Monday, May 11, 2015

Cappadocia to Ankara and a stroll

It was below freezing when I left the hotel and was given a lift down to the Goreme otogar. Some at breakfast claim that they had see snow falling.

There was a definite layer of snow on most of the nearby mountains.

A dolmus took me to nearby Nevsehir where I transferred to a large bus. The driver had not bothered to turn on the engine so we sat there in a freezing bus. Eventually we set off and got heat.

While much of Turkey is covered in mountains and high hills, there is still plenty of land for farms. 

We took a break at a petrol station / restaurant beside a large lake.

The bus was fine with the usual attendant coming around with free drinks and snacks.

Just before Ankara we went through some heavy downpours.

Ankara is a city of apartment blocks. About five million people live there and of course it is the capital of Turkey. 

In the background is the huge three story otogar at Ankara. I took the subway from there to my hotel without problem.

View from my hotel window.

The shower with the big square shower head that produced a waterfall effect. It felt really good.

I liked the hotel though the room smelled faintly of cigarette smoke. The staff were helpful and the breakfast was superb.

The next day my train was not due to leave until 18:00. The hotel was fine with me checking out late at 3 pm I went for a stroll in the morning.

Except for the different language, you could be in Melbourne. 

Ataturk. His image is everywhere and if you look at what he accomplished, you can understand why. It is worth reading the link.

A day or so before I took this photo, Sydney had a tremendous storm with rain bucketing down and high winds. Robin had sent us a photo of a rubbish bin filled with ruined umbrellas so this reminded me of the photo.

I am puzzled by the antenna between the minarets.

Taxis lined up at every corner. There were always two waiting outside my hotel.

There appear to be a lot of newspapers on sale, all Turkish.

I walked away from the main drag onto a side street and came across this elegant building that appeared to be closed.

Parking spots would be hard to find.

Soon I realized that virtually all of the buildings in the surrounding blocks were closed.

Some roofs were in dismal shape. I don't know the reason but I presume they are all to be replaced since it would be very valuable real estate in this location.

Ankara is basically a bustling modern city. There is a renowned Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, but not much else of note. I met some people later who said it was superb, but that kind of museum filled with artifacts is not really interesting for me.

Luxury hotel.

Spring was definitely in the air and it was delightful to stroll around.

Platform one at the station. That is a new high-speed train.

This carriage was used by Ataturk when he traveled around Turkey.

At times, he lived in this house at the station which is right next to the platform.

That is what he would have looked like as the train chugged past.

Incidentally, the platform is paved with marble slabs.

This station is the hub for most of the long distance trains in Turkey. I had chosen my hotel based on its proximity to the station and I planned to use a tunnel that led from the street outside my hotel to the station. Unfortunately it was blocked off permanently because they are constructing a new station. There was no short cut so I took a taxi for $4.

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