3 dead, 1 sick, a lot of alcohol and i am unable to escape!

Bursa Travel Blog

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Ataturks house

People who contributed to, and improved my trip: Laco (Slovakia), Gulsah (Turkey)

Bursa's bus station is inconveniently located 10kms out of town, so it took the best part of an hour to reach my couchsurfers house, which was located quite near the centre. For the next couple of days i would be staying with a newly wed couple, Laco from Slovakia and his wife Gulsah, who was from Turkey. The news wasn't good when i arrived though, as one of their goldfish had died, another was at deaths door and the third was the healthiest and yet still looked ready to croak it! Gulsah was also feeling under the weather, but nevertheless they invited me into their house with open arms.

I spent an hour or so getting to know them and then decided to go and take a short look around the City, before it got dark.

Bust of Ataturk
Walking into the centre i passed a few restored Ottoman houses and also stopped into one of Ataturks old residences to have a poke around. Other interesting places i saw included the Muradiye Medresesi and Mosque and the blue pyramid shaped Zafer Plaza Shopping Centre.

Whilst i was in the centre i took the opportunity to stop off in a camera shop to make some passport photos and the friendly female owner wouldn't stop speaking to me in German, even though i told her i was English. I did my best to communicate in my broken German and this encouraged her further that England's national language was surely German! It kept her happy and it kept me amused whilst the photos were developing, so i just smiled and played along the best that i could.

At 16.30 i went to Ulu Cami, an imposing Mosque located in the heart of the City.
Muradiye Medresesi
The interior was striking and i enjoyed looking around for quarter of an hour, before wandering through the nearby bazaar. At 17.00 i returned to the Mosque to meet up with Ceci, a Spanish girl who had Julia's rings with her that she had left in Iran. Our couchsurfing friend Karim who resides in Tehran had gone two hours to the City of Qazvin and collected the rings, then given them to a Spanish couchsurfer who stayed with him, but studied in Eskisehir in Turkey, and he in turn had given them to his friend Ceci, who was in Bursa on vacation! Got that? Yeah I'm struggling to get my head around it all too, I think the rings could write a blog to rival mine :)

Ceci turned up with two of her friends around 17.
Zafer Plaza shopping centre
15 and i took another look around Ulu Cami with them and then we all went to a tea house to chat for an hour. At 19.00 i headed back to Laco's and Gulsah's for an evening of music and drinking. Sadly all three of the fish had now died, but Laco's family had brought over a huge amount of alcohol for the wedding and there was still plenty left, so we toasted the little fishes lives! In the next few hours we managed to work our way through a whole bottle of rum, and also knocked back a fair amount of Slovakian moonshine and something that tasted like medicine. I vaguely remember crawling into bed sometime after 04.00, with the knowledge that an early start wasn't really on the cards for Saturday!

My hosts made it out of bed around 13.00 the next day, whilst i needed another hour or so before i could drag myself into the shower.
Ulu Cami
They had kindly prepared breakfast for me, so i did my best to stomach what i could and then we all lay around on our laptops, watching the day drift away. In the afternoon Laco and i played Tavla and chess and whilst i managed to win at Tavla, his skills at chess were far superior to mine and he took me to the cleaners!

Gulsah's parents visited in the early evening and brought us kebabs, which was the perfect hangover food and i felt heaps better after eating this. When they left i had expected a quite night in, but Laco was soon into the red wine and it seemed rude not to join him, so we knocked back a couple of bottles and hit the hay around 02.00.

Sunday morning was another late start and as a result we didn't make it to the football game that was taking place. Instead we opted to head into the centre to take a look at Yeshil Camii, Yeshil Turbe (Green Mosque and Tomb) and Emir Sultan Camii, which had a nice cemetery surrounding it.
Ulu Cami
There was just enough time to have a late lunch together and then i needed to be on my way to Istanbul.

Since Lousy Planet was written, a new ferry line has opened up between Bursa and Istanbul and i decided that i would go by this route. Laco said it took 30 minutes to the port, so i gave it an hour to get there, but still ended up 15 minutes too late. As it happened, it didn't really matter as this ferry and the last ferry at 20.30 were both sold out. Thus i was left with no alternative but to go all the way back to Bursa to stay with the guys for one more night!

I went out and had a good Dinner of half a roast chicken with salad, bread and ayran and all for only 5YTL ($3.15), which raised my spirits.
Hammam
Speaking of spirits, Laco had a bottle of Red Label Whiskey open when i got home, which further eased the tension :) We stayed up until 01.30 watching 'Wristcutters' on DVD, eating snacks and drinking and then decided that we really had to go to bed, as we all had an early start in the morning.

When i say early start, i mean 08.00, but compared to recent days, this was a very early start! Annoyingly i just missed the bus to the bus terminal and had to wait half an hour, but i thought i had given myself plenty of time to get to Yalova, which is where the ferry went from today (different from the previous day). I went to the bus company that went to Yalova and saw they also had Istanbul advertised, so presumed they drove you to the port and then you just hopped on the ferry across the Sea of Marmara. This was rather a misguided assumption, as the bus actually dropped people at Yalova and then carried on around the coast to Istanbul, which took far longer than expected, about two hours more in total.

Deats says:
Not sure if im more like gollum or frodo :D
Posted on: Sep 22, 2009
almond72 says:
So, Julia's the Lord the Rings eh ? They found their way back. Is she using them to control you ....? lol
Posted on: Sep 19, 2009
Deats says:
I think the lousy weather was detrimental to the stay. No sun, no fun :) Its a nice enough City, but nothing stand out from my perspective. Too mny amazing things in Turkey haha
Posted on: Feb 19, 2009
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Ataturks house
Ataturks house
Bust of Ataturk
Bust of Ataturk
Muradiye Medresesi
Muradiye Medresesi
Zafer Plaza shopping centre
Zafer Plaza shopping centre
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Hammam
Hammam
Tomb at Emir Sultan Camii
Tomb at Emir Sultan Camii
A view of Bursa
A view of Bursa
Ottoman House
Ottoman House
Interior of Ataturks House
Interior of Ataturks House
Ataturks bedroom
Ataturks bedroom
Mosque
Mosque
Muradiye Medresesi
Muradiye Medresesi
Sultan II Murat (Muradiye) Camii
Sultan II Murat (Muradiye) Camii
Ablutions fountain at Sultan II Mu…
Ablutions fountain at Sultan II M…
Bursa football stadium
Bursa football stadium
Mosque
Mosque
Carriage inside a restored caravan…
Carriage inside a restored carava…
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Ulu Cami
Bazaar
Bazaar
Caravanserai
Caravanserai
Laco
Laco
Gulsah not feeling well
Gulsah not feeling well
Clock Tower in central Bursa
Clock Tower in central Bursa
Old bridge spanning Gok Deresi
Old bridge spanning Gok Deresi
Colourful houses in front of Yeshi…
Colourful houses in front of Yesh…
Yeshil Camii
Yeshil Camii
Window at Yeshil Camii
Window at Yeshil Camii
Interior of Yeshil Camii
Interior of Yeshil Camii
Interior of Yeshil Camii
Interior of Yeshil Camii
Roof of Yeshil Camii
Roof of Yeshil Camii
Bursa skyline
Bursa skyline
Bursa skyline
Bursa skyline
Emir Sultan Camii
Emir Sultan Camii
Entrance to Emir Sultan Camii
Entrance to Emir Sultan Camii
Yeshil Turbe
Yeshil Turbe
Laco and Gulsah seeing me off at t…
Laco and Gulsah seeing me off at …
Bursa
photo by: Biedjee