Thursday, June 9, 2016


Our first day in Turkey started out early, we were picked up at our hotel and a travelled for four hours from Istanbul to Eceabat, stopping for breakfast enroute.  Our first stop was at the RSL tours office to catch up with some people that Gadget had befriended when he travelled to Galipolli two years ago with conservation volunteers. After that we went to have a look at the Eceabat memorials.

This monument is on the shores of Eceabat and is representative of many aspects war, the two notable images that stood out to me was the image of a mother weeping, depicting that all mothers, Turkish , Anzac, British and French who suffered the loss of their sons. The Turkish soldier carrying the Australian officer depicting that even during war, compassion existed.

There is also a detailed 3D map in this memorial park that our tour guide used to explain the various battles, what the allied forces were hopping to achieve and what points they advanced to and why they were hoping to capture those sites. 

This memorial depicts what the battlefield looked like, except the trenches would have been much deeper and the men on birth sides would of needed to stand on steps to peep over at the other side. It was a very interesting and a sobering sight. 

Arriving at the the Galipolli historical national park, the Beach cemetery was the first we seen. The first graves were dug here on the 25th of April and the cemetery continued to be used until the allies evacuated in December. Our Tour guide explained that the men buried here would have most probably died in the near by military Hospital , from injuries sustained in battle.

Shrapnel valley

Is a place of significance to us as Gadget has a family member buried in this cemetery. The following is written by gadget as he wanted to share Uncle Reg's story 

Uncle Reg enlisted at 20 years of age from his family home in Temora.    He soon found himself as part of the 18th Battalion training in Liverpool.  The battalion which was part of the 5th Brigade left Australia in early May, 1915 trained in Egypt from mid-June until mid-August, and on 22 August landed at ANZAC Cove. 

The battalion had not been ashore a day when it was committed to the last operation of the August Offensive ' the attack on Hill 60 ' which lasted until 29 August and cost it 50 per cent casualties. 

Uncle Reg survived the early battles and then with his mates found themselves being primarily responsible for holding Courtney's Post.  We know that Uncle Reg was mortally wounded on 6 December, 1915 and we believe that this took place in the late afternoon and he may have been shot by a sniper as they were very active in this area.

Uncle Reg died 14 days before the official evacuation the remainder of his mates went on to fight in France and suffered heavy casualties.

Uncle Reg was laid to rest in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery.  Examining  records we know that his family wanted the following on is head stone.

"The midnight stars are gleaming on a cold and lonely grave where sleeping without dreaming lies our dear boy far away"

This request was denied by the Army due to having too many letters.  Unfortunately his head stone 
now only bears his name.

Uncle Reg was kept alive to us by his sister, my grandmother who died before she was born.  I am the first person In my family to have visited his grave and that first visit took place in April, 2014.  Uncle Reg has been remembered by his family fir 101 years and his legacy will continue to be celebrated though our children and future children.

What's next in remembering Uncle Reg?  We will be lobbying the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to have an inscription similar to that wanted by his parents put onto his head stone.

Lone Pine

This place took my breath away as I looked at the hundreds of headstones and then walked along the wall and seen the names of all the men whom are known to have died at Gallipoli but have no known grave site. 

The Australian trenches, only the width of a road apart from the Turkish trenches at this point.

This monument is located at Pine Ridge , Galipolli.  The monument depicts a Turkish soldier carrying an Australian officer. The sculpture is based on an incident of when a Turkish soldier, after raising a white flag, carried a wounded Australian officer to Australian lines and returned to his lines before resuming fighting. It carries the following inscription, written by Lord Richard Casey
"At that moment an incredible event occurred. A piece of white underwear was raised from one of the Turkish trenches and a well-built, unarmed soldier appeared. Everyone was stunned and we stared in amazement. The Turk walked slowly towards the wounded soldier, gently lifted him, took him in his arms and started to walk towards our trenches. He placed him down gently on the ground near us and then straight away returned to his trench … This courageous and beautiful act of the Turkish 
soldier has been spoken about many times on battlefields. Our love and deepest respect to this brave and heroic soldier."

From the hill looking down to North Beach, where the ANZAC forces had there Supply base and officers quarters, around the time of the August offensive they also created a military hospital at this site. There was a pier built in this area as it was out of reach of the Turkish guns. Today this is where the Anzac memorial monument is. On the left side you can see the rocky outcrop referred to as the "Sphinx " by allied forces, it gained this name as a result of the majority of the forces being trained in Egypt and they believed it resembled the Sphinx in Egypt.

It was a very interesting day, I learned so much about what our brave soldiers endured and achieved. 


Googy Girl 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chookshed party

So  I received a little reminder from Chookyblue that it was the Chookshed's  party this weekend and since I was not making an effort to get to the chookshed, I better at least do a post ..... Lol so here it is. 
We left Italy at midday today ( our time, about 8pm Australian time) we had some dramas at the airport at Naples , but I won't get into that. 
We boarded our flight bound for Istanbul.

So here I am starting to put my Lucy Boston block together on the plane, no champagne and crackers for me . . . . Just lots of blue skies.

Better photo from the plane.

Our super swish motel in Istandbul, sadly we can't go to the city 😔. 

A bit of stitching in the motel , waiting for my bottle of Italian wine to get cold.  

Progress was good, and the wine was lovely.

Gadget forced me to put the stitching down, to give to the bar ( to see what meals they had)
But you can't stop a good stitcher on a roll . . . . 

No bad for one afternoon. 
Happy Birthday Chookshed, I know you girls are having a great time . . . 
Wish I could be there in person, but a girls got to do what a girls got to do . . . . LOL

Sonra görüsürüz
( see you later in Turkish) 

 Googy Girl

Amalfi coast by Vespa

 For our second last day in Italy we decided a little adventure was called for. After our really fun Vespa tour in Rome we decided that we would like to do it again and where better than along the Amalfi coast. Originally we had decided to go by car but we are so glad we changed our minds.

This was our first stop a beautiful lookout, before we reached Positano. Below at the base of the cliffs are tiny fishing villages. Our guide Vincenzo explained that no body really lives there anymore, sometimes the fisherman will stay overnight in one of the old cottages. What a heavenly place to stay . . . . 

This is where I started getting a bit confident and snapped a few shots from the back of the Vespa, You can see Vincenzo in front of us, and Gadgets grin in the side mirror. He loved every moment of being on the Vespa. We actually owned one up until about 4 years ago, but sold it. I have a strong feeling we are about to acquire another one.

The beautiful town of Positano. 

The beaches of Positano looking up to the hill. Vincenzo explained to us that Positano was built from the beach up, with donkeys carrying stones and building supplies. When we were there it was incredibly busy. Hundreds of shops all selling lots of different wares. We had an hour to explore before we headed off again. As you can see we had dark skies over us and with threatening rain we packed Nicky ( the Nikon camera) away in the bike box and I m glad we did, about 5 mins out of Positano the rain started. It wasn't heavy, really just annoying we continued on to Amalfi, sadly we didn't get any photos along the way.

We arrived at Amalfi in time for lunch and as you can see blue skies.This is the Bay Area , Vincenzo explained that where we were standing used to be ocean and that they had slowly built out and out into the ocean.

This is the town square of Amalfi
We had a great lunch of fish, calamari and prawns with chips in a cone. They were really good.

Lemons , lemons everywhere.  Everywhere you look around the Sorrento and Amalfi coast are lemon groves, these are just normal size lemons some of them are the size of a babies head and we are told the large ones are quite sweet.

The beach at Amalfi as we headed towards Ravello

The road to Ravello,

Ravello, set high in the hills up a long and winding road.

The view from a look out. 
Ravello is reknowned for a annual musical festival where they create a stage and have an orchestra playing classical music, particularly Wagner as he used to frequent Ravello many years ago.

And this is the view behind the orchestra, pretty amazing isn't it.

After a short visit to Ravello we headed home, again we were unlucky enough to encounter rain, but this time it really rained on us. Lucky for me I was behind gadget so he got the brunt of it. The car traffic was pretty congested so we weaved in and out trying to get to the tunnels to get a break from the rain . . . . Just before we reached Positano the rain eased and by the time we reached Sorrento I was totally dried out. It was so much fun and to be honest the rain really didn't even worry us that much. Vincenzo announced that Gadget qualified to receive his Italian Vespa license, because he did so well weaving in and out of the traffic . . . . Lol

Our last day in Italy was a bit of a non - event. We stayed in our room for a while in the morning packing up our belongings and then at 11 we caught the train to Pompeii station where we were collected and taken to a winery. The idea was we were supposed to have lunch, do some wine tasting have a tour of the vineyard and have the various type of grapes explained. We got a meal and four wines to taste. It was pretty unimpressive and way overpriced. 
Anyway we had a lovely afternoon when we returned to Sorrento, we sipped our drinks as we watched the sunset on the town square and talked about our time in Italy.

So that s it , I'm up to date . . . We are now in Istanbul, staying at a airport motel. Tomorrow we head to Gallipoli and then the next day Cappadocia.


Googy Girl 

Saturday, June 4, 2016


So today we went to Herculaneum.

Herculaneum like Pompeii was lost after the eruption of mount Versuvius in 79 AD. However the cities were affected differently. Whereas Pompeii was covered with volcanic ash, Herculaneum was covered in a pyroclastic flow ( lava ). So this difference has resulted in different outcomes for the cities and their people. 

If you zoom this image you can see a wall in the background that wall is the height of the ground after the lava came through. The lava pushed the coastline back 3 miles. The base of that wall is where the beach was originally in Herculaneum. Today the old city sits 20 metres below current ground level.

For many years they thought that most of the people escaped Herculaneum, it actually wasn't until the second day of the eruption that Herculaneum was covered. Then in 1980 they did some more digging and they found the boat sheds and they found these poor souls. Four of the sheds ( that have been uncovered) have remains similar to this, they beleive that these are predominantly women and children, the men were perhaps trying to find a way to escape and planned to come back . . . . 

Because of the lava things were preserved in Herculaneum that weren't in Pompeii, in the above box is carbonised rope.

In this window above the women's baths are the remains of a glass window.

The remains of a wooden privacy screen and the upper railings 

The remains of a wooden bed , on a similar bed in another area they found a skeleton.

One of the beautiful frescos in the (college of Augustus)

Mosaic floor.  An interesting note about this, our guide was telling us the white dots and lines on the outside , weren't just decorative. In 79AD they used oil lamps and moonlight to guide them at night, the White in the mosaic reflected the light so provided a guide for them at night . . . 
Herculaneum was really interesting and out guide was lovely.  
It s interesting that the majority of Herculaneum still lies buried and will remain so, as the the new town of Ercalano is built right up to the very edge of the ruins and on top of the old city. But as our guide said,they know that what's in there is safe and will remain so.

We are lucky to have Pompeii and Herculaneum,  so we can better understand life in those times.  But it's terrible that all these people died so horribly.  Today thousands of people live in the shadow , on the flanks of Mt Versuvias, beneath the sleeping giant. You can only wish that such a disaster never happens again.


Googy Girl 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Shopping day and Naples

So today started off a bit slow . . . We got to sleep in . . . 8am . . We were both awake at around 7 anyway . . . LOL so since we had only the plan of visiting Naples in the afternoon we took the opportunity to get some gifts for our family and spend a bit of time wandering around Sorrento. These are just a few photos we have taken over the last couple of days. In the lovely Sorrento.

The Main Street of Sorrento.

The view from our balcony, a bustling little laneway filled with wonderful little shops.

The beautiful bay of Sorrento from the foreigners club.

And the sun setting on a little square just down the road from our B & B.

We headed off just before lunch, catching a train to Napoli. We arrived in time to have some lunch, a pizza of course, which was pretty good.

Then we caught up with our Tour guide Michele for a quick tour around Naples 

This is the Naples Cathedral. Officially it is known as the cathedral of the assumption of Mary , but more commonly in Naples it is referred to as the Catterdale di San Gennaro. San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples. Every year San Gennaro performs three miracles. They have a glass ampoule which is said to contain his blood and this blood liquifies 3 times a year. Michele explained that many times he came to the church to see this miracle but he has never been able to see it, as the chapel of San Genarro fills so quickly , people sleep out the day / night before to get in. This was a lovely cathedral with some very interesting chapels , including San Gennarro's and a wonderful crypt under the main alter.
We wandered through the ancient city and Michelle explained the architecture and significant monuments as we walked along.

We noticed these skulls on the side walk.   Our guide told us the skulls were placed there many many years ago by the church to remind people that they needed to lead a good life because eventually they would die and need to account for their sins.
After looking at a few churches and wandering up the via San Gregorio, famous for making nativity scenes. We headed to a cafe for a coffee and a sfogliatella. A sfogliatella ( often called lobster tales in English) is a delightful pastry filled with ricotta cheese and just a hint of lemon. The outside shell is quite crunchy.  It was really really nice, I looked up the recipe and nope, won't be attempting this pastry . . . . . Lol

This is the Piazza del plebiscito and the basilica Di Francesco Di Paola. We did have a little peep inside the Basilica , however as a wedding was taking place it was only a very quick peep.

The ever present Mt Versuvias , seen from the Piazza del Plebiscito.

The bay of Naples , with Mt Versuvius in the background. We enjoyed our short visit to Naples , it was interesting hearing of their history and seeing the impact that the Greeks, Spanish and French have had in this southern Italian city.


Googy Girl


Pompeii what can I say , was incredible, sad , amazing.
I don't think I am going to babble too much about this, just let the pictures do the talking. But I will say this I took way too many photos . . . . . LOL

Two thirds of Pompeii has been unearthed, at the moment their priority is stabilising and protecting what they have, before considering unearthing more.....

The roads of Pompeii where you can see the tracks the carts made. The three stones across the road mean't this was a two way street, if there is only one of two it's one way .  . 

My Versuvius in the background

water fountain s were throughout the town, they would carve faces of people on the fountains which were for humans, and animals on the ones for animals. At the base of every fountain there was a hole which allowed the water to flow down the street and wash the debris away.

One of the beautiful frescos found on a wall in a villa, this one was on a garden wall, and depicts Venus.

This exhibition was on when we were at Pompeii, the black round item is charred bread and in the little glass dishes are the seeds or remains of various foods, found in either Herculaneum or Pompeii.

This room was believed to be a summer bedroom, it had a window and was close to the garden area. The frescoes were lovely . . . . 

This is a wash area in a professional laundry, see on the right hand side of the room the two square shape pits, they were the toilets for the staff, but they could only wee in the toilets. Urine as most of you probably know is full of ammonia, so in Pompeii urine was used to help clean clothing. The emperor had imposed a urine tax, so in a method to dodge paying the tax, the laundry owner obtained some tax free urine from his employees . . . . . 

These grape vines are pretty special. Other than the fact that they are planted exactly where there were grapes growing prior to the eruption , they are planted exactly as they would have been ( very 

close together) and according to our guide  these grape vines are exactly the same type as grown back then as they have compared the DNA found in seeds from the time of the eruption. Isn't science just amazing . . . . . 

This interesting bench is a measuring device, for ? A shop. They used the size of the hole to determine the quantity and price.

This is Mac Pompeii, this was a fast food outlet, they can tell by the quantity of terracotta pots built into the bench. If there were only one or two, it was possibly a wine bar, 3 or 4 a takeaway food outlet. In the background you can see amphorae , which were used to store liquids.

This was the calidarium in the womens bath houses in Pompeii, look at the beautifully carved walls, the rich red colour. 

The gardens / water feature in the Villa of Julia Felix , Pompeii. They have tried to re-create the garden as they believe they would have been and in some cases they have planted trees where they know the same trees grew before the eruption.

It's not a great photo, it was hard to get the shot, but such a moving scene, these plaster moulds are where they found them. This group of people died all within reach of each other, in this place. What I didn't realise was that the people of Pompeii all most probably died from the poisoness gases. It was really interesting to learn how they made these casts and how they are using the same technique to make moulds of doors , windows ect . . . . 

This was a wall mural in what is believed to be a winter bedroom.

This is just one section of a huge shed where they have stored all the things they have found throughout the site.  The anchor was found near the Porta Marina ( marine gate).

Pompeii was amazing, so interesting and so very very sad.  
At the moment there is a lot of work taking place on this site, which will hopefully continue to create an environment that will allow us to better understand how the people from Pompeii lived.


Googy Girl