Off and On the Beaten Path

Today I think was the day that I finally may be off jet-lag. I was able to fall asleep before my usual midnight and sleep a good solid 8 hours – also something that hasn’t happened for me before now.

I decided to trust my handy dandy Lonely Planet and check out Ankara Kalesi – Ankara Citadel which is a castle and historic area of the city. I knew I had to go back to Ulus – where I was yesterday – and to look for the hill with the impressive building sitting but otherwise I was just gonna wander and hope I stumbled across the right way.

On my way I found a cute park on the same hill – tons of benches and shade so I decided to re-read the section on Ankara Kalesi in my book. While doing so an English lady asked me if I knew the direction to the museum and I did because I was just there yesterday. Another plus to my day.

In wondering the park I went up and entered into an old walled in area where people were milling about their every days. I thought this was the right direction but soon learned when half the roads were dug up that it probably wasn’t – but committed to my “detour” I trudged on – crossing over makeshift bridges of stonework and hoping the road edge doesn’t crumble when I step on it. A little boy with a kite found me and explained to me that usually this way to the citadel was open but not right now. So I decided it was time to turn around, after getting a few pictures of the great view.

My friend fixing his kite after talking to me

Torn up roads

Make shift bridges – had to cross quite a few of these – not the most stable either

Some great sights were seen though from women banging out rugs and others attending to Angora wool. The buildings were definitely old with many in need of significant repairs – but nonetheless the area had a charm to it – ripped up streets and all. I didn’t take any pictures of the people though because I didn’t want to ask – thought I would let them be and enjoy their Saturday in peace.

I then wondered back down the hill and decided that if I go to the museum first I will be able to follow Lonely Planet’s directions. Worked great and I was soon back amongst foreigners and locals alike touring the “tourist” section of the historic district. There were stores selling Turkish goods on the walk to the castle – I stopped into a few for window shopping but otherwise carried on my way. Plenty of time in Turkey and many more places to visit where I can drop my dime (:

Now the view from the top is just breathtaking – decided to take a rest and chilled out for a good half hour just looking out over Ankara and replaying my last week in my head – what a city. While up there the Call to Prayer sounded and it was extremely loud because there is a Mosque right next to the Citadel – the sound still brings a smile to my face.

Looking through a window in a tower

The main part of the citadel that everyone climbs up – where I took my 30 min rest

That is the area I was before with the dug up roads – close but not exactly the right spot

In the middle is AnıtKabir 

The big mosque is Kocatepe – I’ve walked by and did again today but still need to explore it.

One of the towers from a different angle

This ceramic plate was by its lonesome self on one of the walls

Love these windows

Narrow streets with shop vendors – there are dondurma (ice cream) freezers all throughout the city

I wondered back down and decided that I was just gonna stroll back to Kızılay instead of taking the metro. Wanted to see more sights of Ankara. It was about a 4km walk but I came across an art Museum along the way that I will go back to sometime next week – or hope to at least. I then wondered into the shopping district and came across a book store. On a whim I went in and low and behold I found Water for Elephants in Turkish for only 7 TL ($3.75) – it was new too! What a steal so I had to buy it. Loved the book so now have something to practice my Turkish with. I then came across Dost, another bookstore. It is mentioned in Lonely Planet so thought I’d see if they had a Turkish-English pocket dictionary since my other one got ruined by an exploding banana in my bookbag ): They did so I snatched that bad boy up too!

Then my books and I were off to the metro. In the neighborhood I stopped in the grocery store to pick up oats (since I found them yesterday) some cinnamon and milk because tonight I am gonna make me some overnight oats for tomorrow’s breakfast!!! Woot Woot.

All in all a great Saturday and I am now thoroughly exhausted with a full tummy of delish Turkish mom home cooking. Boy is she great or what!

Cheers from abroad

n

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