Ask Joan: Gallipoli and Istanbul, Cape Cod in autumn

 

My husband’s grandfather was killed at Gallipoli and his name is inscribed on the Helles Memorial there. We would love to visit this monument next June for the 100th anniversary of the battle. Taking in a few days in Istanbul would be a bonus. We have a limited budget so any help would be gratefully received. – CP, Wexford

The 100th anniversary of the war in Gallipoli, where more than 100,000 men lost their lives, will be very busy. The Dardanelles Campaign lasted from April to January 1916.

Turkish Airlines flies daily from Dublin to Istanbul with prices from €261 return. If you are going that far you might as well stay a few nights, maybe after the trip to Gallipoli so you can drop the car at the airport as traffic in Istanbul is famously congested.

Stay in the Sultanhamet area around Taksim Square to be near the major sites. Lots of good value hotels are under €100 per night. See hotels.com, booking.com and goturkey.com.

The best way to Gallipoli is by car, budget about €30 per day. Turkish roads are fine, and it’s about five hours drive from the airport. You could base yourself in Eceabat on the south coast of the Gallipoli peninsula or Canakkale. There is a ferry between the two towns for around €8-10. Hotels near ferries are helenhotel.com and hotelarthur.com, both around €50 per night.

The Hellas Memorial is on top of the cliffs at Seddulbahir and the cemetery behind the beach has over 200 gravestones to Irish soldiers.

The Anzac landings in Gallipoli will be celebrated on April 25th. If you know your husband’s grandfather’s unit it may be useful to contact them. See also the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, cwgc.org We will be in Boston in October for a few days. We want to see the main highlights but would also like a brief visit to Cape Cod, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket etc, if possible. We will be dependent on public transport. Are there half-day or one-day tours from Boston that would include some of the above? If guided tours are not available is it possible to avail of a regular bus service from Boston that would , at least, give a flavour of the Cape Cod area. – GB, Dublin

Cape Cod is close to Boston, but without a car, it is not so easy to access. There is a weekly summer train service called the Cape Flyer, however it finished at Labour Day weekend (last weekend), as did a number of other seasonal day tours.

There is bus service from South Station called Peter Pan, peterpanbus.com and once on the Cape, there is local bus service by Cape Transit. A day return ticket to Falmouth is about $30 and the local bus is from $2. See capecodtransit.org.

There are also a limited number of bus companies offering autumn day trips to the Cape in October. Brushhilltours.com has the Gray Line Sightseeing trips to Hyannis which includes a visit to the JFK Museum, some days of the week, from $62.

See the fall colours on a day trip with viator.com to Cape Cod. This trip visits Hyannis and Sandwich and includes a cruise on Lewis Bay from $62.

In October you can still take a fast ferry from Boston to Provincetown, right at the top of Cape Cod, for around $88 return. It would allow a day to explore Provincetown and surrounding area, see bostonharborcruises.com and baystatecruisecompany.com.

Send your travel queries to jscales@irishtimes.com

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