Anzac Day holds a significance for all Australians and New Zealanders. Recently Australians and New Zealanders commemorated 100 years since the Anzacs landed on the shores of Gallipoli. The pilgrimage to Gallipoli for the annual Anzac Day Dawn Service is always a popular one, but so many people wanted to attend the centenary service that the Australian government had to limit numbers by holding a ballot. Tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders entered the ballot, but only a few thousand of those were ultimately successful.

Our member Amaroo was one of the lucky few to be successful in securing a place at the dawn service. Our member was able to combine the dawn service with an exciting trip around Turkey, Greece and England.

After a long trip over to Europe in the comfort of Qantas first class, the first stop is Athens, Greece. Despite a minor mishap which almost sent the passengers’ bags to Athens, Georgia, the bags do arrive in one piece. The hotel in Athens, which was especially chosen based on another AFF member’s advice, certainly doesn’t disappoint with views of the Acropolis and much of the city directly from the room.

I booked a deluxe with Acropolis view. We ended up in a smaller room but with a terrace with the most wonderful view. No mention at checkin about upgrade/downgrade however, we were very happy to have the terrace!

After several days of sightseeing in Athens, and a surprise upgrade, our member finds themself in the Turkish capital Istanbul. This vibrant city certainly has a lot to offer in terms of sights, food, shopping and much more! As well as the must-see sights including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, our correspondent indulges in a little Turkish carpet shopping… though it looks like they procured their find at a little more than they had bargained for!

I’d recommend arranging a guide yourself. We went with the hotel recommendation as we wanted a Turkish carpet specialist … that knocked the price up and ended up blowing a huge hole in the wallet

In the days leading up to Anzac Day, the trip to Gallipoli itself began. The four-day organised began with a long drive from Istanbul, followed by a tour of all the major sights on the Gallipoli peninsula. Seeing everything first-hand really does put it all into perspective.

Anzac Cove. This is where they landed. Crude example of what it looked like … the road cutting has changed the layout a little.

How did our member find the much-anticipated dawn service? And what other surprises are in store as they travel around Europe? The incredible photos are a must-see to get a true feel for the sights spotted along the way. See for yourself HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]