Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Turkey Travelogue: May 27th

This was Friday and our 6th day in Turkey. After a low-key, relaxing morning, our hosts drove us downtown to one of the government buildings where we met up with the Burns and more of our Turkish friends. From there we made a caravan to a newly renovated older part of Ankara called Hamamonu. If I remember correctly, the area was restored with historically accurate architecture and has become a tourist draw in Ankara. While there, we stopped in an artisan area to shop and a cafe for refreshments.

Jonah and Olivia at the artisan market
From there, we traveled again by car to the oldest part of Ankara where an ancient castle sits atop a hill.  This was definitely one of my favorite places, because it was so old. Many of the homes in the surrounding neighborhood were also very old and in disrepair, but were nevertheless inhabited. The exact age of the castle is unknown but it is believed that it was built by the Romans and expanded by subsequent conquerors. Given the tremendous history of the area, I would guess that the area was fortified to some extent long before the Romans. Parts of the castle have been destroyed and rebuilt through the ages and they would use remnants of old structures to rebuild the castle. So there are several intricately carved Roman and Greek looking stones among plain rocks. (I wish I could have read them.)

The street walking up to the castle
A photo of the closed off portion of the castle from the other side
The Castle Walls
We ended the evening at a lovely restaurant where we met all of the friends we made while they were living in the United States. They treated us to a wonderful meal and we were able to catch up somewhat. What a great way to end the day - great food and friends!

It was late when we made it back home and had to do some preliminary preparations for the next day's journey.

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