Day two was a mixture between Ankara, a loooong drive through fields, mountains and salt planes and underground villages 🙂
Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi – Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
The Anatolian museum was small yet filled with unique artifacts that were beautifully preserved and displayed. Some pieces, such as the Cappadocian tablet, the golden burial patches and the Neo-Hittite Winged Griffon-Demons really caught my attention, along with some other items I added above and below.
Next came the visit to Ataturk’s mausoleum… Which started of rather weirdly… we were told to exit the bus, pass through a metal detector, and then allowed back into the bus (no inspection was performed to the bus 0_o), and then drove up to the mausoleum.
The mausoleum itself was massive, spacious, simple yet impressive, and it truly conveyed the love many Turks still feel for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and what he represents. The area was well guarded by the military, yet there was a great feeling about, kids were laughing and playing, tourists exploring and admiring, and ceremonies were taking place.
Then came the long drive to Cappadocia, this was where I started to realise how big Turkey is. The fact that cities like Izmir, or Ankara, or Istanbul have more people in them than there are people in my own country should have prepared me (yes, and looking at the good old map), but you only truly grasp the dimension of the place when you are there.
This part of the day included the only ghastly meal I had, trout, that seemed to have been cooked four days ago and then microwaved. This was in a roadside restaurant in the middle of nowhere, and the upstairs floor was exclusive for passing tourist groups, where a coke cost the same as an entire meal. The ground floor was for the locals/ natives, and had normal prices… found that a bit rude, but “oh well”.
Just before arriving at our hotel, we visited an underground village dug into the vulcanic granite of Mount Idis. We were received with smiling faces and laughter.
I love anything underground, and quickly abandoned the group and the boyfriend to explore on my own. I even found one of their toilets! The Özkonak village was great fun to explore and learn about. This particular place was different from similar locations in that it has a defense system where the inhabitants could pour boiling oil on top of their enemies.