Ankara : Passing through Ataturk's domain.

Ankara Travel Blog

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The nation in his hands

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.

View of just part of Ankara's sprawl from the Citadel wall

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. ]

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The nation in his hands
The nation in his hands
View of just part of Ankaras spra…
View of just part of Ankara's spr…
Train to Ankara
Train to Ankara
Landscape from train window
Landscape from train window
Train to Ankara (abstract)
Train to Ankara (abstract)
The super flying train kiddy :)
The super flying train kiddy :)
Slumber
'Slumber'
The long approach to Ataturks mau…
The long approach to Ataturk's ma…
The Main Man : Mustafa Kamal Atatu…
The Main Man : Mustafa Kamal Atat…
Ataturks mausoleum
Ataturk's mausoleum
Fine mosaic ceiling of entrance to…
Fine mosaic ceiling of entrance t…
The symbolic sarcophagus of Atatur…
The symbolic sarcophagus of Atatu…
The revised Turkish alphabet follo…
The revised Turkish alphabet foll…
Sometimes I quite love the way pig…
Sometimes I quite love the way pi…
What do you see over there Privat…
'What do you see over there Priva…
Turkish drivers, tsk!!  (Just joki…
Turkish drivers, tsk!! (Just jok…
Yuong crowd on top of the Ankara c…
Yuong crowd on top of the Ankara …
Old skool housing near Ankara cita…
Old skool housing near Ankara cit…
Chillis drying
Chillis drying
Ankara
photo by: hardyrom