Apologies for this coming to you a day late (photos didn’t want to upload and I didn’t want to post without them)…
but Yes yes, you read correctly – somehow my day involved Museums, Dyed Chicks, Cookies and Dinosaurs.
Now if you read a post of mine from earlier in the week, you would know that I talked about dinosaurs starting to appear in the main square/park here. Well as of today they are fully set up and let me tell you – Turks know how to impress with dinosaurs. Not only did they look believable but they moved, made sounds, some had water come out of their mouths and others smoke – incredible. The square was packed with everyone admiring the dinosaurs, but I managed to get a few photos nonetheless. I figured out that they are a part of the Ankara Shopping Festival which runs June 8 – July 1 so thankfully my dino friends will be sticking around for a bit (:
Kızılay Square is covered with these banners
How about the job of guarding a dinosaur all day?
They were everywhere with tons of onlookers
They had lots of T-Rex statues – I guess everyone’s favorite
This dino smoked and had water drool!
Dinos lurking in the park
If you look closely you can see the smoke coming out of his mouth (:
But I’m jumping ahead as my stroll through “Jurassic Park” was at the end of my day.
Post Turkish, my friend and I went to grab lunch. Turks have buffets too. You put whatever on a plate, have it weighed and pay. A nice system – lets you sample a whole bunch of things which is definitely my style when in a new area – gotta figure out what’s the best (:
My plate – TL 5 – so great!
Another girl met up with us and we headed on over to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Yesterday while hanging out we decided that we would have time today to do a museum and thus stuck to our plan. The museum was great – many of the exhibits were closed for renovation, but the main ones were open. It offered another 5 TL audio guide – so sure enough I was a tacky tourist again, but was also a heck of a lot more knowledgeable on the Civilizations of the Anatolian region as well. The Museum won the 1997 European Museum Award – impressive even if that was a good 15+ years ago. Definitely learned a lot about the area and its history.
Outside the Museum
Map of Turkey with all the Ancient Civilizations Marked
Statue of King Mutallu – 8th Century B.C.
Gold mouth and eye covers used in burials
Pots and Stone Reliefs
A Neo-Hittite 2-headed restored Column base
Stone Relief – 2 lion men armed with swords at their waist. It is carved in orthostat limestone from Aslantepe and is Neo-Hittite
Iron dagger – handle made of gold – the iron degrades fast – from the Bronze Age
View from the hill where the Museum sits atop
Afterwards we walked around the area (Ulus – known to be very cheap) and one of the girls bought a Turkish tea pot to send home. Turkish tea pots are double stacked – one for just water and the other for the tea – when you pour a cup of Turkish Tea you do half water and half tea – not sure why but it makes for a great cup of çay (tea).
Ulus Shopping – lots of fabric, kitchen and clothes stores
Ulus Shoppıng – on our way to the pazar
Kina is Henna in Turkish
Afterwards we wondered down into the more traditional pazar (bazaar) shopping area. On the way 2 shops caught my eye. They were filled with ducks, chickens, chicks, etc. I guess that is one way to get your food fresh. We went over to look closer upon which the shopkeeper let us hold the chicks. Haha it was quite the experience – he even wanted us to hold a goose, but that was a bit more intense looking since the goose did not seem to be having a good day. However, even with all this commotion going on – sitting in a box a few feet away was the most astonishing sight of the day – a box full of dyed chicks! I mean green, yellow, orange and one purple chick. I was in shock. We figured out that they are sprayed different colors for little kids – still this seems odd to me.
Baby chicks for sale
The one purple chick ıs ın the upper left hand corner – most bizarre thing I have seen in Turkey thus far
After our adventures at the “bird” shop we headed into the fruit, nut, etc. area. More tame to say the least. There was the most beautiful display of Turkish cookies and I just couldn’t resist. Not to mention that they were only 4.95 TL (less than $3) for a kilo! The cookie man got a good laugh out of my shock though – so if it put a smile on someone’s face then taht’s all that matters. Ahhhh. I asked for a sorted arrangement as did one of the other girls and we were soon on our way with our treats. It will take me a while to try them all but totally worth it. Definitely going to have to go back for the shopping in the Ulus area. The Turks even go there so that they get the most bang for their buck – do as the locals do!
Mounds upon mounds of Turkish cookies – usually made with nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc)
The man had an extremely long display table
My loot – a Turkish cookie a day…
Cheers to a good start to the weekend