Waking up for the Anzac Dawn Service

Waking up for the Anzac Dawn Service

By pushpedal | Pedalling Continents | 7 Jun 2019

Finally we set foot on Europe (technically) as we stepped off the ferry onto the Gallipoli Peninsula. Since we didn't come with our bikes it didn't count as "having made it to Europe".

24 April 2019

6 pm

Our ferry docked and we headed towards the other side of the peninsula. It is a 10 km walk to get to the Anzac memorial site. Security is heightened as we saw police cars escorting bus full of tourists back and forth. It wasn't much of walking for us as we've become used to going the "extra miles". There were two ways to get there and we picked the quiet farm road instead. It was very pleasant and got us thinking about how different it would've been during war time here. We walked passed fields of yellow rapeseed flowers and poppies. After an hour we got to the intersection which was heavily policed. They looked confused why we weren't on a bus.

7 pm

It appears that we're the only tourists that has walked up here. Everyone else was loaded into buses and they've started arriving. Through our translator app, the police said we can't pass through unless we got a VIP pass (not an attendance pass). They checked our passports, ticket and bag. We thought afterward they'll escort us through but we were dead wrong. Instead of helping us get through, we were told to stand by the police cars and wait.... for something. After another half hour we approached the officers again and he told us we needed to get back to the Registration carpark (which was 6km away). With some luck, an empty bus heading back took us.

9:30 pm

We heard some friendly voices and was helped out by some organisers from Australia. After some more waiting we got into a bus with several other travellers who came in privately. We finally made it… so we thought.


11 pm

After going through multiple police checkpoints, we lined up with hundreds of other visitors to get our bags checked. It's been a long day and we were excited to be closer and closer to the memorial site.


25 April 2019

1 am

We finally made it inside and the place is big. Some people have already gone to sleep in their sleeping bag, some still chatting away, some lining up for food at the food truck. We got introduced to a reporter from Newshub (NZ news channel) and told him our adventure. Impressed my how we got here, the cameras started shooting as we talked about our journey.




2:30 am

Finally after everything was settled and our beds were made, we said goodnight and dozed off. We stopped the recording of our day with the Strava tracking app.



4:30 am

We got woken up by an organiser — "the dawn service is about to start". It wasn't easy getting up, but that sense of shared tiredness from everyone around us made it less difficult. We started filling up the front section closer to the flags and screen. Everyone is quiet and tired.



5:30 am

The sun rose and the service was well underway. Speeches were made, wreath were laid. The service went without a hitch and everyone was glad the weather was good. The representative from New Zealand was the speaker of the house. We found his speech portrayed a feeling of regret for the mistake to invade, and that we "could've won". It didn't felt like the right attitude to bring to this special event.



Part Three will include the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair.


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Pedalling Continents
Pedalling Continents

Matt and Pheng visiting new places, creating new friends, and making lasting memories through the push of two pedals

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