Not a place that naturally falls into ‘tourist territory’ one member of the Fethiye Times team recently spent time in Ankara and was surprised at how much there is to see and do in the capital.

Not a place that naturally falls into ‘tourist territory’ one member of the Fethiye Times team recently spent time in Ankara and was surprised at how much there is to see and do in the capital.

First of all getting there.  It’s a comfortable 9 hour bus ride on a big coach leaving Fethiye at 10pm and pulling into Ankara’s huge bus station by 7am.  So you can sleep on the bus and wake up in Ankara.

Ankara has an incredibly clean, efficient underground train system, the Metro, which runs from the bus station to downtown.  So transferring to your hotel should be easy.  Fethiye Times stayed in Maltepe, which is close to Ataturk’s Mausoleum but a fair way from other sights.  You may want to investigate hotels in the Citadel area, Ankara’s ‘old town’ where Ottoman buildings have been restored and converted to hotel/pension accommodation aimed at tourists – so cheap deals should abound at this time of year. 

{mosimage}By the way the cleanliness of the Metro is truly amazing.  Of course there is a no smoking ban, to be expected, but also a no eating and drinking ban is in place and all stations are heavily monitored with close circuit TV cameras.  Fethiye Times was told that the public address system is used for announcements such as “will the man in the brown coat on Platform Two stop eating that simet immediately”.  So there is absolutely no litter or snack detritus anywhere – unbelievable.

On the edge of the Citadel is the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, a must-see.  When the older wing of Fethiye Times first visited it in 1971 it was called the ‘Hittite Museum’.  In the almost 40 years since then hordes of new sites have been excavated, hence the name change.  The artefacts on display are stunning, all are signed in Turkish and English and you can easily spend a fruitful day here with a break for lunch in the Museum’s caf符#x000A0; As it costs 10YTL to get in you feel you are getting value for money the more time you spend there.

We’ll tell you about Atatürk’s Mausoleum in Part 2, coming soon.

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