|We started with a visit to the Musuem of Anatolian Civilisations in Ankara. The artifacts in this museum really highlight the history - so much to take in. From there we went to Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. This was quite a complex and as pointed out the pride of Turkey. The museum is totatlly dedicated to him with many personal belongings. After we came out of the museum we waited for the dignities to leave. Apparently it is quite common for diginities of countries to visit here on state visits. Today it was someone from Pakistan. The views of the city and the mountains from here was quite spectacular. Atiturk is best known for his reforms that made Turkey the secular state it is today. Those reforms included exiling the Royal family, ghanging the calendar,clothing, measuring system and alphabet. He also stopped all the Islamic Lodges. These reforms allowed Turkey to form a Republic in 1923.
There were very few towns between Ankara and our next stop which was over 2 hours away. The landscape changed quite a bit from rolling hills to farm lands to quite rugged terrain and then there were mountains in the background. The number of snow capped mountains has also surprised me.
We then drove on to a small little town called Haci Bektas where we visited the tomb of a Mosleum Sufi philospher. He was known for his peaceful ways and practiced the art of sharing and giving. A gentleman there came up to our guide to offer us each one of his candies. The inside of the tomb was very ornate. This is a break off group of the Shiite Islamic Sect.
Next it was on to Nevsehir which is in the Cappadocia area. We had just enough time to go the room and back down to the bus to go see the Whirling Dervish show. I really didn't know what Whirling Dervishes were before, even though I have used the term. Turns out it is religious ritual of a specific Islamic Lodge. It really was fascinating to watch the 5 dancers spin for about 20 to 30 minutes. I was almost dizzy watching!
I had a great expectation for a massage later tonight and then returning for a sound sleep. Our drive over gave us a great idea of what we will see tomorrow - wonderful rock formations that are caves, fortresses and a variety of interesting places. Lots like another fun and full day.
So after returning and dinner I head off for my massage in the hotel - in the basement with a disco blaring next door, definitely not your typical spa experience. I just couldn't do it and so after a bit of a hassle got my money back (it was not cheap) and came back to the room - oh well it was a great idea!!