Scenery east of the town of Trai Mat near Da Lat, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Da Lat, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

Monday, April 11, 2022

The big city of Ankara, Turkiye

We got up at 6:00am and did the 25 km drive into the center of Ankara. 

Ankara is a big busy city with a population of about 5 million people. That's exactly why we got up at 6:00am on a Sunday morning. And still, there was a fair bit of bus traffic. But once we got onto the side streets it was actually fairly quiet. 

We came into Ankara for one thing... laundry! I had read of a big industrial style laundromat that got fantastic reviews, so that's where we ended up. They didn't open until 8:00am (they are only closed on Tuesdays) so we parked up on a side street and had our breakfast.

We had three loads to do (just about all the clothes we own) and that included sheets and duvet cover. 

Now this is a laundromat!
GPS 39.93071, 32.86963

The woman saw us carrying our stuff in, and opened the doors to three machines. You sort your stuff the way you want, and she puts the detergent in, and starts the machines. Then, she said "Ready in one hour". Due to the reviews that I had read, I knew that meant that it would be totally finished in one hour... washed, dried, and folded!

We gave it and hour and a half and went back in to pick it up. Sure enough, everything was ready. Total cost for all three loads was 150 lira ($12.80 CAD, $10.15 USD). 

They definitely lived up to the five star reviews, and I left a five star review of my own. Definitely the best laundry in Turkiye!

At this time, it was about 10:00am. We decided to drive to a paid parking area right in the downtown core. Again, Sunday morning traffic which was pretty quiet. Found the parking, and they charged 30 lira ($2.50 CAD, $2.00 USD) for 24 hours. 

We only came into Ankara to get laundry done, but since we were there it only made sense to stay and see the highlights. The problem is that it's a very spread out city and it's not really a tourist city although there are some things worth seeing. 

Ankara is the capital city of Turkiye. 

Water fountain.

We could see the minarets from a large mosque nearby so we wandered over there.

Yep, that's an impressive structure.

Melike Hatun Mosque was completed in 2017.

The door was open...

So Ruth put on her head scarf, and we took our shoes off and went inside.






If you've never been inside a mosque, there's really not that much to see. Other than the architecture, This one was really kind of pretty because of the turquoise colored carpet. But I've found that visiting a mosque is maybe a five to ten minute experience. 

From there, we headed up to Ankara Castle for a view.

Starting to get a view.

Looking up at one of the houses inside the castle walls.

Huge walls.

The current version of the castle was built around the 7th century. However there is evidence that the original construction was in the 8th century BC by the Phrygians and rebuilt in 278 BC by the Galatians. The castle was then rebuilt or renovated under the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman empires.

These places are in need of renovation!

And that seems to be exactly what is happening.

No idea what the story is or who owns these places, but there is obviously an effort being made to renovate many of the homes inside the castle walls. Some are obviously being lived in, some are abandoned, and others have completely been restored.

We came up the back way, but eventually came to the main entrance that most people use.

Notice how the structure was made with various pieces of building materials from other eras.


Ruth, enjoying the views.

There were quite a few people up at the top.

It's all free access.


A few of the homes inside the castle walls. 
You can see that some are in better shape than others.


When we headed back down, we took the main route.

Again, notice how the current construction was a mish mash of older building blocks.

Tourist trinket alley.


Nice square.

Looking back at the main entrance to the castle.

We were trying to go somewhere for lunch. I had found a place that looked good on google maps. A little hole in the wall place in an old market area. But when we got there, it was closed. Many restaurants are closed due to Ramadan. So we ended up walking back to Max to have something to eat.

The area where the restaurant was.

Scenery along the way.

Another view of the mosque.

After lunch we walked through the big Ankara train station and then over to the Anıtkabir Mausoleum where Turkiye's founding father Mustafa Ataturk is laid to rest.

The Mausoleum is one of the most visited places in Ankara.

Turkiye.

We got there just in time for the changing of the guard.

It's a busy place.


The room where Ataturk is laid to rest.

His sarcophagus weighs 42 tons.

The whole place is on a large piece of land only 3 kms from the city center.


Ataturk was the first President of Turkiye, from 1923 until his death at age 57 in 1938. He was well liked and well respected and to this day statues have been erected in all Turkish cities and most towns have their own memorial to him. His face and name are seen and heard everywhere in Turkey; his portrait can be seen in public buildings, in schools, on all Turkish lira banknotes, and in the homes of many Turkish families.

Interesting stuff.

We walked about 12 kms (7.5 miles) and that was enough of Ankara. It's a big modern city, but really wasn't anything special which I guess is why most people go to Istanbul and Antalya. We are looking forward to our first time in Istanbul where we will arrive later this week.

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Nice price drop on the Dash Mini Air Fryer.

And in Canada...

4 comments:

  1. I visited Ataturk's memorial in 1968 while stationed in Turkey. No skyscrapers existed then. The rumor then was that Americans paid for the memorial. Millions given to Turkey for modern roads was redirected by the Turks to build his memorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure that you would find a huge change in the city from when you were here in 1968.

      Somehow we don't doubt the rumors that you heard. So much of that went on back then and probably still goes on today. Despite that, the memorial is very impressive and we enjoyed our visit there.

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi back to you both! We hope you are enjoying time with your family. :-)

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