what wonderful buildings and sights you have seen. Have good trip home love to you both
It is a very interesting and wonderful city to visit. Such incredible history and people are lovely. we have had a great time.xx
From Rosie
Looks and sounds fabulous girls! Looking forward to hearing more when you get home..
Response: Thanks Rosie and thanks for feeding the family. Xx
Andrea u mustn't be that busy at work to read the blog . What do you reckon Liz?
Response: She is getting excited for her trip or missing me!
From Andrea
Wow Loving the blog, all very informative for the upcoming Fowler tour. What a wonderful wonderful experience and sooo emotional to actually be there/ Enjoy enjoy enjoy XX
Response: Andrea you will love it fantastic city so much to do and see. See you soonxx
From Mum
What a wonderful Anzac you have had loved the photo of poppies also have a good photo of you Vicki on tv !! Loved the photos of Istanbul mum
Response: Thanks mum yes we were sitting right in the cameras sights.xx
From Deb
Hi guys, what an amazing experience, one that no doubt will stay with you both forever. I love reading about your adventures - makes me feel like I'm there with you. It's also great to read all the messages from the family - Hi everyone. Take care, love Deb PS good to hear that you were outnumbered by the Aussies!!!
Response: Hi Deb Loving Istanbul if you haven't been put it on your list. Gallipoli special time . Lots of love.xx
From Katy
Great to hear of your adventures . I watched everything I could of the ceremonies hoping to see you, but alas, I must have picked up a cuppa at the wrong time !! Hope your adventures continue and that there are no more hitches or scody hotels. you HAVE to stay in at least one to know what good is like
!! xxx
Response: Hi girlfriend, This hotel is an improvement on Canakkale. Gorgeous little area we are staying in off to explore tomorrow. xx
From susie
That was some journey to get there. Still the drama completes the journey. kind of reflective in a small way of the hard journey that gallipoli must have been 100 years ago.

Must admit to a bit of envy. Sounds like it is one of those special asventures that don't come along too often
Response: We thought the same we were concerned it was going to take just as long to get there.
Now looking out for you in Chunik Bair, what an amazing bit of history you are witnessing. How proud would your father feel .
love Brigidxx
Response: Great that it was televised
From charlie
Epic journey so far, seems that you are know having a blast. although i am a bit curious as what is in the hookah vicki.Cannot wait to hear some of your stories, but in the meantime will keep an eye out for you guys on the tv. Take care and safe travels
Response: Hi Charlie, never mind what's in the hookah, whatever it takes !! look forward to hearing your New York stories.xx
From Jim
Hi Viki and Liz
Enjoy yourselfs at Gallipoli. Wish I was there with you both. Enjoying your blog. Tomorow I will be going to Dawn Parade here at Surfers and then to the Parade at midday where I will be marching with the Kiwi contingent. Jim
Response: Hi Jim hope your Dawn service was just as special.
From paddy
Glad to see you are both enjoying the wonderful sights of Turkey. Brings back many unforgettable memories. Enjoy. Looks like a really special Anzac ceremony planned, it will be an incredibly moving experience.Safe travels. xx
Response: Thanks paddy the service was pretty moving Your trip to New York looked special loved the photos . Lots of lovexx
From Brigid
Apparently the Paekok hill which Tim and I have just driven over is very like the terrain you are experiencing ,so when u return I will whip u over in the Bat to see what u think. How lucky are you both ! Lots if love xxx
Response: Look forward to the bat mobile having wonderful time home soon.lots of lovexx
From Mike
Cathay pacific! Mmmmm....
Maybe Carpet Pacific. Can just imagine two girls flying home on their new Persian carpet hanging onto their bags! At least it could be direct. Good luck for the weekend at Gallipoli.
Think about Istanbul on your trip.
From Mum
Have wonderful Anzac experience from here on loverly colourful photos of bazaar lots love and keep warm mum
hi mum will email you one of your poppies is at Chunuk Bairxx
From Ruby
Hi Glam and Lizzie
I loved seeing your pictures. My favourites were the picture of the colorful shoes and bowls ! The food looks yummy too! I would like to go to Turkey one day too. Miss you lots. Love Ruby :-) :-) xxxx
Hi Ruby
Thank you for your message, I am having a wonderful time and the food is yummy. The commemoration service at Gallipoli was beautiful and moving. I have pictures to show you when I come home. We visited a very old and ancient palace todayand tomorrow we are going on a boat up the Bosphorus sea. You will have to look at that on your map. Miss you and Seb, love and hugs, Glamxxxx
From katy
Hi Vicki and Liz
What a great idea-this blog! There is a lot of TV coverage here of the events in Turkey leading up to Anzac day. I keep on looking for you, even though logic tells me you wont be there yet :-) Rog and I send you all best wishes and hugs and hope you are having a ball. xxx
Thanks Katy and Roger. Clothes on board and having great time.
From Team Mooch
best news you are safe and smiling wide! So great you have a blog! Will be thinking of you on Saturday. all the best from we girls xxxxxxx
Thanks girls. Had some great coffee over here!
From Terence
Certainly brought back memories to see the pollution in HK, looked even worse. Very impressed by the size of the wine glass and how much was in it, sets a new benchmark! You will be about to wake up for a new day, hopefully you are nearly recovered and your luggage has arrived. have a great day.
From Mike
Anyone lost any clothes? A couple of bags turned up here via air Gisborne!
Not ours.
From Rosie
Haha! You would have needed that large red wine!!
From Mum
Thinking of you cannot believe what you been through enjoy rest trip hopefully with your luggage
Thanks mum,not quite what we had hoped lots of love xx
From Mum
I hope you are able to have great trip from here on and luggage arrives soon looks nice hotel I felt for you what a trip no wonder you feel battered certainly covered some countries lots love mum
Response: Thanks mum we will be more settled once bags arrive.
From Vati, Maggie and Geo
Hi Mutti and Vicki :)
We just read your little entry and I hope to see lots more entries after Breakfast!!!
Georgette and moi have had a wonderful first few days back at school lol and we have been bombed with internals in every subject which is just a lovely way to welcome us back. Father did a lovely job at prize giving and we got lots of awwwwwws when he gave me a cuddle :P. I think this weekend Jessie is coming up so hopefully we can see her and have a catch up :D We hope your trip will improve and you find time to do the all important shopping :) will get the list to you. Miss you heaps!!! lots of love :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxox
Response: Well done Terence look forward to shopping lists I know they will be short. Miss you heaps xx
From Rosie
What a horror story!! Pleased you have now arrived safely.
Response: Thanks Rosie it will be a horror if we can't change our clothes! Xx