Ankara + Bus to Göreme

We were fairly exhausted from our broken sleep on the train, but knew that we wanted to take advantage of our 8 hours in Ankara. So, we tried to hurry off from the train platform. Not understanding the signage, we followed a couple of people down a long underground corridor, which ended up leading us in completely the wrong direction! We found shops, cafés, and the metro line – but not the train station or left luggage area. Once we realized our error, we headed back the other direction and found that the train station terminal was very close to our original platform.
We found the left luggage lockers in the train station and filled them up with our bags – all except for JT’s backpack. We situated ourselves over breakfast and tea at the train station café and then grabbed a ‘taksi’ for the Ankara Kalesi (Ankara Castle / Citadel). The walls and city in this hilltop point in Ankara date back many years. As our taksi driver did not understand exactly where we were going, he dropped us off at the nearby archaeological museum. This museum is supposedly one of the best in the country, but we did not want to spend our precious Ankara time in a museum. So, we trekked back up the hill we had just driven down to find the city walls.
We started following a mini-walking tour that we had printed from Turkey Travel Planner website, which pointed out certain items along the way and gave some information. Despite the early morning time and fact that we already had a ‘guide’, a pre-teen boy approached us and started ‘leading’ us. Despite our attempts to lose him, he persisted in staying with us and ‘leading’ us up the hill to the top and, once there, asked us for money.  We parted with 3 lira (~US$2) to get him to go away, and then we were able to enjoy the nearly 360 degree views of Ankara in peace.

Inside the walled city

 Views from the top of the castle

 Views from the top of the castle

 The top of the castle

After enjoying the walled village, we walked down the hill and over to Anitkabir (the Mausoleum of Ataturk).  In addition to Ataturk’s impressive mausoleum, Antikabir also hosted a very well manicured park.

The courtyard around Ataturk’s mausoleum

Ataturk’s mausoleum and courtyard

We barely caught the 3pm bus to Göreme, because we stubbornly decided to walk back to the train station from Ataturk’s mausoleum instead of paying for a taxi.

Katie on the comfortable bus from Ankara to Göreme

 Pretty views from the bus

Our bus was scheduled to arrive in Göreme at 5:30pm, but it arrived well over an hour late.  We had agreed to meet Walking Mehmet, our guide for our hike tomorrow, at his café when we arrived.  Since our bus arrived so late, we headed directly to his café – Noriyon Café – for dinner and to talk about tomorrow’s walk.

Mehmet’s Café

After having a delicious, home-style Cappadocian meal, we parted ways with Mehmet and went to check into our Göreme home: Arch Palace Hotel.   The close location to the bus station and the stone walls were both very nice!

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