A Heroes Rest – Ankara

24th May 2008

Today we left Göreme at 8am for our very long drive back to Istanbul. Today we had no passengers on the bus, Vanessa organised them a separate bus so they wouldn’t have to listen to us practicing speaking up front. We drove for a few hours before we reached the salt lakes of central Anatolia, miles and miles of salt, it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. We were being driven pretty hard on the bus and unfortunately, I was having a hard time speaking on command, I still didn’t feel like myself from my knock on the head yesterday.

On road, we could see the other bus and we could see Burak and Kadir and every time they tried to look in at us Vanessa made us pull all the curtains for a joke. Then as we were going through a tunnel, we looked into the van and saw Burak pretending to take off Vanessa on the microphone. We were hysterical. Vanessa made one of us write ‘peach’ on a piece of paper and press it against the window. Peach in Turkish actually means, bastard. The Turkish swear words went back and forth for a while, before Burak held up a sign saying ‘Oi! Language!’ Which made us all laugh even more at the ‘Oi!’ as Burak is Turkish.’ Too much time around Aussies’ Vanessa said.

We drove for about 5 hours before we hit Ankara, the capital. We had lunch and then we were taken to the massive Ataturk mausoleum.

It was actually quite strange, it was so massive and it was almost laid out like an Egyptian temple. It even had really Egyptian style carvings on it. There were some great views from the courtyard area, including some of a really pretty mosque.

We got back on the bus and ironically, the passengers didn’t want to be on the separate bus, they wanted to be on the bus with us because they liked us. Brownie points all round for us I think on that one.

Tuz Golu outside Ankara
The ‘Tuz Golu’ or Sale Lakes

The intense talking and quizzing stopped thankfully, and we had a fun drive back to Istanbul, with some nice music and singing. At the last stop I got all the passengers and Kadir and Assim to sign my travel journal. We drove for about another 3 hours and we were back at the good old Sultan in Istanbul. We had dinner there and then went over to Just Bar, for drinks for Cat’s birthday. While I was there, I smoked my last cigar and finally, after a lot of whinging on the way round, managed to get a JD and coke. Indeed, after everyone left, I managed to get behind the bar and DJ and drink half the bottle of JD…on the house. I was the last one to leave and was walked home, by Hassan. (Home is across the road)

Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara
Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara

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