So we woke up in the morning and ready to leave Bolu for Ankara. Today's journey will be a long one as we will go to Cappadocia. It will take around 7 hours and 30 minutes wna we have a stop at Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.
The journey was great, plus we have wifi in the van, so it is time to find out the latest story in Malaysia and to keep in touch with families and friends.After 2 hours, we reach to our first destination, Anitkabir or the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
I've done my research and Turks really love Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. For them, he was like the Modern revolutionist, reformist and the founder of Republic of Turkey. So you can't say anything bad about him. You should see the building for his tomb, it was so big, at first when I saw it, it looks like Greek Temple or something. From Mr. Cengiz, our tour guide, after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk passed away, the statesmen don't want to buried him and put him in the glass tomb, but after a long thought, they buried him as he is also a human and a Muslim.
The mausoleum also includes a museum and a big garden. We were so lucky because when we arrived there, we could see the ceremony of changing guards. Of course after that it was photo sessions, a lot of photo sessions. You can see a tiny part of Ankara from the complex.
After that we are on our way to Cappadocia. We are so excited as we already told Mr. Cengiz that we want to go for hot balloon ride the next day and he said he will take care of it. He also told us about Turkish Hamam and whether we are interested to try, me of course, so does Asma and Azi but no for Maria. So we plan to do it tomorrow.
So on our way to Cappadocia, we stop at their R&Rs and they always something new that we can see. For example, every R&R has car wash service. No, you don't have to line up or park at designated place, they will come to you and wash you car where you were parking. How cool is that? I can't imagine if we have that kind of service here at Plus R& R...it would be chaos.
So after eating, talking and sleeping in the van, we finally reach Cappadocia. Our first stop is Saratli Underground City. One of the characteristics of Cappadocia is having plenty of underground cities. It’s known that there are more than a hundred of underground settlements in the region and many of them are not open for visits. The underground cities, which are guessed to be used since the Bronze Age, used to be a settlement mostly in Byzantine period, doubtless. In this period, increasing invasions forced local residents to build underground cities for protection and religious purposes.
So far, it has been determined about 40 underground cities just six of these have been opened for visit. Nobody can know how many underground cities there are in the Cappadocia area.So we visit one of them.
So there are many rooms, even for the cattles, they have their own place. From our tour guide explanation, the first inhabitants of Cappadocia area have opened deep cavities within the volcanic rocks due to escape from the attacks of the wild animals and hard winter conditions and then they have enlarged these cavities according to their daily needs, they opened new cavities and created the underground cities connecting these cavities with tunnel and labyrinths. Later the underground cities were the place of the hiding of the first Christians who escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers and were enlarged to able when were necessary an entire city to live and every kind of fixture necessary for the living of the people has been attached. When there wasn't any danger the people living on the ground in case of the danger have hidden in the underground cities. For this reason all the homes at that time were connected to the underground cities with a tunnel.
After visiting the site, outside of the place you can see a lot of women selling traditional dolls, and they are very aggressive. I mean they will call you to buy the dolls from them and it freaks us out a little bit. So we when to the souvenir shop and wait for a large group to go through and we slipped out. Before that we manage to drink fresh pomegranate juice and it was sour, really sour but it is fresh.
Then we check in our hotel, Hotel Dinler which situated in the middle of the city and we could see the surrounding mountains and it just beautiful. since we have time to spare, so again, it was photo session. During dinner, we've been told that we couldn't go for hot balloon ride tomorrow as today's was windy so their postpone the today's group for tomorrow's morning and there is no slot left for us. So we will do it the day after that.
So that is my update so far and as for my next update, it will be on Cappadocia itself, as we spent the whole day there. What about the Turkish Hamam? Very interesting and funny story I tell you and I still contemplate should I tell or not. However, I will be away to Philippines for work and only coming back the day before Raya Haji. Then I need to back to my hometown on the Raya day itself and coming back next week so perhaps there will be a long gap. I will try to update during my work trip, but I can't promise. so Selamat Hari Raya Haji to all of you!
|So this is our hotel in Bolu...|
|View opposite of the hotel...|
|We are set and ready to go...|
|Nice pine forest...|
|Pine forest has gone...becoming more desert now...|
|The mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk|
|Inside the mausoleum...|
|So below this is where he laid forever...|
|Depicts the story of Turkey's independence...|
|Road of Lion|
|The relief inside the Independence Tower shows a young man standing straight and holding a sword with both hands while an eagle is perching on a rock beside him. The eagle represents power and independence in mythology and in Seljuk art, and the young man with the sword represents the Turkish nation defending its independence.|
|Potential No. 1|
|Potential No. 2 hehe|
|Our van...the best van in the world..|
|At R& R...|
|Car wash service in the progress...|
|Isn't that Wall's?|
|Ice cream and a Turkish delights...|
|Time to eat...in the van...|
|Old house in Saratli Underground City...|
|Time to go in the cave houses...|
|This is the underground well's area..|
|Four of us...|
|Time for pomegranate juice...|
|At last, home sweet home...|