We finally got to sail again! This has been an unusual 'cruise' in that we've spent several days in the one spot. We did have a dinner cruise on Anzac Day when we were supposed to sail past Anzac Cove but due to security and port bureaucracy we left too late and it was too dark to see! We were supposed to have collected our Gallipoli 12 for the dinner crusie (the ones who attended the ceremony), but it actually took them about 12 hours to get back to the boat, a trip that usually takes about 1.5 hours. I think that the organisation for their day went pretty well until it was time to return.
The next day we visited the ancient city of Troy. It was interesting but there isn't a lot there any more other than piles of rubble. There is still excavation occurring but not in the part open to tourists. We did hear a lot of history from our Guide, Gokhan, so much so that our heads were fairly spinning by the end of the week we spent with him on 'the green bus'. The archeological museum there was simple but well done and it is always hard to absorb how old so many of these artefacts are. Then it was back for a port side lunch of meze and fresh fish-simple but tasty which is not a bad effort considering they feed all of us at once. We then went on to the Naval Museum and that was set in an old fort with well maintained lawns and many cannons etc. It was all very well done but didn't hold a lot of interest for us. But all in all an interesting day.
By this stage our interest was starting to wane, mainly in terms of hearing a constant stream of historical facts of a history most of us had not learned a lot about and so it was hard to take it in.
A need and a time for rest and recreation was approaching
One more day though. Before Anzac Girls on tv most of us may not have known about Lemnos but now we do. This is the Greek Island several hours sailing time from Gallipoli where the hospitals were and where many of those who died in hospital are buried. I guess this was a safe distance from the fighting and as close as they were able to place themselves. At first they were unable to install hospitals on the island due to lack of water and other infrastructure so all the hospitals remained on ships. Later tented hospitals were set up on the island but never actual hospital buildings. This is as close to the conflict as the nurses got. There is now very little to show for it all other than the cemeteries. many British are buried there as well as Gurkhas, Egyptians and quite a few Australians and NZs. In some ways I found this a sadder place than Gallipoli. It is rather a lovely, quite hilly and very windy island of about 6 thousand people and we had the best part of the day there with a tour around to the cemeteries and some time to have lunch and a bit of a wander past the shops and the port back to the ship. It is nowadays a peaceful place to live and quite attractive. When Barb (one of our 8 co travellers from our Rotary club) was momentarily locked in the toilet, she had a short daydream about being left behind and seeing out her days there!
We sailed from Lemnos at 3.30pm and a suggestion came from the captain to take a sea sickness pill. Mark and I took 1/2 each. We did well and he continued to do so for a while but after an entree I bailed out of dinner (pity, it was the 'captain's dinner' with a full on French menu) and went to lie down. As long as I kept my head down I was ok but it was pretty rough for most of the night. Anyway I slept well and woke refreshed to watch us arrive into Piraeus. I love watching all the activity at the dock as these bigger boats dock. It's so exciting to be arriving in a new place.
Suitcases had to be at the ready outside our doors at 7.30am so it was an early rise. We had our last breakfast out on Deck 5 under the canvas where we'd eaten all week and were disembarked by 9am. Buses took us to our hotels. We travelled with APT and couldn't say a negative word about them. These transfers were fantastic and were not originally part of the deal so a nice surprise for those of us not travelling on with APT.