This morning we had a break from the Military History travelling instead to Troy, and a lesson in Ancient History. Our Turkish Guide, Yavuz, was a mine of detailed information covering every aspect of this fascinating site. The weather too was a pleasant change. When the site of Troy was chosen in ancient times for the cooling breeze that blew over the area in summer. The breeze is still there.
After Troy, we headed back to the restaurant we had previously experienced for luncheon. During Lunch Yavuz and John took the bus to the registration point at Gaba Tepe. Anticipating a gruelling bureaucratic process they were pleasantly surprised. The simple procedure only took about five minutes all staff, Turkish and Australian, were pleasant and efficient.
Lunch finished, we joined our bus and headed for the official ceremony. The wait in open stands did not appear necessary. The crowd including VIPs was only about 400, 23 busloads, and a few shuttled from private cars. Nonetheless, the Army Band was in fine form, as was the schools’ choir from Brisbane; we were provided with bottled water and even ice blocks; conditions were bearable.
The ceremony was very moving. The presence of four VC winners adding to the gravitas. The Governor General made you proud to be an Australian. He mixed with the crowd in the charming way only he can and delivered a keynote speech all would regard as the most pointed and moving they had experienced.
The departure administration matched the smooth arrival, we were eating dinner in the hotel at 2030.
Tomorrow we will be leaving early. Our booking at the Nek is for 0930.