Last week I visited Suvla Bay, 100 years after my grandfather landed there in WWI. In August 1915 he and tens of thousands of other fresh British troops sprang unannounced out of the turquoise Aegean in an offensive designed to undo the stalemate of the WWI Gallipoli Campaign. The Bay is still remote and hard to get to, but quieter now than it was in his day, back then over 150,000 allied troops were on the beach shown in this video, and along the 15-20 miles of surrounding hills and coast over 3/4 of a million soldiers battled in one of the most bloody conflicts of WWI, and in what many regard as one of the greatest disasters of British military history. The stalemate was not undone - the allies left in December 1915 - my grandfather was one of the few lucky to survive until that end. I went there to remember my grandfather and the long life he had after that campaign, and to think of the many who did not get that chance.
Visited Ephesus this week, where like me, everyone has cameras. But just down the street from here a blind man was being led by his son. I watched how the son would tell the man what building or street they were at, the man would stand for a while taking in that place, and then move on to another place. I began to wonder how much I miss understanding about the world because I am so visual. So I sat for a while not looking but just listening and feeling, and I heard Herostratus, Alexander the Great, Mark Anthony, Cleopatra, the Roman Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Mary, the Apostle's John and Paul, and Elton John go by! And at some at some point in the history of this street all of them did just that, they all walked by this very spot.
When packing kit there is always compromise. The first picture was the plan; gear to wear traveling on the right, gear to pack on the left, but far too ambitious! Change of plan, have to do more dhobi on route than I wanted; belay several undies, one linin shirt and three Ranger-Rolled t-shirts and a few pair of socks, take a chance on weather and also hold off on the Gore-Tex rain gear. Now it all fits, still need to stow first-aid kit (antibiotics, dressings, suture, tummy trouble stuff and so on), print hard copies of all the electronic maps and tickets. May need a woolypully, then good to go.