Ankara : Passing through Ataturk's domain.
Ankara Travel Blog› entry 212 of 268 › view all entries
Okay, sadly Ankara will be one of two 'coming to an end' entries from my time in Turkey that I will skip writing about at this stage with assurances to come back and fill them out the future that will of course never happen.
Suffice to say, every single person you meet travelling in Turkey, be they tourists or Turks alike, will screw up their faces and baulk in anguish at the sheer folly of the thought that you would even consider visiting the nation's capital for 1 minute. Sad really. No it's not pretty and no, it is not a treasure trove of cultural riches but if you have time, at least one full day should be given it. The Atatürk Mausoleum requires a mini-pilgrimage to the great man and will help your understanding of 'Modern' Turkey no end whether it comes at the beginning or end of your journey and the Atatürk/ War of Independence museum beneath it is excellent if you have the time and the interest.
A walk up to and around the streets and lanes of the residential backwaters of the Citadel are also a wonderful way to muse away a few hours. Sit on the castle walls and observe. A little rock pool micro-system of real, Old Turkey life caught behind the walls of the Citadel and ignoring or be ignored by the blander commercial mess of the rest of this modern, administrative metropolis.
[ Word of warning : another reason Ankara is often a no-go area for backpackers; it's flippin' expensive for accommodation. Seriously. As far as I could tell hotels are the only option and a haggle in the 'budget' area of town will still leave you hefting out 40TL (£16!!!) per night. Don't let the 2009 edition of Lonely Planet fool you into a false sense of budget security. A rather disastrous set of typo errors sets all the stated prices as Turkish Lira ( e.g. 23TL stated as their cheapest budget option...and where I ended up staying after a fruitless walk around) when in fact the numbers printed are EURO prices. ]