We stayed a night at Bolu, Bolu is situated in northwestern Turkey, between the capital Ankara and Istanbul. The winter in Bolu is amazing, a lot of snow covers the whole city.
Ankara is about 2 hours drive from Bolu. It is the capital city of Turkey. Ankara is a residential and political city, a lot quieter and more organized compared to Istanbul.
The first stop for us is to visit the Ataturk’s Mausoleum where ancient and modern architectural concepts testify to the power and grace of Turkish architecture took place.
Road of Lions where a long pedestrian walkway that is lined on both sides by 12 pairs of stone-carved lions.
Female statue group
In front of the independence Tower, there is a statue group of three women in Turkish national costume. The woman in the middle, covering her face with her hand, is crying. This group represents the pride of Turkish women, and their solemnity and determination even in grief and hardship.
The buildings here are impressive, the museum is worth visiting to understand how important Attaturk is to Turkey.
The place is spacious and huge, lot of walking and you will see Ataturk, also known as the father of Turkey, his car and gun carriage used.
We also saw the changing of the guard walking in the compound.
The architecture here is modern, the Ataturk Mausoleum sits high on a hilltop in Ankara city. There are staircases which are grand especially before you enter the mausoleum.
The building here is one of Turkey’s most prominent examples of mid 20th century achitecture and also an important symbol honoring Ataturk and the birth of the Turkey republic.
Next, we proceed to Cappadocia, this place is famous for hot-air balloon rides and the enchanting caves and the rock formations.
Cappadocia means land of beautiful horses. The Persians took over the area and they were amazed by something that inspired the name of the city,- the horses. These days you won’t see wild horses in Cappadocia as the means of transportation has evolved. Now colorful hot air balloons fill the sky during sunrise.
There are many underground cities in Capppadocia, with over 200 in this region. And the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu the most popular and visited ones.
The underground city was built to protect its inhabitants from wars and religious persecutions. It is able to protect 20,000 people. Inside you see large stone doors to prevent invaders which I don’t think you can lift up and close easily because it looks super heavy.
You’ll pass by stables, storage rooms, former homes, a church and communal kitchens.
The underground city was rediscovered by accident in 1963 when a resident in the area carried renovations on a modern home that led to the opening of a cave passage to the tunnel system.
Homemade organic Cappadocia dolls are sold by the villagers out of the underground city. These dolls which are reflecting the clothing culture of the region, are also a source of livelihood for local women. Cappadocia dolls also promote the region’s folkloric culture. It symbolizes the people, life, and culture of the region in the best way.
Cappadocia is carved right out of the rock, people have been living in these cave dwellings for thousands of year. One of the most interesting experiences you can have in this town is staying in cave hotel.
The cave hotel has an incredible view from the top, delicious food and a comfortable room.
Turkey yogurt is salty, called Ayran packed with electrolytes. It’s a tasty and refreshing drink, and it’s a good source of calcium, protein, and probiotics too.
One of the must-try is the kebabs, consisting of chunks of marinated beef.
Lentil soup originating in Middle East, rich in protein without the fat or cholesterol of animal sources.
You learn about the modern history of Turkey in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. I have been to Turkey twice, 10 years ago, Ankara city was not as organized as today, traffic was chaos but roads are narrow. Now, Ankara is well organized with new roads and smooth traffic. The city is built with many new homes and new government buildings. The whole city looks pretty pleasant and new.
The underground city is an eye-opening visit. It is a small city underground 80 meters deep step into the life of early Christians hiding from persecution. It is unbelievable that people could carve out a place to live, diligently carrying out buckets of rock, hiding their existence. You find a stable, church, a school in this underground city.
Anyone visiting this place will completely love it.
Finally, when you visit Cappadocia, it is best to stay in one of the Cave hotels and experience it.