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Friday 24 April - Istanbul and Gallipoli

Tour itinerary

Yesterday, the tour arrived in Istanbul, Turkey in the early hours of the morning and spent the day seeing the sights of Istanbul, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.

Today the group travel to Gallipoli and arrive at the Anzac Commemorative Site in preparation for tomorrow's Anzac Centenary Dawn Service.

Photos

Photos of the group sightseeing in Istanbul have been added to the gallery. Stay tuned on Monday for photos and video from the Dawn Service at Gallipoli.

Student views

Experience of international flight and Turkey

Alice Tilleard and Brittany Geoghegan

As we left Singapore we knew that Istanbul was close, well as close as something that is a 10 hour flight away can be! It must be mentioned that when taxiing out of Singapore airport we crossed a main road; yes we went over a bridge in a plane, an experience that was definitely new.

I don't think many people enjoy 10 hour flights, especially when they have been up for the last 21 hours but the flight attendants were very nice and happy to help at any hour. There was a fair amount of mild to decent turbulence but nothing too bad. Sleeping was the jackpot of the flight and some were luckier than others.

As we began to close in on Turkey and were able to see the ground again, the terrain was a stark contrast to what had been observed on the first flight flying over outback Australia; rather than the familiar colours and landscape of the outback we saw rugged mountain ranges, some snow-capped, and clusters of houses in the valleys.

Finally, after a long flight we arrived safely in Istanbul. We caught a bus to the terminal from the plane, went through customs, changed and began our adventure into Istanbul.

Lunch was interesting, with a new country comes new cuisine not all of which is suited to everyone's' taste palate, however it was filling and a cultural experience.

We then visited the Topkapi Palace Museum which was the palace of the Sultan during the Ottoman Empire. The displays were exquisite; there was a large variety of jewellery, war medals, plates, jugs and cutlery. The tiles and architecture were particularly spectacular.

Next to the palace was the Hagia Sophia Museum which was truly amazing. It's a building that has been burnt down multiple times but more notably it was originally a Catholic church, then it became a Muslim mosque and the Catholic paintings were plastered over. Today it is a museum and the plastering has been pulled back, perhaps in the future it will be a place of worship for multiple religions.

Istanbul is also home to the beautiful Blue Mosque, a Muslim place of worship that is also incredibly stunning. Its ceilings are intricate works of art and it was an honour to be allowed into such a sacred place of worship.

Our final stop was the Grand Bazaar, a marketplace filled with trinkets, souvenirs and Turkish delight, items were bartered and Lira was spent.

Finally we arrived at our hotel ready for dinner and very ready for a good night's sleep.

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This page was last reviewed on 24 Apr 2015 at 01:41PM

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