Ankara during Bayram (plus Yalova)
My classes at Istanbul Univeristy were supposed to start two weeks ago but surprisingly (or not?) I haven’t attanded any courses yet. One of the reasons was Bayram (known as Eid al-Adha in Arabic world), the festival of sacriface, which is celebrated among Muslim people. As we knew we are not going to have classes this week I got an idea to visit Ankara and I didn’t have to wait long for people to join me. Every Turkish person I asked told me that Ankara is boring but I coulnd’t jugde before I see the city. We took a bus (after 30 mins of sleep due to home party a night before I treated the bus seat as a bed) and in 6 hours we reached the capital of Turkey. Because of the holidays most of the places were closed nevertheless we enjoyed way more without the crowd. Wide, empty streets, perfect weather, space, views and everything else made out visit pleasant.
We visited Genclik park along with its amusement park (we had some fun there as well) and spend a really nice evening over there. We walked A LOT in Ankara nd due to that we have seen much more than just the “must see” spots. Obviously many (MANY) things are reminding of Ataturk and his efforts to make Turkey as it is now. We visited Ataturk Mausoleum which was much more than impressive. Huge territory, beutiful gardens (parks?) around, big buildings, details from his life, his successes and some pictures of the battles and much more… Some pople say this is the only place worth visiting in Ankara but we have seen other interesting things as well. The Museum of Anatolyan Civilization was a good place to learn about the roots of the country we live in now. We walked to the hills, saw the castle, many mosques (visited one as well, I just love them) and ended up in a place that looks like somewhere in the Alps. People were VERY nice, helpful, many of them spoke great English and we only met kindness. Ankara was quite empty at the time but it gave us an opportunity to see other things, besides people 😉 The architecture sometimes looks like we are back in time, also I have noticed many old fashioned cars. I think our impressions would be different if we came any other day but due to Bayram we witnessed ritual slaughter of sheep (not nice but interesting) and also we could feel the special atmosphere sometimes.
The end of our trip was also nice – we used Blablacar and our driver was waaay more than just a driver. He had water and sweets prepared for us, excellent playlists so we sang a lot, he told us many interesing things about Turkey, culture, the festival, language and and the end dropped us in his hometown (Yalova) by the sea so we could see a smaller town as well (no foreign tourists, thanks). He helped us with the ferry and finally we reached Istanbul safe and sound, with great views and even better memories. Ah, and the views on the way – awesome.
I love Turkey and its everything – places, people, hospitality and the way I can encounter different perspective of life. Until next time because we have already planned more trips. Erasmus ❤