I’m super stoked to announce that fellow Aussie blogger Chris from The Aussie NomadÂ and I are headed to Turkey at the end of this month for ANZAC Day! We’ll be travelling to a bit of a sacred place for Aussies, and we’re really excited about it.
The hills of ANZAC Cove shortly after dawn. Photo byÂ PriceypoosÂ on Flickr.
What is ANZAC Day?
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It involved the troops of Australia and New Zealand coming together during World War 1 to create a joint force to fight with Britain in the Great War against Germany and the Axis.
War Cemetery at ANZAC Cove. Photo byÂ louisemakesstuffÂ on Flickr.
On April 25th 1915, the battle of GallipoliÂ took place between the Turks and the ANZACs. The ANZACs landed on sheer cliff faces (not sandy beaches as the British predicted) and had to scale the rocks to fight the Turks. The ANZACs ended up retreating and it was a massive failure for us and many lives were lost on both sides. But it was kind of a “baptism of fire” and something that proved our mettle as two nations on the world stage.Â The Australians and Kiwis fought with such honour, courage and tenacity that it established a strong national sense of pride that continues to this day. It started what is now known as the “spirit of the ANZACs“.
Dawn Service at ANZAC Cove. Photo by nznationalparty on Flickr.
ANZAC Day is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand, and remembrance services are held all across each country (and indeed internationally, I went to the London service last year) on the 25th of April each year. From the largest capital cities to the smallest country towns, many people attend to remember the fallen.Â It’s a very solemn affair – a time to reflect on all the Australians that have died in wars we’ve participated in.
Who’s sponsoring us?
Chris and I decided to team up with a few organisations to get us to Gallipoli and to find somewhere swish to stay in Istanbul. We ended up picking two of the best in the business – Hostelbookers and Intrepid Travel.
The guys over at Hostelbookers have chipped in and provided 5 nights accommodation at the new #bunk hostel in the BeyoÄŸlu area ofÂ Istanbul. We were looking for a hostel ideally located to check out the historic Byzantine and Ottoman sights of Istanbul, yet somewhere new that didn’t look like some old blokes kitchen.
Enter #bunk hostel – a brand new boutique hostel just across the river from the massive mosques in an area that Chris’ barber described as “the Chelsea of Istanbul”. Check out the photo above and in the link, this hostel looks properly posh!
Intrepid Travel have been totally awesome and provided us with the 2 day ANZAC Day tour to Gallipoli also. They’re the experts when it comes to tours like this and we’re amped to be working with them. The tour kicks off at 10am on the day before ANZAC Day, camping out overnight on ANZAC Cove to view the dawn service and then driving back to Istanbul later that day.
Get Excited and Keep Updated!
Having spent 5 years in the Army Cadets in Australia, I’ve participated in my fair share of ANZAC Day services, but this one will be uniquely different.Â This is really huge for me because it’s somewhat of a pilgrimage for Australians and ANZAC Day is held in such high regard in Australia as it’s our unique (shared with the Kiwis) day of remembrance.
The trip will take place from the 23rd to the 28th of April, so make sure you keep updated through Facebook and twitter as we share photos, thoughts and videos along the way!