Going to Gallipoli

Photo of Adrienne 1Hi everyone! My name is Adrienne and I’m the Children’s and Young Adult Services Coordinator for Wellington City Libraries. This month I have headed to Turkey to attend the 2015 ANZAC Commemorations at Gallipoli. I was fortunate to receive a double pass to the event as part of the Government-run ballot system.

Not only am I a librarian, I also serve as a Medic in the New Zealand Army Reserve and have a history of military service amongst my family, so the event will have special meaning for me.

To plan for my trip to Turkey, and the events on ANZAC Day, I’ve taken advantage of the various services the library has to offer. Here’s what I did…

My first step was to do a little bit of research into my family history. Ancestry Library (access from library computers only) was my first stop as it gives me access to records of family members – births, deaths, marriages, immigration, military service, employment and more. I typed in known family members’ names and had a look at the information and connections returned from the search. While I found no family members that served at Gallipoli, I did come across a number of previously unknown ancestors that fought in World War One, some of which returned home and others that didn’t. It was incredible to find out about my grandfather’s cousins who fought at the Somme.

Next I searched the catalogue to locate books about the Gallipoli battles. There’s an incredible array of materials available – from histories and analyses, personal accounts, battlefield guides, and on the aftermath and impact on New Zealand. One fascinating book detailed New Zealand nurses’ experiences in World War One, titled Anzac girls : the extraordinary story of our World War I nurses (also in eBook). There are also books that portray the Turkish perspective of the battle and it occurred to me that it seems incredible that they let us arrive in our droves each year to celebrate the day we invaded their country. It just goes to show the mutual respect the countries involved have for each other. You can find these books in the 940s section in the Central Library.

I’m intending to tour around Turkey for a couple of weeks after ANZAC Day, so off to the section of travel guides I went. I found guides for Turkey as a whole, but also separately for Istanbul. These have been extremely helpful in planning my trip and making bookings. Travel guides are expensive to purchase, so it was great to use the library ones for planning and to see which guides I liked the best before buying one to take with me.

I also browsed through some language guides (which can be found in the 400s), so I could attempt to wrap my tongue around the Turkish language. I used the Mango Languages app to help with this too (available free to Wellington City Libraries’ members).
Lastly, I had 24hrs of flying to get there, and will have another 24hrs to get back, and many hours sitting on buses in between. There’s only so many movies that can sustain me; eventually I’m going to need to have something to read. I’m planning on travelling light, so eBooks, eMagazines, and eAudiobooks are ideal and Wellington City Libraries has all of these available for free download. There’s so much variety that the most difficult task so far has been choosing which titles to choose. I’ve downloaded a number of eBooks and eAudiobooks from Bolinda and Overdrive, and downloaded some magazines from Zinio.

I’ll be posting some photos, videos, and reports from ANZAC Day at Gallipoli here and on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The Joys of Armchair Travel

Can’t afford to go on a holiday? No problem, explore the world through travel books in the comfort of home! They’re creatively written, and often more interesting and comprehensive than travel guides that tend to gloss over certain experiences. Still wishing it was you on a beach? We have all the best travel horror stories that will make you think twice!

Some great authors to try:

Looking for a reason to stay home:

Syndetics book coverSod abroad: why you’d be mad to leave the comfort of your own home / Michael Moran.
“Ok, its not absolutely certain that you’ll catch a fatal bout of food-poisoning or be banged up in jail as a drugs mule. But you might. Why would a sane person risk it? Holidays aren’t economical, they arent ecological, and they’re not much bloody fun. With travel tips, handy warnings and lists of stuff you can only do at home, Sod Abroad will help you kick the holiday habit. Instead, why not spend a fortnight on your sofa, in your home, watching your telly (/reading this book), and eating food that you can actually pronounce.” – (adapted from Fishpond.co.nz summary)

Syndetics book coverDon’t go there! : the travel detective’s essential guide to the must-miss places of the world / Peter Greenberg ; Sarika Chawla, chief research editor.
“We’ve all suffered through bad vacations: tourist traps, endless lines, rundown hotels, and the worst airports on earth. Before you book your next trip, get all of the facts-that “idyllic” beachfront hotel could really be one of the world’s hellholes.In this follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, The Complete Travel Detective Bible, Peter Greenberg shares his experiences and hard-won knowledge of where not to go and why, so you can make sure your big vacation isn’t to a dismal destination.From dangerous roads, crime-ridden cities, and countries overrun with disease to depressing destinations, polluted beaches, and places that (literally) stink, the ultimate travel expert leaves no stone unturned, no garbage heap unexplored, to list the locations you should forget even exist.Backed up by information he has been compiling for years, Greenberg unapologetically exposes misrepresented resorts, corrupt countries, and cringe-worthy cruise ships so that travelers can confidently pack their bags and avoid vacation tragedy. Book jacket.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 places not to see before you die / Catherine Price.
“From the Grover Cleveland Service Area to the Beijing Museum of Tap Water to, of course, Euro Disney, 101 Places Not to See Before You Die brings you lively tales of the most ill-conceived museums, worst theme parks, and grossest Superfund sites that you’ll ever have the pleasure of not visiting. Journalist Catherine Price travels the globe for stories of misadventure to which any seasoned traveler can relate-including guest entries from writers such as Nicholas Kristof, Mary Roach, Michael Pollan, Rebecca Solnit, and A. J. Jacobs-and along the way she discovers that the worst experiences are often the ones we’ll never forget.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 places not to visit : / Adam Russ.
“101 Places Not to Visit” has it all: dull attractions, pointless festivals, sites famous for their biohazards or radioactivity, tips on how to avoid marriage to locals desperate to escape, and more. Brimming with vitriol and useful information, this eye-opening guide will have you canceling your next vacation. Stopping at every continent, this cautionary companion offers a look at the places that tourist organizations would rather you didn’t know about. Refreshingly abusive, it makes no effort whatsoever to be fair or even-handed. Each entry begins with a unique point system that awards stars for “Boredom Factor” and “Likelihood of Fatal Visit.” This is followed by a history of the destination, a look at its culture or lack of it, non-attractions, and any culinary specialties you might be expected to endure. Throughout, color photos and special features draw attention to particularly ghastly places, people, and events. Don’t leave home without it…or, perhaps, don’t leave home at all.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverOverboard: the stories cruise lines don’t want told / Gwyn Topham.
A cruise was once the trip of a lifetime: a byword for refinement, luxury, romance, the millionaire lifestyle. No longer. Boats are bigger and brasher, and every year more and more people of all ages and walks of life are clambering aboard to join the party. But are they safe? Out at sea, there are no police. Many cruise ships fly flags of convenience, sailing in murky legal waters. Reports of disappearances, disease, death and debauchery are becoming alarmingly frequent. Can you be sure your dream holiday, or your ship, won’t end up on the rocks? Gwyn Topham, travel editor of Guardian Unlimited, talks to crew and passengers in Australia and around the world to find out what really happens on the high seas. In tales spanning ships from the Fairstar to the QM2, he discovers pirates and pollution, missing persons and mutinies, colourful captains and crew, and passengers whose antics would make your hair curl. You cannot afford to get aboard until you have read Overboard: the stories cruise lines don’t want told.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Titanic awards : celebrating the worst of travel / Doug Lansky.The Titanic Awards: Celebrating the Worst of Travel
“From the worst airport layout to the most confusing subway system to the most overrated tourist attraction, Lansky looks at flawed travel destinations with a gimlet eye and a sense of the absurd.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAround the world by mouse / Harry Pearson.
“Inspired by the efforts of 1950s comic writer Alex Atkinson who wrote a travelogue about the USA without bothering to visit it, Harry Pearson embarks on an epic trip around the globe without leaving his office except for the obvious necessities (snacks, bathroom breaks and removing an electrocuted mouse from inside the toaster). Using the Internet, he traverses an incredible virtual world where natural wonders are rendered all the more remarkable by the florid language of computer translation programmes (“Glorious opinions of the provincial topography can be had from our high-up windows”). By train, car, motorbike, and yacht, as well as homepage, live cam, and blog, the author traverses the planet; fights off wave after wave of Spam-hucksters (“Want to make love like you were a teenager again?” What, you mean, on my own?); barters with locals using the recognized currency of the cyberspace–trivia; tries very hard not to be distracted from the appalling situation in Tajikstan by the news that a group of men in Michigan regularly recreate the great medieval battles using thousands of Playmobile figures; and along the way learns about truth, beauty, and why his septic tank is a ticking time bomb.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)