Tranquility belies coast's bloody past

Gallipoli is more than Anzac history, finds DAVID BAILEY

Standing on sacred ground at Ari Burnu cemetery gazing up the beach for the first time was a confusing experience.

I struggled with visions of the hell that happened here in 1915, then paused to look up the shore from Anzac Cove, and a feeling of peace overcame me. My mind was invaded by a view of beauty as I took in the vista of the shoreline.

Waves gently lapped the beach, and a fresh sea breeze provided relief from the warm afternoon sun.

The hills and gullies that once reverberated with the sounds of war are now tranquil places covered in pine trees and wildflowers, areas of beauty with stunning views of the coast along the Dardanelles.

More than 100 years have passed since the bloody battles raged at this place and the events became seared into the Australian psyche with the birth of the Anzac legend.

The area where the war played out is now protected in a Turkish national park. Each day hundreds make their pilgrimage to honour their ancestors and pay respect. But an increasing number of tourists and locals are being drawn to the region for its beauty and culture.

Welcome to the Gallipoli Peninsula.

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