Blogs from Ankara, Central Anatolia, Turkey, Middle East

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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara May 24th 2016

Why travel to Turkey in these unsettling times you might ask. To answer, lets back up a bit to 2013 when our youngest, Jessica, feels the pull to add Turkish to her list of language proficiencies. In short, she studies 2 years and receives a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Turkey’s capitol city, Ankara. Being both a dedicated mom and a hopeless wanderer, this is just the reason I need to overcome any trepidation and dive in to explore this interesting and oh so important part of our world. Over the course of 2 visits, including stops in Istanbul, Ankara, and Cappadocia, I have seen the palace of sultans, breathtaking Islamic mosques and byzantine cathedrals, secret caves that housed and served as church for persecuted 6thcentury Christians, perfectly preserved cuniform writing carved over 3,000 years ... read more
Dancing in history
150 Balloons
Photo bombing the solemnity

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara » Gündoğan October 22nd 2015

I bought the plane ticket to Ankara mainly because it was so inexpensive. $40 round-trip direct from Canakkale to Turkey's capital city. Get out of town. I think I pay that much in airport tax back in Florida. I figured I would do a solo recon mission for future reference. That was on the 7th of October. At 10 AM on October 10th Ankara suffered, what its citizens simply refer to as; The Event. Canakkale's airport terminal is a simple, square, pre-fab building. My bag was run through an X-ray machine under the watchful eyes of a dozen blue-uniformed security people because in Turkey, as it is in the States, it's all about the jobs. Inside I found a simple 3-table cafe where I had a glass of tea and a cellophane wrapped biscuit for 4 ... read more
Ataturk's Mausoleum
Art Museums in Ankara
Ataturk

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara July 31st 2015

Friday 31 July: The final day of July was our final full day in Turkey. Zachary woke up a couple of times overnight and had a lot of water. He then got up at 7 and was rather tired so lay on the couch and watched tv. He had a little bit of breakfast (finishing off the marmite) but wasn’t really feeling too great. We decided to delay our departure an hour so that when we got to Ankara we could check in to our room immediately. We got a taxi to the bus station in Beypazari and bought tickets for the 1130 bus. We got the last 2 seats so we were in the back row. It was a bit squashed and extremely hot! Zachary fell asleep after about 10 minutes. Even the locals were ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara July 30th 2015

Tuesday 28 July: A very quiet day today. Heather went and bought herself some new togs and about 1030 we headed to the pool for a swim. It was nice and quiet at that time and the pool looked very clean! After lunch we watched a movie / read / did cross-stitch / rested before going for another swim around 3. It was a bit busier then. Zachary continues to gain confidence in the water and in the big pool (140 cm depth) he happily moves around in his swim ring without us needing to be right by him. He is developing quite a strong kick and has no problem propelling himself the width of the pool. The new thing today was that I was lifting him out of the water (in his ring) and then ... read more
A novel use of pillows.
Superman (just like his daddy).
Warming up in the 55cm pool.

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara » Gündoğan July 27th 2015

Saturday 25 August: No overnight / early morning shaking in Istanbul so we got up at 7 to get ready for a long travel day. After morning jobs and breakfast we wandered 100m down the road to get a taxi. The driver seemed rather uncertain as to where we were going but after showing him our bus tickets he seemed a bit more confident. I knew the general direction so it was a good sign when he headed off that way. When we saw signs for the bus station a bit later we felt a bit more positive and sure enough he dropped us off at the right spot. Istanbul’s bus station is very spread out and there a number of companies running from it. They have multiple offices and stands so we were happy to ... read more
Sunset from our balcony - that is the main recreational building in the foreground.
The evening star (Venus) from our balcony (excuse the fuzziness, I had to zoom quite a lot).
No we are not in Ohakune. Beypazari has its own carrot sculpture.

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara May 1st 2015

The next day we had a long bus ride back to Istanbul via the nation's capital Ankara, where we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. This museum has a collection of ancient artefacts from central turkey from 10000 years ago. Include a Neolithic clay mother goddess, hunting scene on plaster from the 7th millennium BC From the Hittite period there are a series of stone panels of the theme of war with emphasized on soldiers and chariots. The collection includes Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Period artefacts such as statues, jewellery and decorative vessels made of gold, silver, glass, marble, and bronze as well as coins While in Ankara we drove past the tradition 1st May day protesters against the Erdogan government. Luckily we only drove past an assembly points but the police present was still ... read more
Hittite Chariots
Mother Goddess from Çatalhöyük
hunting scene on plaster from the 7th millennium BC

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara August 29th 2014

Sigacik August 29 2014 Our visa collecting in Ankara has gone better than we dared hope so we have headed for the seaside prior to meeting Jayne and Paul in Fethiya. In the case of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan with support of Letters of Invitation obtained via Stan Tours we got the visas from the consulates in Ankara on the same day. The biggest challenge turned out to be paying them. I have written previously about the Usbek consulate experience. It was similar for Turkmenistan. This time there was no friendly Turk and we were sent of to find the "Ish" bank so we could directly into the consulate account. People on the street we asked told us where it was and we still could not find it at first. In fact we walked past it because ... read more
All manicured and ready to hit the road

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara August 16th 2014

On the bus to Safranbolu 10am August 16, 2014 We were heading to Ankara to collect visas. We needed to get this process going so left Sofia for Istanbul on an overnight bus from 10pm until 5.30am. We then got the 6am bus to Ankara, another 6 hours further on. For the record the HAS bus from Sofia was cramped. The Metro bus to Ankara was much more spacious so we could catch up on the sleep we did not get on the first leg. There is a great bussle in Ankara with a vibrancy and colour. The population of this modern city seems to live of the street. We booked an appointment via the internet at the Indian Embassy for the following Tuesday to get visas. Our first port of call was the Uzbekhistan embassy. ... read more
With Scotty and Lucas and Polo outside the Uzbek Embassy in the heat of the day
Shop assistant gutting our trout supper on the street

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara May 28th 2014

Heute verbrachte ich den Vormittag mit meinem neuen Freund Can, der Obermotorradmechaniker bei BMW Ankara. Am Vortag wurde ich aufgefordert, genau um 8.45 zu kommen, denn schließlich müsse man mich einplanen. Natürlich war ich punktgenau da, hätte aber auch zu beliebig anderer Zeit kommen können - es war kein anderer MR Kunde da. Es gibt auch nur einen Mechaniker, Can, und einen Lehrling. Paulchen wurde also in die Werkstatt gefahren, der Lehrling machte sich an die Arbeit und immer wenn er nicht weiter wusste, rief er Can an, der dann vom Schreibtisch aufsprang und in die Werkstatt sauste. Die Gummimanschette am Kardan war abgerissen, es dauerte 2 Stunden bis alles wieder dran war, Paulchen wurde auch noch gewaschen. Ich verbrachte inzwischen die Zeit damit, das ich Can zuschaute, wie der den Auftrag ausfüllte, dann tauschten wir ... read more
Vorsicht, ein Auto
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara » Gündoğan May 26th 2014

Die drei Tage waren Sch.......... Tage. Und was ich an ihnen so mag- sie waren konsequent. Immer Sch..-Tage. Hab jetzt nicht direkt Lust alles nochmal auf Deutsch zu schreiben, daher hier ein englischer Text. Turkey, small road up into the mountains: Bend 90° left hand, road wet, gravel (slippery??), me in 3rd gear, bike skidded, black hole inmy memory. When I resurfaced: bike on right side, snuggled up against stone, me on back next to bike, no longer on it. After a while (non idea how long) car came, nice driver stopped instead of crashing into us. both - Paul and self back in u pright position. Wanted to take me to hospital/doctor to have me checked. I refused. What I really would have loved was Van, Vanman, Vanman's tea and a couple of enncouraging noises ... read more




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