Greetings from HK Airport!
I have used the layover time to clear the inbox, shower, hydrate and update!
Wow, Turkey. What a place.
Have you been following my insta-feed? That tells the story in a contemporaneous manner.
Istanbul is kind of like Rome insofar as there is all this ancient stuff in amongst the modern buildings. Lots of domes. Mosques and minarets dot the skyline. Lots of hills. Crowds. Restaurant touts (and even when in the areas frequented by locals, we get charged a premium, which we pay goodnaturedly- part of having a good travel experience is not sweating the small stuff)
We did the cruise on the Bosphorus. Saw the prime real estate, undoubtedly many a Russian oligarch has a property there. I find being on the (flat) water very calming. I sat with the idea that we were truly straddling 2 continents, and pondered what relationship (if any) the Bosphorus has to the element Phosporus.
We went to Gallipoli, for a day trip. The area is beautiful, bucolic, the type of place where a canny entrepreneur might set up a holiday resort.
It was really, really hard to imagine the horrors that occurred there. Because of the beauty of the environment, and because I have never lived through war.
Solemn- yes, definitely. I gazed at the graves of the young men who did not come back. My heart was warmed by the stories of kindnesses between the opposing forces.
The best thing was seeing a plaque with words from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, written in the early 1930s...something to the effect that the Anzacs were buried in the bosom of a friendly country, that the Mehmets were no different to the Johnnies.
Especially gracious given that the Anzacs were, in reality, the invaders. They were going under orders and probably not have fully understood the objectives, but still.
The sentiment is still very relevant now,
More later. From home x