Hey everyone! It’s been too long I know. I’m vowing to post more regularly starting this month.
A lot of people have asked me what Ankara is like. Most people assume that the capital of Turkey is Istanbul, but in fact, it’s an increasingly-sprawling city surrounded by mountains in the center of the country. For the past couple of months, I’ve been taking random snapshots of cool places I’ve been, and I’ll share them all out here for you to get an idea of what I’m working with over here.
Below is my university. The school has only been open for about five years, and this is one of several campuses. They’re currently building a main campus in another part of the city. It feels very much like working in a high school because of the small size. I’ve just begun the second period, and I’ll have brand new students.
An interesting part of the city is Ulus. It was once the heart of Ankara and is full of shops, restaurants and a bazaar (market). The area isn’t the most well-kept, I must admit, but there’s a certian kind of character that I really like.
Also in Ulus is Ankara Castle. It has been around for at least 1000 years, but nobody is exactly sure who built it.
Two weeks ago, I had Sunday brunch (in Turkish its called kahvaltı) with my colleagues and some other Fulbrighters. It typically consists of eggs, cheese, bread or simit (think of it as a Turkish bagel), butter, jam, honey, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and Turkish sausage (non-pork, of course). A friend of mine can make some delicious sigara böreği (pronounced bo-ray-ee), a pastry made of thin layers of dough and cheese and then fried. Endless cups of tea completes the meal. If you didn’t know already, brunch is my favorite meal, so this has been one of the best ways to spend my time here in Turkey.
Anyway, we ate in a section of Ankara called Hamamonu. Some years ago, this area had become badly neglected. Since then, they’ve cleaned up the area and restored the buildings, which are also in the old Ottoman style (how they might have appeared in the 19th century).
Finally, I have random photos from my gezmeking (i.e. wandering) around the city.
That’s it for right now! I’ll keep taking pictures as the year goes by. Winter is coming, and I’m not looking forward to it…