Saturday, 23 July 2011

Ankara- a Museum at last!

Friday 22nd July: Ankara
We have resolved to learn at least one turkish word a day, but unfortunately 'thank you' ( which seemed the obvious first choice) has about six syllables so we have grappled with it all day - fortunately with assistance from some kind locals along the way. Despite the fact that this is a big city there are very few english speakers at all so my fabulous mime skills will be needed here I'm sure ( much to Ewan and Erin's horror!).
Breakfast in the courtyard consisted of fresh white bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives meat, white cheese, scrambled eggs, and chocolate cake! It was hard to know where to start!
My favourite piece: a stag from the Early Bronze Age
Ewan has been talking about visiting the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation here for months, so Erin and Ii were worrying about 2 days spent in an archaic Museum. But it was just fabulous (and only took a few hours!). As the name suggests it didn't get to the ADs, just the BCs ( but don't worry we'll get to them in other Museums I'm sure!). Using treasures from sites all over Turkey there were some truly fascinating displays of civilisation in Turkey from the Paleolithic era to the Urartian era ( 8th to 6th century BC). Once metals were discovered there was superb jewellery and kitchenware that I would be happy to have now.

The view from the top
Then we headed for the Citadel, going straight past our front door and continuing uphill ( puffing and panting!) until we reached a huge stone fort, which provided a 360 degree panorama for hundreds of kilometres. It consisted of huge walls, about a metre and a half wide, at ever-increasing heights getting closer to the top of the Citadel walls - none of which had any rails to prevent anyone plunging to their death. I didn't quite make it to the very top, but the other two did and I was very relieved when they came down. Given that the Turks have been invaded by everyone at some point in history this is a gret citadel: you could see an invading enemy coming days before they arrived!

We spent the rest of the day wandering around, checking out the local market with lots of spices I couldn't identify and mouth-watering baklava, turkish delight and pastries, none of which we purchased (yet!). We did buy lots of nuts and dried fruit ( including turkish apricots!!) so we are well-stocked for snacks. We managed tp practice our one word and somehow communicated what we wanted. Ewan even bought some reading glasses for a mere $3 so he was impressed.

Dinner at a local restaurant with turkish music and great food. We are very close to the Washington Restaurant whose claim to fame is that Hilary Clinton has eaten there. We've come to the conclusion that some other celebrity was eating there tonight as there were armed police everywhere: very off-putting!

Ewan is thrilled that Cadell won the Tour de France, so I'm not sure whether finally getting to the Museum or Cadell winning was the highlight of his day!

1 comment:

  1. wonderful trip, sorry its ending soon - Love Yvonne.
    watched 2 champions today - Lauren best on ground at frankston hockey ground (in our opinion) while we froze, and Cadel on the tour! What a historic win, particularly after his bike broke down - Ken