Day 6 (morning)
Temperature: 5 degrees
Like every morning, today's breakfast was greatly enjoyed and then off we went to visit Anit Kabir, meaning memorial tomb, located right here in Ankara.
Being the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder /first president of the Republic of Turkey, the site itself was simple, grandiose, and stunning - all in one place. It greatly reminded me of kingdoms seen in Egypt as it was laid out like an ancient temple in the middle of a beautiful garden. It had a vast courtyard where incredible views of the city of Ankara could be seen. Here again, snow patches still covered the ground a dear reminder that after all, we were still in March!
The construction of the Mausoleum took nine years and spanned into four stages that started in 1944 and finished in 1953. Soldiers were stationed here and there as we made our way around. They wore three different suit colors representing armies of the ground, the air, and the navy. Right behind the Mausoleum, there was a museum all about Ataturk, his life and legacy. We had plenty of time to walk around and see it all properly.
After a short drive and located on the south side of Ankara, we arrived at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. It was 10:30am. The museum itself, was interesting where exhibits of gold, silver, marble and bronze works dated back as far as 100 BC. Michel not much of a museum fan, followed me around.
Outside the museum, a Turkish local man sold big round bagels. Since Daghan told us that we had a long ride ahead of us, two bagels were purchased, one for Michel and one for me! So now, Michel couldn’t say I didn’t buy him anything! One word to describe them….yummy!
Close by, cheap bracelets were also being sold, like 5 TL each (2.00 CDN). They highly resembled my Pandora’s bracelet which I had back home plus they had the famous Turkish evil eye protection beads which I was seeing everywhere in Turkey….plus they were purple and pink…so, what more can I say! I had to buy one! Big spender…2 bucks!
Showing off proudly my latest purchase to everyone else in the group, several ladies did the same by purchasing some bracelets, much to the enthusiasm of the local merchant. In return, he discreetly gave me a small token of gratitude. An evil eye bead! Youppi!
Leaving the museum, Harun drove us along Ankara’s residential section of the city where many houses, high rises and buildings were seen as well as a fortress built way up above a cliff where Turkey’s red and white flag flew under a dull looking grey sky. We were leaving Ankara, the capital city of Turkey! It was now 12:00pm.