Today was a truly moving day for us all; quite an eye opener. After a substantial breakfast we left our Istanbul hotel at 08:30 and headed south west toward the Gallipoli Peninsula. Luncheon was at Eceabat where our swimmers got the first look at the route they would be following day after tomorrow. Then on to Chunuk Bair for the situation brief where I gave a background to the conflict and explained the course of the war from the Australian perspective; one that I trust can be accepted as balanced, albeit the role and function of the Light Horse in the conflict is very well explained.
Then on to the Gaba Tepe Museum. The old Museum is no more, this new one has to be seen to be believed. It is exceptionally well designed and constructed using the latest equipment; a monument to Turkish technical ingenuity that will serve as a shrine, to those who fell defending their fatherland, for many years into the future. The few photos below do not in any way do the display justice. It is made to be experienced; and you must come here to experience it. The story of the Gallipoli campaign is told in a series of eleven ‘halls’ where you are exposed to 3D imagery, surround sound and moving platforms. The tale is of course unashamedly and expectedly biased to the Turkish perspective. A good reason to have an Australian historian with you to provide a balanced view when you make this trip.
After all this culture, our swimmers plunged into the Aegean to prepare for the big swim.