Since it was the weekend, Ayşe had time to make an even better breakfast. Our friends from last night came back over and they brought a dish, too. Yummy.
Then we sat around and chatted, listening to dance tunes and watching favorite videos on YouTube. (Not gonna lie, I was a little jealous that they were aware of hot songs that I was not.) We had all the makings for a mini dance party, but it didn’t materialize.
It was getting late and we still had some touring to do, so we got ready and headed back to the city.
First stop, Ataturk Mausoleum. Ataturk is a big deal in Turkey; like a Big Deal. And after his death, the country built a memorial that reflected that sentiment. The mausoleum is on one of the hills of the city so it can be seen from miles around. Its truly an impressive structure and monument. But more impressive to me was the museum chronicling the history of the fight for Independence. Unfortunately, we got to the mausoleum late, so we had to rush through a lot of it.
When we came out of the museum, it was pouring rain. Everyone was taking shelter under the cover of the building. That put a damper on our plans because we had also decided to go visit the Castle.
Although it was threatening rain, we took a vote and decided to still go see the Castle. (When else would I have the opportunity?) We drove up to the hill where it was located and had to walk the rest of the way.
The castle was pseudo under construction. What I mean is the walls of the castle are as is… for now. But there are still houses and small stores/ cafes in the castle walls. People have been living in them for years. But they unfortunately have been allowed to fall into disrepair. But now, there is an obvious push to renovate and make the site a tourist destination (which is smart). So there is construction going on with both the streets and homes. What that means for the tourist visiting now is you have to make your own way through the castle streets and find your way to the advantageous views.
We had trouble accessing the advantageous views, unfortunately. But it was still a great experience. Coming down the hill, we stopped at a café with a most excellent view of the city. Once construction is done with the castle, it will be an impressive site.
” The name of Atatürk reminds mankind of the historical success of one of the greatest men of this century. His inspirational leadership of the Turkish Nation, his open view in understanding the modern world and his might and courage as a military leader. “
John F. Kennedy