Dropped off my laundry as I was about to leave the hotel. I am down to my last fresh shirt and undergarments at this stage of this trip. I asked Hassan how to spend a full day in Ankara to the maximum as my bus to Istanbul was at 11 p.m tonight. He said wherever I spend the day in Ankara, it is a must to visit the Anti Kabir (Memorial Tomb) which is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the War of Independence and the First President of Turkey. It also holds the final resting place of Ismet Inonu, the second President of Turkey.
Anti Kabir is located in a park called Peace Park where visitors had to register themselves and leave all their bags (except handbags) at the gate. It takes a 10 minute walk to reach the mausoleum’s main buildings where there is also a museum of Mustafa Kemel Ataturk, which holds personal artifacts of the late President. Tour buses are permitted to enter.
I was lucky, as I was entering the mausoleum, the changing of the guards were on show. There was this pitiful sight of western ( American) tourists touching and belittling the guards. I can’t understand why this should happen as it was a ceremonial function. I could imagine what would happen if this happened in their country. The Officer on duty had to stop the ceremony. A lot of disrespect was shown by these tourists.
I stopped for a late breakfast and enquired about the location of the Turkish Air Force Museum which was on the outskirts of Ankara but when I found out that the taxi fare would be double the price of my Istanbul bus ticket, I decided to give it a miss. Sometimes, I do have to think rationally about the budget of this trip of mine.
I walked to Tandogan, an area nearby where most of the major universities are located. The street is full with restaurants and of course stationary shops. The restaurants were packed at that time as it was lunch hour. I waked until I found a bench to sit on as my legs were getting crappy. I had a nice lunch at one of the restaurants and I confess I did overspend there. I spent most of the day at this area and took a local bus back to Ulus where my laundry was not yet ready as it had rained heavily in Ulus…Mustafa was kind enough to let me use a room for the evening FOC as I had to lay out the clothes for them to dry. I was lucky enough again as Mustafa and his partner sent me to the bus station that evening. I enjoyed Ankara with the warm hospitality of its locals.
At the bus station I was really impressed of the movement of buses at the arrival and departure area. The movement was very well coordinated . There was no congestion as buses made their way picking up and disembarking passengers. There were close to 300 buses departing that night. It is a man made marvel to me.
My bus left Ankara on time and made a few pit stops on the way.