Saturday, 6 October 2012

Ankara Sightseeing

Unlike Istanbul which has some amazing historical buildings and more than enough to keep tourists happy, Ankara is more a working capital with little tourist attractions. Having nailed the parks in one day when I'd planned for two I was left with a spare day so I thought I'd explore the city to see what I could find. Here's what I managed to get along with a nice bout of sunburn.

My hotel complete with rollercoaster :)

Korean War Martyrs Monument

The Turkish Aeronautical Museum containing a nice selection of old aircraft including some that looked like they were made of gaffer tape, not just stuck together with them.

Part of the city's stadium complex. Football is very popular here.

The entrance to Genclik park, which is where the theme park is.

You can also find the Eye of Sauron within it.

A view across the lake that sits in the centre of the park.

Monument to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who was the first president of the Republic of Turkey. The airport in Istanbul takes it's name from him.

Pigeons everywhere. You can buy plates of seed and you pour it on the ground so they flock around you at which point you throw the dish to the ground. The noise it makes causes the pigeons to take off at which point your photo is taken. How's that for enterprise?

Some Roman ruins...I'm guessing.

Nice building.

Some more Roman ruins, I'm sure about this lot. It cost about 5TL to enter, and once in you basically have free reign to walk about a sizeable complex.

Some nice redevelopment has gone on in this area.  The wall that is being worked on contains text recounting the victories of Emperor Augustus (won at conkers age 6, got his artist scout badge aged 10 etc.)

That's the citadel wall. I climbed up there.

See, here I am looking back down from whence I came. It's hardly Kilimanjaro admittedly.

The outer wall of the citadel. Taxis can take you up the top if you're more sensible than me!

Nice market.

Another view of the restoration project. Very nice indeed!

When I got back to the Augustus wall I inadvertently found myself caught up in amongst a funeral ceremony for a soldier. Given the security and medals on some of the officials, and that there were multiple forces there I'm guessing this was someone high up. So not wanting to get in the way too much I escaped only to find I'd then hit a dead end and had walked into a place where people bathe their feet before praying, which meant I then had to make my excuses for a second time and exit properly. Ooops! 

Walking to Kecioren I decided to avoid the sun by walking under the expressway. I like that some bozo had gone to the trouble of posting crap graffiti.

How to encourage people to get fit. Replace the paths in the parks with running tracks.

There's a cable car that runs through Kecioren. You enter it at the station behind the petrol station. It opens at 2pm.

Another nicely themed swing.

The Kecioren waterfall. There's been quite a bit of effort here to make the area very pretty and they've done a great job. After this I headed back to the hotel and chilled for a few hours before heading back out in the evening. 

Not the best name with which to attract British guests :) It actually translates as "wheat"

I finished the day back at Genclik park.  

The next day I visited Anitkabir which is the most touristy of everything in the city. It's the mausoleum of Ataturk, the guy on horseback seen the day before. The nearest station is Tandogan on the green line.

The whole place sits atop a large hill making it easily visible from anywhere in the city. There are entrances at the North and South ends but note if you've got a large bag you'll have to check it in with security which means you won't be able to enter at one end at exit at the other. 

Hittite sculptures adorn the huge walkway that leads to the mausoleum complex.

That's the mausoleum complex.

I'm not sure how often they change guards, perhaps I'd just got lucky. Interesting that its' mixed forces doing their bit.

The sarcophagus marks the location of the Ataturk tomb which is actually deep underground beneath it. You can see the tomb via CCTV as part of the museum walk on the floor below.

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