Meeting Julia

At a frosty 5:00am mum woke me up for the beginning of the Dawn Service.
There were two Maori ladies who sung a traditional song first that reverberated quite eerily around the cove. It was pretty amazing.
Then on the big screens name cycled for 10 minutes or so through Anzacs from various cemeteries around the peninsula.
When the ceremony begun the Catafalque party of Australian and New Zealand soldiers ‘mounted’ which was pretty cool. We heard from the New Zealand defense minister, Julia Guillard, some Turkish soldiers, the vice chief on the NZ Defence Force, two chaplains, and Australian air marshall, VC winner Lance Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, listened to the anthems of NZ, Australian and Turkey, sung Abide With Me, the ode was read, the last post played, one minute silence, the reveille played,the official party laid wreaths, the Catafalque party dismounted and it was over. It seemed to go so quickly.
At the conclusion of the service we had to walk 4kms to Lone Pine for the Australian service at 10. We’d been warned that because there were less seats there than at the dawn service we’d have to hurry to ensure we got a good spot or even a seat at all. We managed to do pretty well. Our stand was the last to leave the service and we ended up among the first to arrive at Lone Pine and Artillery Road is awfully steep!
The ceremony was fantastic and so was the pre show activities. There was an amazing choir from a school in Brisbane that sung plus Julia Guillard came and did a meet and greet with the soldier who just won a VC in Afghanistan, Lance Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith. Elijah even got a photo with Julia!
We saw our mates from the embassy too although unfortunately Dave came bearing the news of Essendon’s defeat.
To meet the bus that took us back to the hotel we had to walk back down artillery road (much easier than going up!). We were back at the hotel by midday but we were all so tired! We slept until dinner time but still could barely keep our eyes open as we ate.
We also had to pack which took a a fair chunk of the evening plus every one bar Al, Dad, Jordy and I had to catch a 7:30 bus to Istanbul the next day.

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Filed under 2012, Ankara to Athens, Gallery

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